Google is always listening. Now it’s watching, too, with the Nest Hub Max

With the new Nest Hub Max, Google is adding an eye to its talking artificial intelligence. When I flash my palm at the device, a camera spots me and immediately pauses my music. Talk to the hand, robot!

When I walk by a Hub Max, the Google Assistant greets me on its screen, “Good afternoon, Geoffrey.”

This wizardry is made possible by facial recognition. The $230 Nest Hub Max offers a glimpse of how this controversial tech might be used in our homes – if people aren’t too turned off by the privacy implications.

Living with Google’s latest creation for a few days embodied the cognitive dissonance of being a gadget guy in 2019. You can appreciate the fun and wonder of new technology that you also know brings new concerns. I kept wondering: Do any of these camera functions make it worth bringing face surveillance inside my home? Despite some applaudable privacy protections from Google, my family never got to a yes………..

Ultimately, the Hub Max suffers from the same affliction as many new Google products: It’s frighteningly advanced technology that hasn’t identified the problem in our lives that needs solving. None of the camera functions the Hub Max offers today make it worth bringing surveillance inside my house.

‘Gun Battle’ Leaves 21-Year-Old Man Dead In Rankin

RANKIN PA(KDKA) — One person is dead in a shooting in Rankin along Gas Street.

Allegheny County Police say a shooting at 9 p.m. Saturday night at the intersection of Gas Street and North Shore Alley left one dead.

When they arrived on the scene, 21-year-old Emery Heard-Ellis was found on the road with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

They say their investigation revealed that the Heard-Ellis and a second man were sitting in a Jeep Grand Cherokee when they opened fire on people sitting on a porch.

Someone on the porch returned fire. Police say it’s possible a second person also shot back.

Heard-Ellis and the other man inside the Jeep got out, and police say a “gun battle” ensued.

“I thought it was on the other side of the ball field, but I quickly found out it was out here somewhere,” nearby neighbor and Rankin Councilman William Pfoff said of the shootout.

Police have charged Marcus Carter in relation to the incident. He’s facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.

Allegheny County Police say Carter was the second person in the Jeep when the fatal shooting occurred.

“I don’t how what the answer is. I don’t know how you control this. I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody knows the answer,” Pfoff said outside his house.

According to court papers, Carter told police that someone he knows as “Vinny” asked him to fight a person he claims beat up his mother. As Vinny drove them over to the house, someone started shooting at them and they returned fire.

“It’s a little unsettling, especially in a quiet area of town like this,” Pfoff said.

Cater is currently in the Allegheny County jail.

Sisters homeowner stops apparent burglary in progress

A Sisters (Oregon) resident stopped an apparent burglary in progress early Monday morning and held the alleged burglar at gunpoint until sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested him.

Ryan Paul Huber, 43, of Sisters, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespassing and second-degree criminal mischief and lodged in the Deschutes County jail.

Just before 2 a.m. Monday, a burglary in progress was reported at 1659 W. Carson Ave. in Sisters. Deputies were told an unknown man had broken down the back door of the home and entered, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. The homeowner, armed with a rifle, confronted Huber in the home and Huber then left, according to the sheriff’s office.

Huber went to a neighboring home and began ringing the doorbell, according to the sheriff’s office. That homeowner also called 911 and told Huber to leave. Huber then walked to the original home he allegedly broke into, where he was held at gunpoint by the homeowner until sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Huber told deputies he believed his family, who lived nearby, was being held hostage and was in danger, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies conducting a welfare check at Huber’s nearby home found everyone safe and sleeping.

Deschutes County property records list the owners of the burgled home as Erik and Lucie Pronold.

Fact Check Time: Dana Loesch Shreds New WaPo/ABC News Poll On Gun Control

A new poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post was just released. Specifically, pollsters asked Americans what they thought about various gun control proposals. Gun rights advocates have long said that using correct terminology and being familiar with laws that are already on the books is important. Terminology matters because it can mean the difference between a person breaking a law or not. The same goes for knowing what laws already exist.

Radio host and Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch took to Twitter to explain some of the issues with the ABC News/WaPo poll.

“I’ve never before seen a topic where a lack of education isn’t just encouraged, but is seen as a virtue by leftists politicians and certain members of media. That’s not a convincing enough argument to engender trust in the proposed policies or reporting. Terms matter. Law is written based on certain terms. In some cases, certain terms are the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony,” Loesch told Townhall. “Regarding loading mechanisms: A magazine feeds a chamber and a clip feeds the (internal) magazine. In discussions about magazine bans and capacities, this is an important distinction. So one magazine is the limit but numerous clips are fine? I want to believe that these people are interested in actual solutions, but refusing to learn important terms and why those terms are important makes it hard to believe so.”

