Trump keeps crying “Socialism” if Biden gets elected.

“The federal government’s hard-line response to anti-racist protests this summer may help Biden’s argument. Diego Scharifker, a former student movement leader and city councilman in Caracas who fled Venezuela amid Maduro’s crackdown on political opponents and protesters, said that images of federal agents firing tear gas at protesters outside the White House in June, all so Trump could stage a photo op, was a troubling reminder of home.
“Since I moved here to the U.S. three years ago, I feel like I am living a deja vu,” said Scharifker, a former member of the Venezuelan opposition (which Trump backs) who now leads Venezolanos Con Biden, a grassroots offshoot of the Biden campaign, during the roundtable event. “I’m living the same situations I fled from my country because of political persecution and attacks against democracy.” “
—What Trump has going for him in this regard is most of his base are stupid. I guess being “elite” I actually know what Socialism is and every time he says it they freak out. Socialism might be Cuba, but you know what else it might be? Norway. Canada. New Zealand. Japan. Countries where we hear about nothing but violence and bread lines from all the poor, right? WRONG! ALL of our developed First World neighbors that have these policies Republicans are terrified of have much lower crime rates, much lower poverty rates, much higher rates of happiness on that index, longer lifespans, the people earn more, they have MORE freedom, not less. Republicans are lying to you about this. Like when Trump said Japan is doing really bad because of the virus. 150,000,000+ and they had 1200 deaths. We have 330,000,000 people and we’ve had 200,000 deaths. Which is worse? Can you do simple math?
The “Socialism” that Republicans are afraid of doesn’t mean we become Cuba or Venezuela. For that to happen first you’d have to admit that the majority of Americans are complete morons, not just by voting for whomever you don’t like, but really dumb people who are incapable of running a country. And we’re not. Then you’d have to assert that our government and military can be bought and sold, and they can’t to that level. And you’d have to prove the police can also be bought and sold like that, and they cannot, either. What it would mean are probably higher taxes, but that ALL your basic needs would be paid for. Imagine things like no more electric bill, no more cable bill, no health care bill, no bills for college tuition. You’d have more time off from work, better-paying jobs, and a government that takes care of you when you retire. The crime rate would be almost zero, obesity would disappear, as would most illnesses, and people would engage with their neighbors as fellow human beings, not one race or religion or another. Sounds terrible, right? They STILL have millionaires and even billionaires. You can still open your own business and control it how you see fit. What exactly is the problem with that?
And in a lot of those countries drugs are legal. Know why? Because when they did that the overdose numbers tanked. They regulated it, they freed up the prisons, and the gang and cartels have no foothold because of it. Prostitution is legal a lot of those places because at the end of the day it’s your body, why should government tell you what you can do with it. Nudity is even legal in a lot of those places. Why? Because it’s the human body and not shameful nor criminal.
This country is so uptight, full of hate and crime, but, yeah, stoke the fear we might turn out like New Zealand if Biden gets elected. That makes me want to vote for him MORE.

Uber says drivers don’t want to be employees.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-judge-ruled-uber-lyft-204947364.html

“”Drivers do not want to be employees, full stop. We’ll immediately appeal this ruling and continue to fight for their independence. Ultimately, we believe this issue will be decided by California voters and that they will side with drivers,” the spokesperson said.””

—They’re half-right on this issue. Drivers actually do NOT want to be employees, that is true, but Uber and Lyft keep lowering the pay, increasing their prices for passengers and food delivery to customers and restaurants, and they’re pricing drivers out of it. For example: On UberEats deliveries used to pay something like 20 cents a minute and like 75 cents a mile. Plus a pick-up and drop-off fee. They cut the pay by 60% and then told all of us that WE asked them for lower pay because figuring out how we got paid was too hard. We never asked them to do that. They always lie when they cut rates and make up an excuse that we asked them to do it. We didn’t. Who would want to make less? So like last night I got an offer to deliver from from Fairfield, CT to Darien, CT. The total trip was 14 miles. The offer to do it was $7. That’s 50 cents a mile. That’s below the IRS mileage rate so right off the bat you’re losing money. If the customer doesn’t tip you get just the $7. The trip alone is like 15 minutes, but you also have to go to the restaurant, and typically wait 10 minutes or so for the food. So you’re talking about $7 for half an hour’s worth of work if you’re lucky. Now subtract the gas and wear and tear on the car. That trip will actually pay closer to $6 depending on your car’s mpgs. Prior to the pay change it would be $1.25 to pick it up, 75 cents to drop it off, $3 for the time from starting the trip to dropping it off, and another $10.50 for the mileage. So that trip used to pay $15.50. Now don’t think that Uber cut the rates on their end when they changed the rates. That extra $8.50 we no longer get goes into their pockets. It’s why most of us won’t take most UberEats deliveries any more.

