I’ve been following the news about Uber and Lyft for some time. For those unfamiliar, Uber and Lyft are taxi-like services that allow people to schedule rides using an app on their smartphone. Unlike traditional taxis, riders are able to leave reviews on drivers, and drivers are able to leave reviews for passengers. This acts as a sort of reputation system, which helps drivers know if a passenger is to be avoided, and vice versa. Customers of Uber and Lyft also know the price of the ride upfront, something that is incredibly rare with a traditional taxi. And, probably the most important feature of Uber & Lyft that make these services distinct from traditional taxi services is the decentralized nature of the business, there is no central office through which rides are dispatched, it is all handled through the smartphone app. see more…
Tag Archives: Houston
Police and military are conducting scary drills that involve firing blanks in schools and downtown areas. ThinkProgress.com reports, “Students at a high school in Illinois experienced a uniquely terrifying school shooting drill on [January 30]. Instead of conducting a regular school lockdown, Cary-Grove High School administrators simulated gunfire by shooting off blanks in the hallways while students locked their classroom doors, pulled the curtains, and hid.” TV stations in Houston & Miami are reporting of military drills that involved military helicopters and gunfire.
In Miami, “a Black Hawk helicopter flew over the [downtown] area. According to Miami Police, it was part of a military drill, simulating an attack in an urban community. Miami was specifically chosen for the simulation.” WSVN-TV in Miami reported, “Police were unable to disclose specifics about what agencies were involved, but they said the drills were done at night for the public’s safety.” Miami Police Commander Delrish Moss said, “the reason they were done at night, and the reason they were done in the later hours is because we are trying to minimize disruption to traffic, minimize safety concerns.” He also said the drills will continue and cites security concerns as the reason for the secrecy.
The drill in Houston involved several agencies taking over an old high school building. KTRK-TV reported (full video), “There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds.” Frances Jerrals who lives near the area said, “When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst. I felt like I was in a warzone.”
Parents of students from the Cary-Grove High School in suburban Chicago received a letter that read, “These drills help our students and staff to be prepared should a crisis occur, but it may cause some students to have an emotional reaction.” Protecting children was viewed as a reason for the drills in Houston as well. Glenn DeWitt from Houston said, “If it’s to protect our kids, I’m all for it.”
I’m reminded of the quote from Benjamin Franklin, “those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I certainly don’t like the idea of military and police conducting drills in populated areas and it disturbs me that more people aren’t outraged!