Sixth Circuit: 30-day sentence for Rand Paul attacker is too lenient.

Two years, six broken ribs, several bouts of pneumonia, and one hernia surgery later, Rand Paul might finally get the justice he deserves.

In 2017, the Kentucky Republican was attacked by a neighbor while mowing his lawn. He ended up in the hospital and has been in and out several times since. Recently, Paul announced he had to have part of his lung removed due to the damage it sustained during the assault.

Paul’s neighbor, on the other hand, walked away with a mere 30-day prison sentence, which the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declared “substantively unreasonable” in a ruling released today.

The recommended sentencing for Rene Boucher, 60, who is still Paul’s next-door neighbor, was 21 months of jail time, although the maximum sentence for assaulting a member of Congress is 10 years. But the district court ruled that because this had been an “isolated,” “first time action” that was “strictly a dispute between neighbors,” and because of Boucher’s “excellent background,” Boucher deserved a minor sentence.

The federal government appealed Boucher’s 30-day sentencing, arguing that the seriousness of Paul’s injuries should necessitate a harsher sentencing. The Sixth Circuit agreed and argued Boucher’s personal background — his education, family, and community service — should not have had anything to do with his sentencing.

“These factors are disfavored for good reason,” the court wrote in its opinion ordering the district court to re-sentence Boucher. “To prioritize a defendant’s education, professional success, and standing in the community would give an additional leg up to defendants who are already in a privileged position … That is why Congress and the [federal sentencing] Guidelines oppose a class-based system where accumulated wealth, education, and status serve as credits against a criminal sentence.”

Yes, the standard operational ‘we must DO SOMETHING!™’
Yes, she’s been changed alright.
Her ‘worldview’ has been broadened and illuminated beyond the safe cozy one she always believed in before the curtain was pulled aside and she got to see the world as it really is.
The nice little lady got the $#!+ scared out of her for the first time in her life and the “flight or fight” hormone dump response discombobulated her brain (and thus her rational and critical thought process).
She wants her fantasy of a nice safe, bubble wrapped world back and thinks politicians can get her there.

In England, the police go to great lengths to display just how hard they’re working to stop crime.
So they display a screw gun tape and a butter knife  they found……………

“I mean sure but is it really worth the tweet? You just look like idiots taking away butter knifes from Bob the builder.”

Gun Rights Debate Fuels Historic Donations In Virginia Elections

Yep. Look at those numbers again. The gun grabbers spending 15 Times more, and you have to figure that’s coming from the pockets of Soros & Bloomberg.

The National Rifle Association gave a historic contribution to Virginia’s statewide elections this week, donating just over $200,000 to House of Delegates Majority Leader Todd Gilbert.

The donation is far less than the $2.5 million given by gun control advocates. But both sums show how the issue could be decisive in the November elections for the General Assembly.

“They may outspend the NRA, but they will never outwork us,” said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen.

The NRA is “fully engaged,” in the election “to protect the self defense rights of every law-abiding Virginian,” she said, adding that “big-city financiers” have flooded Virginia.

One of the “big-city” bankrollers she referenced is Everytown for Gun Safety, a New York based group funded largely by Michael Bloomberg.

Everytown has committed $2.5 million to Virginia elections, including $125,000 to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus and $100,000 to the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. This week, the group endorsed 25 candidates running for office in Virginia, and pledged to “unleash its grassroots army” to support their campaigns.

Andrew Zucker, a spokesperson for Everytown, says they’ve spent millions in other states, including during Nevada’s statewide races, but Everytown has never contributed so heavily in Virginia.

He pointed to a poll the group conducted that found some 82 percent of voters in Northern Virginia said candidates’ views on gun rights would be important in their choice.

“What happens in Virginia I think is going to reverberate for the next year plus,” Zucker says. “It’s both an opportunity to change the makeup of the legislature and pass proactive gun-safety policy in Virginia, but it’s also a harbinger of what is to come in 2020 as well.”

The NRA’s $201,500 contribution, reported by the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), dwarfs every previous donation from the group since 1996, the first year VPAP has listed.

Tom Davis, who served 14 years as a Republican state delegate, says the NRA’s base has changed since then.

“Traditionally, the NRA gave to both parties,” Davis says. “Basically to rural members who were supporting their constituents and supporting gun rights. But as the Republican base migrated from the country club to the country, and became a more rural-based party, the NRA has more or less become an appendage of those rural-based Republicans.”

