You’re not going to like this point on Uber. I originally wrote this on January 29th. I added an update as of February 4th. Scroll down below for that if you’re all caught up.
What is going on at the airports with President Trump’s immigration ban?
At 4:42 p.m. Eastern time on Friday January 27th while I was armed with a very large bottle of vodka in my trunk to head to Los Olivos for a birthday weekend, President Trump suspended entry of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Sudan regardless if they are U.S. citizens with green cards, and barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely.
By Saturday night parts of President Trump’s order were blocked by federal judges. The blocks prevented the U.S. government from deporting some travelers. The blocks were also intended to give detainees at the airports access to lawyers.
Here’s one of the biggest problem with President Trump’s one-size fits all strategy: we are supposed to be working with Iraq to fight ISIS but we just sent a message to Iraqis that you’re not welcome in the U.S.
“For the life of me, I don’t see why we would want to alienate the Iraqis when they are the ground force against ISIS.” – Daniel Benjamin, formerly the State Department’s top counterterrorism official and now a scholar at Dartmouth.
“This executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to the military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies.” – Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
The simplest way to put it is President Trump’s executive order comes from his concern that people from those seven countries, including Iraq, are becoming terrorists then coming to the U.S.
Are they though?
The WSJ reported that:
- None of the 19 men involved in the Sept. 11 attacks were from the seven banned countries.
- The 2013 Boston marathon bombing was carried out by two brothers born in Russia and Krygstan not any of the seven banned countries.
- The 2015 San Bernardino attack was carried about by a husband and wife from Pakistan.
- The 2016 Florida nightclub attack was carried about by Omar Mateen, who was born in New York.
- Overall, during and after the 2001 terrorist attacks, of the 180 charged with jihadist terrorism-related crimes, 11 are of them were identified as being from the seven banned countries.
It gets weirder…
“There was a random quality to the list of countries: It excluded Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where the founders of Al Qaeda and many other jihadist groups have originated. Notably, perhaps, the list avoided Muslim countries where Mr. Trump has major business ventures. Nor did the list include the European countries where disenfranchised Muslim communities have become hotbeds of militancy, leading to major attacks in Paris and Brussels in the name of the Islamic State.”
Why Friday? Why the random list? Why do Christians in the middle-east get preferential treatment over non-Christians? Why now, as of Sunday, is he changing his stance and saying people from those seven banned countries *with green cards* will now *not* be affected by the ban?
“It was a promise that President Trump had made, and it is a promise the he’s going to keep, and he’s not going to be wrong on this subject.” – Priebus
Stop kidding yourself. Uber and Lyft are both anti-Union and pro-deregulation. These are taxi companies pretending like they are a “rideshare” apps to get around the strict government-imposed regulations on the cab industry.
“Uber and Lyft have battled lawmakers across the country about being able to operate without having to adhere to laws about background checks, carpooling and autonomous vehicles. Airbnb has butted heads with legislators on rules governing home rentals.”
Here’s what happened
When taxi cab drivers and union workers stopped driving on Saturday night to show solidarity against President Trump’s ban, Uber really fudged up. Uber sent out a tweet on Saturday saying they’d drop surge pricing at JFK and people took this as Uber trying to break the strike. People also viewed this as trying to swoop in and steal customers from taxis while they were protesting the immigration ban. Let’s not forget that Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, is also on Trump’s business council (which is not new news) and the public completely lost their mind when they were reminded of this.
Regardless of what Kalanick has said in support of immigration, he is now pegged as backing President Trump and anti-immigration policies and people are deleting the Uber app in masses and jumping on the Lyft bandwagon.
Meanwhile, Lyft says they’re donating $1 million to ACLU over the next four years and then keeps their mouth shut.
I guess all I’m saying is when you are posting that you’re deleting Uber’s app because the CEO supports Trump and is anti-immigration, do your homework. He is not anti-immigration unless he’s a total liar. Kalanick may be a jerk. I have no idea. But he doesn’t appear to be anti-immigration and don’t forget all ride sharing apps are anti-regulation (like Trump) so of course the CEO wants to be on President Trump’s business council, along with several other prominent business people including Elon Musk to make sure he understands where regulation is going! Are you going to sell your Tesla now too?
As for the drop in surge pricing while taxi drivers were striking, you could view that as a favor to people who were suddenly left with no taxi option from JFK (now at a lower price) or you could view it as anti-immigration even though it seems pretty clear that Kalanick is pro-helping immigrants.
People make very emotional decisions when they scan the headlines (yes, deleting an app is emotional ;). All I’m saying is what Mike from the New York Times said…..”in transit’s current state, the biggest protest is taking public transportation.”
Both Uber and Lyft are trying to crush the taxi industry so stop acting like a saint for deleting Uber’s app and downloading Lyft’s.
Update as of February 4th 2017
A U.S. federal judge blocked President Trump’s immigration ban. People from any of the six countries listed above, who have a visa, are temporarily allowed in the United States. The person being held responsible for the shooting at Paris’s Louvre on Friday was not from any of those six countries, he is from Egypt.
As for Uber, the CEO caved and resigned from being on President Trump’s business council. I follow a handful of influencers who were the first to hop on the #deleteuber bandwagon which undoubtedly caused Uber’s demise on social media. Social media is ruthless. Once you get influencers with a lot of followers on board with something, even if it doesn’t totally make sense, you’re toast online.
As a side note, Elon Musk is on the council and is staying on the council. He clearly states he’s on the council not because he agrees with Trump, but because he wants to understand regulations. Smart.
At my request, the agenda for yesterday’s White House meeting went from not mentioning the travel ban to having it be first and foremost,” Tesla Inc.
If you deleted Uber because you think being on the business council means you agree with President Trump you should be consistent and not fly Boeing airplanes, not use any GE appliances, and look at your investment funds and sell any funds you own that are managed by Blackrock. Do you use Airbnb? Cool, here’s a whole article on how they were nice and now they’re “mean:”
Airbnb had said it wanted to talk candidly with cities, to play by the rules, to be a partner. But in the end, there emerged an unavoidable fact: (airbnb CEO) Chesky was every bit the warrior as (Uber CEO) Travis Kalanick was. He believed so much in the promise of his company that he was going to fight for every inch of territory.” – Backchannel
Uber was singled out. I’m let down by some big influencers I follow who took this as an opportunity to grow followers at the expense of taking Uber down. Again, their CEO might be a huge d-bag and you might have something against them for other reasons. No idea.
But it’s pretty clear to me that this was a knee-jerk reaction to Uber and it was easier to go along with the majority because it made people feel like they’re being activists against the immigration ban, when in reality, it wasn’t totally thought out and makes them look inconsistent and uninformed. When we have a knee jerk feeling towards something, it’s probably worth pausing and doing some thinking before jumping on the bandwagon.
Extra credit: you’re not paying for your Uber ride. Someone else is.
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