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Buzzfeed reported that one of Uber’s executives had already looked up without permission rides taken by one of its own journalists. And according to The Washington Post, the company was so lax about such sensitive data that it even allowed a job applicant to view people’s rides, including those of a family member of a prominent politician. (The app is popular with members of Congress, among others.) After the Uber executive’s statements, many took note of a 2012 post on the company’s blog that boasted of how Uber had tracked the rides of users who went somewhere other than home on Friday or Saturday nights, and left from the same address the next morning. It identified these “rides of glory” as potential one-night stands. (The blog post was later removed.) Uber had just told all its users that if they were having an affair, it knew about it. Rides to Planned Parenthood? Regular rides to a cancer hospital? Interviews at a rival company? Uber knows about them, too. Sometimes "cheaper" is not better, especially when you have sacrificed your privacy to a company that will track your whereabouts and then blackmail you with it or sell that information to others.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) sets much higher standards for disclosure and performance when someone is professionally involved in an enterprise than it does when someone has a garage sale. Selling your own used car, for example, does not require that you adhere to the same professional standards that would be required if you were a car dealer. Operations such as AirBnB.Com and Uber.Com try to straddle the line by encouraging people to be involved in professional activities without being held to the ethical, licensing and regulatory standards required from professionals in the same field. Many municipalities have zoning ordinances that prohibit certain kinds of commercial operations in residential neighborhoods. Those ordinances are mainly for the purpose of protecting property values rather than giving the government control over your property. I would not want my neighbors to be operating their homes as hotels because regularly introducing stranger/residents to our neighborhood would adversely affect our street traffic and home security. Operating your private automobile as a taxi or limousine dramatically increases your potential liability as has already been discussed in this forum and could void your auto insurance coverage if you were involved in an accident while carrying a paid passenger. While I have no interest in protecting hotels, motels and taxis from competition, it is clearly apparent to me why allowing private citizens to go in competition with them without holding those citizens to the same regulatory and licensing standards can create a huge set of problems for a community or neighborhood.
What about the mentally-ill young man, Adam Lanza, in Connecticut who shot up Sandy Hook Elementary School there, wiping out 26 lives before killing himself? Shouldn't he have had a background check before his mother gave him access to guns? She paid the ultimate price for her error in judgment. Although I do support our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves, some people should not have access to guns because they don't have the mental stability, judgment or honorable intent to use them properly.
In response to:

A 'Right' to Recline?

Lewis103 Wrote: Sep 04, 2014 8:13 AM
There are some advantages of being tall, but when I sit in a modern airline coach seat, my knees are jammed against the back of the seat in front of me. Sometimes, when a passenger in front of me has tried to recline his or her seat, I apologize and tell them that my legs cannot telescope in order to accommodate their reclining. Fortunately this has never escalated into an altercation. I've also had obese passengers next to me try to raise the arm rest, so their girth can spill into my space, which I also decline to allow. While that has never led to any fights, I have no doubt that preservation of my limited space has led to my seatmate's discomfort. While it might add to my comfort to recline my airline seat, I never do it because I regard it as an intrusion into the passenger's space behind me. I try to exercise the same courtesy to my fellow passengers than I would appreciate from them. In past years, I flew as many as 30,000 miles per year for business and pleasure. Now that airlines have reduced passenger space so severely, inevitably leading to the confrontations mentioned in the article above, I try to avoid flying on commercial airlines as much as possible. Cheaper fares or higher airline profits are not worth the loss of humanity due to the new restrictions on individual passenger space.
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Ferguson: The War Comes Home

Lewis103 Wrote: Aug 26, 2014 7:19 AM
Given the environment in which many law enforcement officers work, perhaps it's not surprising that they sometimes overreact. Doesn't anyone remember Detective Melvin Santiago? He was a Jersey City police officer, who was assassinated a month ago, on July 13th. Santiago was white. His alleged killer, Lawrence Campbell, was black. How about Officer Jeffrey Westerfield? He was a Gary, Indiana, police officer who was shot to death last month on July 6th. Westerfield was white. His accused killer, Carl LeEllis Blount, Jr. was black. Officer Perry Renn was an Indianapolis, Indiana, police officer who was shot to death just last month on July 5th, the day before Officer Westerfield was killed. Officer Renn was white. His alleged killer, Major Davis, was black. Off-duty Vermilion Parish Deputy Sheriff, Allen Bares, was gunned down by two men this past June 23rd in Louisiana. Deputy Bares was white. The two men arrested and charged as his killers, Quintlan Richard and Baylon Taylor, were black. Eric Holder didn't rush to any of those places to ensure that the families of those slain police officers received "justice." President Obama expressed no outrage. None of those police shootings triggered a media frenzy, riots, violence and looting. Until we get all of the facts perhaps should we not be so quick to invoke a double standard for behavior.
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Lambs to the GMO Slaughter

Lewis103 Wrote: Jul 29, 2014 7:19 AM
Although millions of people have been consuming GMO products for a very long time, I have not seen a single scientific study that has shown that any harm has come to them from that consumption. In fact, millions of people are going hungry and/or lacking important nutrients due to the fear mongering over Golden Rice. Vitamin A deficiency, which would be eliminated by Golden Rice has killed 8 million kids in the last 12 years. Opposition to GMO foods is nothing but junk science, but it's contributing to the world hunger and nutritional deficiencies. Nobody has become ill or has died from eating genetically modified food.
One element that dramatically affects housing affordability is how much that home is taxed by the government. New Jersey, where I am a Realtor®, property taxes are the highest in the nation. Taxes on my modest single-family home, for example, are about $14,000 per year. My taxes now significantly exceed what I originally paid to amortize my mortgage. If I sell my home and move out of state, I must pay a heavy penalty called an "exit tax." If I die in New Jersey, the state will impose the highest death tax in the nation. Despite the exit tax, about 8,000 people per month are moving out of New Jersey. Before the end of this calendar year, my wife and I will probably be among them.
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What Have You Said in Private?

Lewis103 Wrote: Apr 29, 2014 10:11 AM
Sorry, but I have no sympathy for a married member of Congress who was caught by a security camera engaging in a passionate kiss with a married member of his staff. The disrespect of the congressman's marriage and the staffer's marriage existed whether or not it was exposed by a security camera. We pay our members of Congress and their staff enough to expect that they should behave themselves. If they cannot behave then they should make room for those who will.
Most of us don't view all issues in our lives in terms of "black or white" but rather shades of gray. Even the most religious people, including members of the clergy, will tell a white lie to avoid offending others. I can be religious without getting in other people's faces with it and I can be "too busy" to do something that might offend me without issuing a judgmental sermon.
My granddad taught me not to get in a spraying contest with skunks. Apparently Elane Photography never learned that lesson. They didn't have to get in the lesbians' faces with her religion. Elane Photography could have simply been too committed or busy to handle the photography and avoided all of the expensive litigation that accomplished nothing.
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