In 2001 the NRA gave $133,000 in political contributions, and $25,000 of that total to Democrats. The group gave no money to Democrats this year. Davis says he never accepted NRA contributions for his campaign.

Gun rights have become a flashpoint in the Commonwealth after a shooter killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building in late May.

In the aftermath, Gov. Ralph Northam convened a special session on gun safety; however, Republicans controlling the General Assembly ended the July discussion after 90 minutes. They voted to take up the issue again on Nov. 18.

University of Wisconsin-River Falls official tells conservative student with ‘free speech ball’ to move or face the cops.

“It’s the policy that conservative students should shut up and keep their heads down if they know what’s good for them.”

University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus official told a freshman student that police would be notified if she refused to get a permit before rolling a “free speech ball” around a grassy area of the public campus.

Sophie Salmon is a freshman at UW-River Falls who is trying to start a Turning Point USA chapter at her new school. As part of her recruitment efforts, Salmon inflated a six-foot “free speech ball” on Thursday. The ball was designed to serve as a platform for students to write whatever they pleased, but it also attracted the attention of university administrators.

“Kids can’t just roll a ball around?”    

After less than half an hour of rolling the ball around campus lawns, Salmon was confronted by UW-River Falls Conference and Contract Services Manager Kristin Barstad outside River Falls’ main building, University Center. The official informed the student that she lacked the proper permissions needed to exercise her free speech on public university property and needed to take the ball elsewhere.

Barstad said that if the student declined to leave the areas, then campus police would be summoned “based on the university policy that you’re violating,” although Barstad said “I’m not going to know that [policy] off the top of my head” but added that Director of University Center and Dining Services Cara Rubis “is going to have those policies.”

Neither Barstad nor Rubis responded to Campus Reform when asked which policy Salmon was allegedly violating.

The incident comes just one month after Campus Reform reported that Wisconsin state lawmakers introduced a bill that, according to a news release, would “direct the UW Board of Regents to implement a policy on free expression which states…that any person lawfully on campus may protest or demonstrate, but actions that interfere with the expressive rights of others are subject to sanction.”

The symbiotic relationship between gun-toting criminals and Democratic lawmakers

Maybe the reason behind that last article?

Democratic lawmakers love gun-toting criminals. They give them the ammunition (pun intended) they need to stir up their base to push for gun control legislation. After every mass shooting, the cries to “do something” are deafening on social media as virtue-signaling politicians pander for effect.

Gun-toting criminals love Democratic lawmakers. They fight to reduce sentences, hamper law enforcement, and most importantly to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. The less the citizenry is armed, the easier it is for criminals to commit their crimes. This is why gun-free zones are often targeted. It’s why gun crimes are rampant in cities like Chicago where guns are allegedly controlled. Criminals owe Democrats a debt of gratitude for helping them stay in business.

Democratic lawmakers love gun-toting criminals. They give them the ammunition (pun intended) they need to stir up their base to push for gun control legislation. After every mass shooting, the cries to “do something” are deafening on social media as virtue-signaling politicians pander for effect.

Gun-toting criminals love Democratic lawmakers. They fight to reduce sentences, hamper law enforcement, and most importantly to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. The less the citizenry is armed, the easier it is for criminals to commit their crimes. This is why gun-free zones are often targeted. It’s why gun crimes are rampant in cities like Chicago where guns are allegedly controlled. Criminals owe Democrats a debt of gratitude for helping them stay in business.

Meanwhile, legacy media does everything it can to support both. They selectively highlight which gun crimes they want to promote. If it matches their propagandized narrative that gun control would have stopped them, you will hear about the story ad nauseam for weeks. If it doesn’t fit the storyline, they’re quick to drop it from the headlines. Take note of this when trying to determine why there were so few stories about the Odessa mass shooter following the initial media blitz. The gun he used was illegally manufactured and sold to him. No proposed gun control measure could have possibly stopped him, so the media has backed off the story faster than vampires from a crucifix……………..

The conditions Democrats create enable criminals to do their deeds. The crimes criminals commit empower Democrats to enact their authoritarian laws and remain in power indefinitely. This is why patriots must aggressively oppose both.

Is Chicago a Gun Crime Sanctuary City?

