Crash Real Friends’ Halloween Party in “Mess”

With Halloween just around the corner, your favorite Chicago pop punk boys in Real Friends have put out a delightful little Halloween-themed music video for their song “Mess” off of The Home Inside My Head (2016), and it has everything a Real Friends video needs. Filled with dorky f… Read more.

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When the Second Amendment speaks of militias and speaks also of guns, they’re expressing a fear of slave revolts. The Second Amendment did not apply to enslaved Africans. The Second Amendment did not apply to the indigenous population. In fact, it could be considered a capital offense to sell weapons to the Native American population since the European settlers were seeking to take their land.
—  Historian and University of Houston professor Gerald Horne on Philando Castile and open carry lawsWatch the interview: Historian: “You Can’t Disconnect History of the 2nd Amendment From the History of White Supremacy”
The media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, from the Vietnam War, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria today, it is wielded as a weapon of war. And that has to be challenged.
—  Amy Goodman, award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now!, an independent daily global news hour. Read about her recent speech at the University of Michigan.
FBI Released Documents proving Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina in a Submarine

FBI Releases Documents proving Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina in a Submarine

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After many years of lies from the US governments. They finally confess that YES both Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun did in fact escape to Argentina, and did NOT kill themselves in the infamous bunker in Berlin. The newly declassified FBI documentsprove what the Russians had been stating all along. The US government knew Hitler was alive and well, and living in the Andes Mountains long after World…

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There will never, ever be peace without justice. There will never be calmness without accountability. There will never be order without fairness. So when I hear the authorities call for peace and call for calmness and call for order, I say, yes, but it’s not the absence of tension… I don’t want the police killing on behalf of me. I want the police to be treated with respect and fairly, and I want black youth and brown youth, black men and black women to be treated fairly.
—  Dr. Cornel West, a professor at Union Theological Seminary. See the rest of the interview: Cornel West: Justice and Accountability are Necessary to End Tension over Killings by Police

NASA again cut the live feed after a mysterious blue-glowing UFO flew past the International Space Station 

The incident has again generated conspiracies that NASA knows about the existence of aliens but the space agency is hiding the truth from us and this is the reason that scientists at NASA cut the live feed soon after something mysterious appeared in the cameras. What’s surprising is that unlike previous times, NASA did not wait for the UFO to come near and get captured in the HD cameras, instead, they cut the live feed while the mystreious blue light was at a distance so that no one can clearly see it.

The incident happened on September 30, 2016. The ufo is brighter on the left side due to the light from the Sun, so not lens flare, NASA cut the camera feed quickly even though this was very distant.

For months, actor Rosario Dawson has been campaigning across the country for Bernie Sanders. She spoke in Chicago at The People’s Summit on how to build off the momentum generated by Sanders’ campaign.

Watch: Rosario Dawson at People’s Summit: We Need to Stay the Course to Build a New Movement

From Regulating Uber to Subsidizing It

On March 21, the Orlando suburb Altamonte Springs is starting a pilot program that pays for part of riders’ Uber fares. This misguided year-long initiative has a budget of $500,000 and will cover 20 percent of each fare for rides within the city’s limits and 25 percent of each fare for rides that start or end at mass transit stations.

Altamonte Springs is not alone in its push to subsidize Uber. Pinellas County in the Tampa Bay area just started a pilot program that pays up to $3 per trip to riders who take Ubers or taxis to bus stops. While the intentions behind both of these localities’ subsidies are to increase access to government-provided transportation, subsidizing Uber—and taxis—is an expensive, pointless, and distortionary mistake.

University of Chicago economics professor Casey Mulligan told me, “A subsidy creates two prices: one that riders pay and the other that Uber receives.” In other words, though consumers may see a lower price, the difference between the discounted price and the full cost of a ride must be paid by someone (usually taxpayers). Additionally, subsidies push prices up by making it appear that prices are lower and artificially raising demand (see the cases of subsidies for student loans, sugar, film, and professional sports stadiums, just to name a few). These effects could lead to an outcome that simply transfers funds from taxpayers to Uber, with little effect on riders’ fares.

Yet, support for Uber subsidies continues to grow. This is likely because the so-called “last mile” problem of how to get to and from a mass transit system has plagued mass transit since its inception, leaving many residents underserved by existing options. Ridesharing has the potential to solve this problem, and proponents of subsidies argue that paying for Uber rides is the most cost-effective solution.

