The head of Pennsylvania’s Taxi Association implied that he knows the suffering of displaced Christians, beheaded Shias, and sex-trafficked Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, because ride-sharing telephone app Uber has arrived in town.
“I try to equate this illegal operation of Uber X as a terroristic act like ISIS invading the Middle East,” said Alex Friedman at a Philadelphia Parking Authority board meeting this week. “It is exactly the same menace.” The website Plan Philly obtained audio of his impassioned argument against the ride-sharing service. The website notes that Friedman currently possesses nearly unparalleled authority over the city’s transportation industry: his company owns “about half the city’s taxi medallions,” as well as reportedly owning $21.8 million worth in medallions personally. It is widely understood that individuals who possess this sort of control over the industry may lose much of it as Uber grows in popularity.
Uber X is the company’s ride-share service (as opposed to black car service or van), which allows individual drivers to charge for transportation in their personal cars. The service can bypass a plethora of cumbersome legislation designed for taxi conglomerates in many American cities, allowing drivers to keep more of the money they earn and, thus, attracting many drivers in the taxi industry to abandon traditional work with credentialed taxi companies. Internationally, union laws make the stranglehold on the industry even firmer. The list of nations attempting, sometimes successfully, to ban Uber include Germany, Belgium, and Indonesia.
The list of nations attempting to ban the jihadist terror group the Islamic State is significantly longer. And for good reason–the group, once merely a splinter known as Al Qaeda in Iraq–has evolved into a multi-million-dollar operation that dwarfs its parent group. ISIS has ravaged both war-torn Syria and Iraq, and members have now reportedly been spotted with anti-aircraft weaponry that could prove fatal in combatting US-led airstrikes against ISIS-controlled areas.
In addition to imposing a violent, radical version of Sharia law on controlled areas, ISIS has destroyed priceless ancient artifacts valuable to Assyrian Christians and Shia Muslims alike, making millions selling ancient pieces on the black market. They also boast a formidable sex trade operation, in which Yazidi women captured during raids of northern Iraq are regularly prostituted for money, sold as brides, or used for free by jihadists.