In her confrontation with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over guns used in Chicago crimes, which, as Cruz pointed out in response to the Dayton and El Paso shootings, occur in a city which has its own mass murder equivalent virtually every weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed guns brought in from Republican-controlled states: As the Daily Caller reported:

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed Republicans for gun violence in her city Monday night, telling Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to “keep our name out of your mouth,” and posting a chart that claimed 60% of guns recovered in Chicago come from out of state…

“60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL — mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation,” Lightfoot said. “Keep our name out of your mouth.”

Hypocrisy has a new poster child for what Lightfoot fails to note is that what is important is not where the weapons came from, but what happened to the gun criminals and gangbangers afterword, if apprehended at all, which in Lightfoot’s Chicago has been virtually nothing.

Lightfoot should talk to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who has been highly critical of the courts and gun law enforcement. As the Chicago Tribune editorial board recently noted:

A new Chicago Police Department website, the Gun Offender Dashboard, publicizes data about adults charged with gun crimes, including already public information about how the courts handled bail for those defendants. The site lists the defendant’s name, arrest date, charge, and whether he or she posted a full cash bond, 10% of that amount or was released without posting any money.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s motivation for the website is his concern that judges allow too many alleged gun offenders to stay out of jail while they await trial. All too often, he says, they get back on the street and commit another weapons offense.

Johnson cites these statistics to make his case: Of the 4,311 people arrested in 2018 on a felony weapons charge, 5.5% were released pending trial and then rearrested on another felony weapons offense. The overall rearrest rate (for any charge) for individuals arrested on a felony weapons charge and then released pending trial was 34%.

A lot of criminals shouldn’t be out on Chicago’s streets, particularly those convicted of gun crimes. Many gun and gang crimes in Chicago are drug related.  President Obama commuted the sentences of many drug offenders, including those who possessed a gun during the commission of their crimes


Homeowner shoots man breaking into house near Barrett

A homeowner shot an intruder Friday in northeast Harris County Texas, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

The man allegedly broke into a home near the 200 block of Nod Avenue shortly after noon Friday, Gonzalez tweeted. The homeowner, who was carrying some sort of firearm, spotted the intruder and opened fire, striking him at least once.

The suspected burglar was found lying in the middle of Nod Avenue with a gunshot wound when someone called 911. Paramedics rushed to the street and called for Memorial Herman Life Flight to airlift him to the hospital.

The extent of his injuries was not immediately clear. The homeowner who opened fire is being questioned by investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

No other information was available.


Senator Majority Leader McConnell, Do something: Protect the Bill of Rights!

Arizona -( – In a recent editorial, the Washington Post calls on Senate Majority Leader McConnell to “Do something.”

The editorial lists names of people killed in the last 20 years in mass public murders that involve guns. All of them easily fit on less than one page of the Post. The writer calls for action, out of emotion, and nothing else but emotion. From the Washington post:

The list below, far from comprehensive, is tragic, in part, because it is so far from inevitable. No, no single law would end gun violence. But there are reasonable, obvious measures that would help. For example: Ban the sale of military-grade assault weapons. Unneeded by civilians, they are a blight on the nation, their ready availability a national disgrace. Eliminating them would slow the growth of this list. It would save lives.

There are many falsehoods and misstatement of fact in the above paragraph. It is unknown what a “military-grade” assault weapon is. No “assault weapons” used in the U.S. military are readily available for sale to U.S. residents. The AR-15 semi-automatics sold in the United States are not issued to the U.S. military, nor are AK47 semiautomatic clones. Details are important in legislation.

It is far from obvious that an unconstitutional ban on “military-grade” “assault weapons” would reduce mass public killings one iota. Most of them do not involve semi-automatic rifles; the involvement of semi-automatic rifles appears to have increased as the media has promoted the idea they were the firearm of choice in public mass killings.

There is the little detail of the Bill of Rights. There are quite a few rights which, if ignored, might result in taking criminals off the streets and reducing the number of murders by significant amounts.

  • If we do away with the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, the police would be able to solve more crimes, more easily. Doing away with the requirement for warrants will simplify police work considerably.
  • If we do away with the Fifth Amendment protections of double jeopardy, and due process of law, we will be able to lock up criminals more easily, preventing innumerable crimes. As the vast majority of murders are not mass public shootings, this will save many more lives than focusing on rifles such as the AR15, which are used in a tiny percentage of murders.
  • If we do away with the Sixth Amendment’s pesky requirement for speedy trials and juries, prosecutions can be done at the whim and convenience of police and prosecutors, keeping many dangerous criminals off the streets for longer periods.

Doing away with the Eighth Amendment requirement for reasonable bail and the prohibition against excessive fines and cruel and unusual punishments could free up the system to extract justice from, especially evil criminals.