Uber has already helped to solve the last mile problem—without any taxpayer assistance. Last year, Uber released a case study of its effects on Chicago’s mass transit system. The study found that, “Chicago’s public transit system provides frequent, efficient, and convenient service across the city, but it only goes so far. Uber offers residents of areas underserved by public transit a reliable and fast link to public transportation, effectively expanding the coverage of existing transit networks.”

This experience is not unique to Chicago. Out of all the Uber trips in Portland in February 2015, 25 percent started or ended within a quarter mile of a mass transit station. A similar trend was seen in Austin during a summer 2015 analysis of the city’s Uber trips.

Additionally, because Uber is a reliable form of transportation at all hours of the day, more people can take mass transit without worrying about how they will get home later in the evening.

Uber already has partnerships with government transportation agencies in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The point of these partnerships is to create greater integration between government transit systems and Uber by coordinating the systems’ and Uber’s apps. Similarly, TransLoc, a transportation technology company, started government transit integration programs with Uber in Memphis and Raleigh-Durham last month. Clearly greater mass transit access is achievable without Uber subsidies.

Other important questions over localities’ subsidizing Uber still exist. Lyft, Uber’s largest competitor, is currently in subsidy negotiations with government transit agencies, but what about future or smaller competitors? If subsidies fail to apply evenly across an industry, new, smaller firms that already face barriers to success must also compete with government funding for their larger competitors. Similarly, Altamonte Springs’ program provides subsidies to Uber but not taxis, which makes it even harder for taxis to remain competitive.

Since Uber entered the market, its prices have steadily declined. Lyft’s prices have done the same. This stands in stark contrast to the heavily-regulated taxi industry, in which prices rarely (if ever) fall and are often determined by government commissions. Expanding shared ride options such as UberPOOL and LyftLine have already driven down the costs of for-hire vehicle transportation, and this trend will only continue as the services attract more riders. Using these services I can make the two-and-a-half mile trip across Washington, DC from my home to work for just over $6, even during rush hour.

After winning policy battles across the country, ridesharing has been able to expand in most areas relatively free of burdensome regulations. During this impressive expansion, competition and innovation have driven down the cost of rides. If policymakers want to ensure that residents have convenient and affordable access to government transit systems, all they have to do is resist the urge to stifle the growing industry through over-regulation.

While integrating with government agencies to increase transportation systems’ efficiency is a welcome next step for Uber and its competitors, accepting subsidies sets ridesharing down a dangerous road. Reliance on government funds would allow some to argue for mandatory handicap accessibility and more burdensome labor regulation. New York City is already exploring these requirements. More important, an industry that is consistently applauded for its real-world example of the power of innovation and the dangers of government intervention and special treatment risks losing that reputation by advocating for government handouts.

Ridesharing has aided mass transit by increasing access and helping to alleviate the last mile problem. This much should be celebrated. But the case for Uber subsidies is weak at best and yet another case of government playing favorites at worst.

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Ontario to convert largest coal plant in North America to solar farm
Idled in 2013, and formerly the largest emitter in Canada, Nanticoke coal plant will be converted to a 44 MW solar installation

In an all-too-fitting sign of the times, the grounds of the idle Nanticoke Generating Station—once North America’s largest coal plant—will soon be lined with solar panels.

Ceasing energy production in 2013 as part of Ontario’s phase-out of coal energy, the enormous plant, which could produce almost 4,000 megawatts of power at full capacity, was officially shuttered for safety reasons last year. But the strip of land on the north shore of Lake Erie will soon begin churning out power once again—only this time, the electricity will be emissions-free.

As part of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s 455 MW power procurement announcement earlier this week, the Nanticoke, Ont. site will be repurposed to house a 44 MW solar farm.

“The Nanticoke project is a great opportunity for Ontario to take a former coal plant site and transform it into a clean and reliable solar power plant,” Michelle Chislett, SunEdison vice-president and country manager for Canada, said.

“This project is a great example of how countries are retiring coal plants and replacing them with clean, renewable power plants,” she added.

Continue Reading.

Meet Abdullah Muflahi, the convenience store owner who filmed Alton Sterling’s shooting and was then detained by Baton Rouge Police.

Today, Democracy Now! looks at a side of the Baton Rouge police shooting that has received little attention: What has happened to the individuals who filmed and distributed the shocking videos of Alton Sterling’s death?

Watch the full interview with Abdullah Muflahi.