They did the same thing with driver pay for taking passengers. The rates have gone down several times. Now the average passenger trip pays I think 65 cents a mile and 20 cents a minute. That’s it. And if it’s under a certain distance it’s capped at $3. Which, again, is why drivers don’t accept a lot of trips. I take short trips, but a lot of drivers don’t. When they changed the pay they lowered the per mile rate and slightly bumped the per minute rate saying WE asked for it. We never did. We make our money on the miles traveled, not the time. It used to be around $1 a mile, and higher before that. Their excuse was drivers wanted more per minute for traffic jams. Bullshit, we’re almost never stuck in a traffic jam. Even driving people to NYC it rarely happened to me. I no longer take long trips because of it. It’s not worth it. A trip from here to NYC could take 60-90 minutes. There are tolls, traffic, different rules driving in Manhattan than other areas, and you really have to pay attention. But those trips pay on average $40. And you can’t pick up in NYC so you drive back empty. So you’re looking at 2 hours of driving for $40 less gas. Not worth it.

I’m sure you know about surge pricing. Like 3X. They changed that, too, and told us we couldn’t understand the pay, so the made it easy to understand by offering a flat fee. Passengers got no such deal. They’ll still pay 3x or whatever it is. So if it’s 3X, and the trip is $5, the surge is $15. Before we’d get around $18 for that trip. We got 100% of the surge, and our cut from the base pay. Now we’ll get maybe $5 extra, meaning that other $10 Uber pockets. So when Uber says we don’t want to be employees, they are correct about that, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of even more. You have no idea the horrors of being a driver. Aside from being one of the most dangerous jobs in America, look it up, transportation is in the top 5 most dangerous jobs, WE do not get any information about our passengers other than a name, not even a picture. There are no background checks for passengers. On top of that, people throw up in your car, they pee in your car, spill food and drinks, and even have sex in the car. Yup, had all of that happen. Multiple times. Delivery drivers and passenger drivers get robbed and aren’t supposed to avoid certain areas because it’s “discrimination” but we all do it for our own safety, we’re not allowed to have weapons of any kind, you’re not even allowed the bulletproof shield behind you.

So as long as they control every aspect of what we do, LIKE employers do, they maybe as well pay us like employees everywhere that they lose these cases.

I’m trying to figure out of these Picasso sketches are real and worth money. Let me know if you know how to check.

I’ve also managed to score a few Normal Rockwell prints, and one Van Gogh, although of all the prints I seriously doubt the Van Gogh is real. It just looks too flat and clear. The Picassos are obviously real sketches, but the question is was he the one who sketched them are are they reprints. The Rockwells are clearly panted, but, again, by him, or by someone else?

Hope

The thing that gets me is Republicans think we want to “play it safe” as some sort of scam. Just because we believe in science and medicine, while you prefer to pray to imaginary people in the sky doesn’t make us the nuts. But let’s say your deity were real: Don’t you think they’d tell you they created ALL humans, including the doctors and scientists, and that they gave them the gifts of healing and knowledge to protect the rest of us?


You act as if we want you to get sick and die from this. We want the opposite of that (unlike how most of you think of us). We want you to be safe. We don’t have to agree with your politics or even like you personally to not want you to suffer or even die from this. It’s called being human, and compassionate. We have empathy for you. The struggle you’re going through, we’re all going through, but we’re willing to do it to prevent needless deaths. And when you minimize that by saying things like more people die in car accidents, you miss the point. You can choose to not drive or be in a car and avoid that risk. You can’t avoid this. You can lower your risk greatly, though, and lower it for everyone else by doing what they’re asking us to do.


And if those models are correct, three times as many of our people could die in a year if we do this wrong than died in World War 2. That’s a lot more than people who die in car crashes or any other way. So we get pissed when you sit there telling other people they need to follow our laws, like illegals, but when you have towns and states passing laws to protect us and you say you’re not going to obey them, you put us all at much greater risk, and look like hypocrites in the process, as if laws are for other people, not you.


So, again, if you die by your own hands, as long as you don’t risk other people’s lives, I’m fine with that. More oxygen and food for the rest of us. But I’m not wishing it on you. I’m hoping you do the right thing. I’m hoping you stay safe, and keep your family safe. I’m hoping.