If we wish to make a serious dent if mass public killings, there is one amendment we should focus on. It is not any of the above.

It is the First Amendment. Study after study shows that mass public killings are promoted and spread by media publicity and glorification of the perpetrators. Eliminate the First Amendment, and we can return to the day when mass public killing was rare (or rarely heard of).

Semi-automatic rifles and pistols have been commonly available in the United States for over a hundred years. Millions of military rifles with a standard magazine capacity of 15 and 30 rounds were sold to the public as surplus after World War II (6.2 million M1 carbines were made during the war). They have figured in remarkably few mass public killings.  What happened? The rise of the 24/7 news cycle, social media, and the Internet have all contributed to the media contagion effect that spreads mass public killings.

A ban on “assault weapons,” whatever that fuzzy, imprecise term means, would not make a difference in mass public killing, just as it did not make a difference from 1995 to 2005. It would make a difference in the destruction of the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law, just as violating the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments would.

In the end, violating the Bill of Rights does far more damage than it prevents.

Rural King says it will ‘stand in support of Americans and the Second Amendment’ as other retailers change gun policies.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – While companies like Walmart and Kroger are changing their policies on people who open carry firearms… and in Walmart’s case, the sale of handgun ammo another store says it is sticking to its policy.

Rural King said it will continue to support the Second Amendment.

On Wednesday morning we found a sign inside of their Wabash Avenue location in Terre Haute.

It says ‘While some retailers are bowing to the pressures, Rural King will continue to legally sell its firearms in-store and online.

Customers we spoke with say they support the decision.

“I was grabbed from the window of my truck at a Speedway, and I went out immediately and got my own personal protection. I think we need that, and I think we need a place to be able to buy ammo,” Shelly Hoffman told us.

“If Walmart is going to take away your right to carry in their store, because of people who break the law with their guns, are they going to take away the auto parts for people who drunk drive?” Doug Beder said.

See the full statement below:

“Many rural Americans are defenders and supporters of our rights and the 2nd Amendment. We at Rural King are proud to stand with these Americans to protect and defend our freedoms.

While some retailers are bowing to pressures involving the selling of firearms, Rural King will continue to sell firearms lawfully in all our stores and online at

Hunting, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities are some of our most treasured traditions and are woven into the fabric of rural America. At Rural King we are dedicated to living, loving, and embracing the rural lifestyle and carrying the products our customers expect.
We would like to thank you for shopping at Rural King and God Bless America!
Rural King
America’s Farm and Home Store”

Commentary: A gun-control call for conservatives who cherish the Second Amendment

As I emailed him:
The 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting.
NO. Your move.

Today we must begin with a rather unusual request: Will all law-and-order liberals kindly butt out, just this once? We don’t need your help on this one.

We are talking today only to the millions of Americans who strongly support conservative principles, cherish the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and admire the iconic leadership of Ronald Reagan and Sen. Barry Goldwater………….

“I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47 is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.” ………..

Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential standard-bearer who famously posed with his favorite rifle in ads that declared “I’m the NRA,” was an Air Force Reserve major general who opposed selling military-styled assault weapons to civilians………….

“I’ve never used an automatic or semi-automatic for hunting,” Goldwater said. “There’s no need to. They have no place in anybody’s arsenal. If any SOB can’t hit a deer with one shot, he should quit shooting.”………….

Close the background-check loopholes (like the one that mass killer in gun-proud West Texas just used). Ban bump-stock modifications and huge capacity magazines that transform civilian guns into battlefield-ready weapons. Ban the manufacture, sale and civilian ownership of military-styled assault weapons (and yes, let’s buy back assault weapons to keep us safe).

Finally, when gun lobbyists and their puppets push you to settle for only fixing background checks and nothing more, tell them this test about saving our family’s lives has only one correct answer: All of the above.

Martin Schram, an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service, is a veteran Washington journalist, author and TV documentary executive. Readers may send him email

US lifts ban on old-style light bulbs.

Econuts squeal in dismay.

The US is scrapping a ban on energy-inefficient light bulbs which was due to come in at the beginning of 2020.

The rule would have prohibited the sale of bulbs that do not reach a standard of efficiency, and could have seen an end to incandescent bulbs.

Many countries have phased out older bulbs because they waste energy.

But the US energy department said banning incandescent bulbs would be bad for consumers because of the higher cost of more efficient bulbs.

The Department of Energy said it had withdrawn the ban because it was a misinterpretation of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Specifically, the law stipulated that restrictions on bulbs could only be implemented when it was economically justified, Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy, told the New York Times.