My parking ticket appeal got denied!

Last year I got a parking ticket. It was a stupid ticket that on the face of it was my fault, but in 10 years working in Stamford I’ve never seen anyone else get this ticket. I had an UberEats delivery from McDonald’s, and there was no parking, even in the lot down the street, so I parked on the curb and put my blinkers on. I was in and out in 5 minutes, parked where everyone parks who picks up there. And I got a ticket. $50 for that. It’s Stamford, people have more money there, so they charge more.


So I appealed it. It took about 6 months to get a hearing. I went to the hearing, presented my case (I aid my car overheated and I was getting water to fix the engine) and they said it was fine. I thought that was the end of it. Today I get a letter saying my appeal was denied. I’m curious if they denied everyone who went. Other people had pictures, and witnesses, and documents, and I was like: wow, these people are lucky that they have all of this for their hearing. But maybe they got denied, too.


So today I called, a little annoyed, because cops do it all the time to go get coffee, and everyone else parks there to get themselves food, and it’s hard being a delivery driver in a city. There’s often no parking pickups or drops offs. They said I could appeal it to the Superior Court. So I called them, and they said there’s no one there right now to help me with the paperwork, but it’s $90 to file. I’m not an idiot, I know how this story would end I only wanted to exercise my rights as far as I could take them without paying for them. If I had a solid legal reason, like say I got hit by someone else and my battery disconnected and I was calling for help, you can be sure I’d be paying the filing fee and going though the court.


It’s just super-annoying. Even on the street parking the meter maids hassle us. We KNOW you’re supposed to pay to park, but the whole street is empty, come on. We’re not shopping, we’re taking people who are out shopping. We need to sit somewhere while we wait. And WE are often the ones reporting crimes in progress to the police, or reporting injuries, or things like I did one night a guy passed out in the middle of a busy road. We’re not just transporting people and food, a lot of us also help other people along the way. I’ve personally reported several women getting assaulted, several people passed out in the road, multiple drunk drivers, a fire, tons of disabled vehicles with stranded people: we see it all and it’s not like we’re out here to take advantage of the rules just to make a quick buck.


And don’t forget that being a driver, any kind of professional driver is more dangerous than being a police officer. Whether it’s driving a truck, taxi, Uber, delivery, EMT/Paramedic, bus driver, etc: statistically all more dangerous than being a police officer. They should cut us some slack.

No idea if anyone will ever read this or not….

That’s not to sound ominous or anything, especially now with the virus….I just meant I migrated this site to a regular wordpress blog a few years ago. I actually forgot this was still up here, so I wanted to post again to redirect people in case they stumble upon this. The new site is www.tipthedriver.com

Anyway, I hope everyone is healthy, I hope we all keep our calm, we can get through this together, and it’ll just be one of those great stories we tell around campfires or at bars.

I may or may not post here again. Go to my site: www.tipthedriver.com It’s all about all my years of delivery, driving a taxi, and doing Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats, Grubhub, and so forth.

=)

So, no, yesterday wasn’t the day for the camera.

I’m going to do it today, i swear! I got distracted on the internet yesterday and by the time I went to do it it was after 4pm. Here in Connecticut at this time of year that’s when you’ve already lost the sun. I have plenty of lights in my garage to do this sort of thing, I have my regular lights, I have a 120 watt flood light,and i have a 500 watt flood light. In the summer time when I have my Rav4 up on ramps it helps to see when I’m working under the car. Speaking of that, here’s a tip: always put one of the wheels under the car when you’re under it working on it assuming it’s not on wheel ramps. When it’s on the ramps I make sure those are the right angle before driving up so there’s no overhang, I then put the car in park. When I drove stick shift i’d put it in first gear when I shut it off like when you park facing up a hill. Then I put the wheel chocks, and after that I use the jack stands on both sides. Just in case.

Anyway, when the sun’s going down it’s time to go out. I’m so behind on things I need to do that I tend to let stuff pile up. Right now I have a ton of bills I have to pay, so that’s my main concern. I owe everyone money. So these projects get pushed back in my mind. Right now I’m going to go get ready to go do this stuff. And then I need to wash the car and do the interior.

Okay, all showered, on my way to do the car camera and other stuff =)

So, I have this dash-cam…

I’ve been watching these car crash videos forever online thinking I should get one of those cameras, and as a rideshare driver, it’d be helpful in case anything ever happens. I think I’ve had it for about 6 months now. It’s sitting in the box on my computer desk. I think today might be the day I finally install it. I’ve gotten so lazy lately. I’m like two years behind in my magazines, about ten years behind in the books I’ve amassed, and projects like this just sit there forever, it seems.

The only real issue I have is I need to jump a fuse to make it work since it’ll need an always on power supply. That requires pulling out my car’s manual to figure out which fuses are hot (always on) all the time. It has to be a hot fuse or the camera will shut off when I shut the car off. It’s better to have it always on so if you’re parked somewhere and someone hits you, you have evidence of it. Or you never know, your camera could catch a crime. So, maybe in a little bit I’ll head out to the garage and do that. It’s been a while since I washed my car, I might do that, too. And if I do that I may as well clean the inside, and if I do that, I may as well put the new lights in.

I had those cool LED lights on the inside of the car that light up different colors, change with the music, etc, but they’re stuck on red now. I guess they don’t last very long. Anyway, I have a regular light strip you’d use say outside somewhere that you can control by remote, and they only go from white to a gold white color, so I thought I’ use those. They illuminate the car, allowing me to see the passengers and allowing the camera to not have to work as hard recording.

So, yeah: that’s my project today.

P.S. I DO have stickers to place in the car to let everyone know they’re being recorded.

Health care is too damn expensive in the US.

“While employers pay most of the costs of coverage, according to the survey, workers’ average contribution is now $6,000 for a family plan. That’s just their share of upfront premiums, and doesn’t include co-payments, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing once they need care.” —That’s if you have an employer. If you’re self-employed you either pick a catastrophic plan, a bronze plan, neither of which cover very much, or pay a LOT more for Silver or Gold. Even then with Silver and Gold most things aren’t covered and you run into that deductible.

Here’s what I don’t get: places like Canada their health care costs are a tenth of what ours are for the same or better care. The US ranks around 20th in the world for quality of health care, so that idea republicans have that we have the best care simply isn’t true. How you “feel” doesn’t reflect reality. Like we all think our education is the best in the world, and that isn’t true, either. Both are very good, but how do countries with much longer life expectancies, with higher qualities of life, and more satisfaction manage to do it? Higher taxes. I don’t know, for me the trade-off is worth it. Americans are so greedy it’s sad. Instead of having the most people in the developed world die who could’ve been saved we choose profit. Instead of rehabilitating people who run afoul of our laws we choose to piss away tax dollars to lock them up. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and with many prisons being for profit, you can see why. And those people are statistically more likely to hit that revolving door because we’d rather spend tax money to give to for profit prisons because it “feels better” to punish people, than to divert them to programs that are proven to work and end those cycles.

Mr. Medal of Freedom, Rush Limbaugh is a great example of that. He’s a hardliner when it comes to drug abuse. He says we should “put them in jail and throw away the key”. But having means, when he himself became addicted and got busted with illegal prescriptions wanted our compassion and understanding, then bought his way out of trouble. He now has no sympathy for other people without means in the same boat and still thinks we should lock them up and throw away the key. He’s a hypocrite. Especially when we know the programs he benefited from can actually work for other people, too, if they want the help. But, yeah, let’s keep pissing away tax dollars on things that don’t work to avoid spending them on things that do.

And Trump’s latest plan to gut the ACA further than he has, and to dismantle Social Security and Medicare to pay for his tax cuts to the top will only make the situation much worse. Everyone over 65 reading this probably gets one or both of those programs. If they go away completely you’d be fine? If so, why are you using either right now?

Using tax dollars in ways that make sense isn’t Socialism. Not even that Socialism is a dirty word. Republicans love using Venezuela as the ONLY example of what will happen to the United States if we take care of the poor, if we have decent free education, and make sure everyone has food, and medicine when they need it. It’s funny how you never use countries like Norway in your examples. Or New Zealand. Or Canada. Or Japan. Japan has one of the longest life expectancies on Earth, the lowest murder rate in the world, and somehow the people manage to make a decent living, and have pretty decent lives. But, yeah, let’s keep saying the US can only turn out to be like Venezuela. That assumes the majority of Americans are too stupid to go in any other direction. That sounds like a red state problem to me. The life expectancy in the United States is longer in Blue states with Connecticut having the longest life expectancy in America. Blue states also have lower crime rates, lower health problems, lower amounts of suicide, higher test scores, less teen pregnancy, less abortion, more college graduates, higher per capita GDP. We can do it if we all work together.

We just need to eliminate greed, and be willing to compromise and use some common sense,