Would You Give Amazon the Keys to Your Car?

The notion of privacy has certainly taken a hit in the age of social media. Internet users are constantly having to ask themselves what information they are comfortable sharing with tech companies and the general public and what information should remain private and protected.

Now comes yet another question from mega-delivery service Amazon: would you be willing to give your package delivery service the keys to your car?

As an add-on to the in-home Amazon Key service (in which Amazon has remote access to electronic locks in your home in order to place packages inside), they will now offer the option of leaving the entry codes to your vehicle for package delivery.

CBS-LA reports the service is already available to Prime members in the Los Angeles area, Orange County, San Diego and other areas of California.

The in-car delivery service is available to members of Amazon Prime whose cars are parked in publicly accessible areas, such as on the street in front of an apartment building, at a workplace parking lot, or in a driveway. Amazon won’t deliver to a private parking garage or other places where access to a vehicle is not readily available. Packages are placed in the vehicle’s trunk or out of plain sight.

On the day a package is scheduled for delivery, customers can use the Amazon Key app to confirm that their car is parked in a place where a delivery can be made.

Currently, deliveries are only available to owners of 2015 year or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles with GM’s OnStar connected-car service, and those with a 2015 or newer Volvo vehicle with an active Volvo On Call account.

What do you think? Would you feel comfortable allowing Amazon access to your vehicle to deliver a package you’ve been waiting for?

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Ted Cruz Owns Beto O’Rourke AGAIN After Learning Elizabeth Warren is Trying to Help Him

Of all the people to help defeat a popular sitting Republican Senator in a red state like Texas, enlisting Massachusetts uber-Dem Elizabeth Warren is definitely not one of them.

According to the Daily Kos, Warren has gone “all in” for Beto O’Rourke to take down incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, which is like asking a very loud cricket to help a jackrabbit take down a lion. This came in the form of Warren sending out an email to Texas Democrats, trying to appeal to whatever “yes we can” feelings they have left over from the Obama era.

From Warren’s fundraising email:

A new poll out last week shows that Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke trails Senator Ted Cruz by only three points in the Texas Senate race.

The political insiders had been writing Beto off – saying it’s just too hard for a Democrat to win statewide in Texas. But Beto hasn’t been listening to the pundits. He’s been busy building the biggest, strongest grassroots Senate campaign since our own 2012 campaign in Massachusetts.

And now it’s clear to the whole country: Beto can win. But only if we all do our part.

Help Beto O’Rourke build the biggest grassroots team that Texas has ever seen. Chip in today and help Beto beat Ted Cruz in 2018.

Look, I know that winning a Senate race in Texas is an uphill battle. It’s Texas, for crying out loud!

But Beto is running the only kind of scrappy grassroots campaign that could get it done. He’s practically writing the manual for how to win in Texas in 2018.

But for all the excitement Warren thinks she might generate in the great state of not-at-all-Massachusetts, it has Cruz chuckling.

It also has him noticing a pattern in O’Rourke’s support, and like Wendy David before him, it’s not coming from within Texas.

“First Rosie, then Al Franken, then Chelsea Handler, then Chuck Schumer, then Joe Kennedy, and now Elizabeth Warren…it’s clear that smart, tough Texans are the driving force behind Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s Leftist campaign!” tweeted Cruz.

The punchline here is that O’Rourke is essentially Wendy Davis part deux. The left is all bluster for O’Rourke, but in the end he’s not much more than another Soros backed attempt at turning one of the reddest states in America blue.

And enlisting the help of one of the most hated Democrats is only driving Texans further away. At this point, O’Rourke is a side show.

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Trump, Macron Agree: The Future Of The Iran Deal Uncertain (But Not Looking Good)

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the White House Tuesday for a bilateral discussion on several topics and a joint press conference with President Donald Trump; and the subject of former President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — better known as the Iran Deal — was the topic du jour.

Trump has long criticized the Iran Deal and expressed a willingness not to recertify it, even at times suggesting that the U.S. should pull itself out of a deal he’s described as “insane”, “ridiculous” and a “disaster”.

One stumbling block the U.S. faces in pulling itself out of the deal — one critics say allows Iran a pathway to nuclear weapons — is that the U.S. did not strike the accord with Iran in a vacuum. The deal is, in fact, an agreement between Iran, the P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.

In order to leave the deal, Trump’s going to have to make the case to partners and allies.

Today may have been the first step in that direction as Trump seems to have convinced Macron — who traveled to the U.S. with the express intent of salvaging the Iran deal — to consider striking a new deal with regard to the Middle Eastern nation.

President Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday that he would consider a plea from visiting French President Emmanuel Macron to renegotiate and expand the multinational Iran nuclear deal rather than tear it up, as Trump has long pledged to do.

Macron, who came to Washington intent on salvaging the 2015 accord that dismantled Iran’s nuclear program through 2025, proposed “a new deal” to allay Trump’s concerns — by adding planks to contain Iran’s uranium enrichment, its missile programs and its support of militants throughout the region.

“I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger — maybe — deal, maybe not deal,” Trump said during a joint news conference with Macron. “We’re going to find out, but we’ll know fairly soon.”

Interestingly, the two leaders also discussed Syria in the wake of U.S. bombing of chemical weapons facilities in that country and an expressed public desire to begin pulling American troops out of the region.

He made the case that a new deal could not only keep Iran’s nuclear ambitions at bay, but also help bring a political settlement to the Syrian civil war — another issue in which he is trying to persuade Trump to stay the course. Trump repeated that he is eager to withdraw remaining U.S. troops, while France wants the United States to keep a force in the war-torn country as a counterbalance to Iran and Russia.

“We need to win peace and make sure that Syria does not fall into any hegemony in the region,” Macron said.

Iran has answered the news of a possible blow to the JCPOA with a full-throated threat to withdraw from the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT).

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, said Tuesday that Iran was considering “surprising actions” if the U.S. decides to leave the deal, of which pulling out of the NPT would arguably be the most drastic.

“The NPT acknowledges the right for all its member states to leave the treaty if their interests are endangered,” said Shamkhani, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

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WOW: New Book Details How Part of Hillary Clinton’s Debate Prep Included Abusing Aides

A hilarious new book (I’m assuming this is supposed to be comedy) details how Hillary Clinton prepared for her losing run for the presidency, in 2016.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering how many different takes there can be on just how awful Hillary Clinton was, as a candidate. How many different angles are there from which to consider her fantastic crash-and-burn?

Seriously. She lost to Donald Trump.

I imagine they’ll keep cranking out these tomes for the foreseeable future, given that Hillary Clinton has trouble letting go.

So how did Queen Hillary prepare for debates?

Apparently, by abusing her aides.

“You want authentic, here it is!” Clinton yelled during one preparation session, followed by a “f**k-laced fusillade” about Trump being a “disgusting” human, campaign reporter for the New York Times, Amy Chozick, writes in her new book, according to the Guardian.

“Aides understood that in order to keep it all together onstage, Hillary sometimes needed to unleash on them in private,” Chozick writes in Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling, which was released Tuesday.

Who are the aides that would let someone verbally abuse them, simply because she needed it? If she “needs” to be verbally abusive to keep it all together, there are some emotional problems that need immediate attention.

This is the book by the Clinton acolyte, that further details Clinton’s mewling pity-grab, when she declared that “they” were never going to “let” her be president.

It’s not about “letting” anyone win. It’s about EARNING the trust of the voters and Hillary Clinton couldn’t do that.

But sure, let’s talk about the “empowered woman” needing things given to her, in order to get ahead, then claiming a glass ceiling when it doesn’t happen that way.

The book also points out that the campaign tossed around various slogans, in an attempt to give Clinton the feel of authenticity.

There were 84 slogans bandied about, such as “No quit” and “You’ve earned a fair chance.”

Earned, earned, EARNED!

Not “given,” or “owed,” but earned. Learn the difference.

Also while preparing for debates:

“Hillary would take a couple of steps toward the questioner, make eye contact, empathize,” Chozick writes.

And how did that work out?

Let’s face it: 2016 was a contest of the horribles. It could have gone either way, and in fact, fewer people found Clinton repugnant, but fewer people in the right parts of the country found Trump more repugnant, so he grabbed those important Electoral College votes.

The hope should be that we never have a repeat of 2016 and voters on both sides of the aisle demand better candidates.

Or a competent, serious third party emerges, in the meantime.

 

 

 

 

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Women are the Fastest Growing Group Getting Their Concealed Carry Licenses Since Parkland Shooting

A major mass shooting incident like the one seen in Parkland, Florida, in February is enough to shake a lot of people up, but it inspires many to take action. As it turns out, women are the fastest growing group in terms of picking up guns and learning how to use them.

According to the National Carry Academy which trains people in the use of firearms, women earning their concealed carry licenses are up 24 percent since the Parkland shooting. This marks the largest jump ever since July/August of 2016.

According to the NCA, men typically earn 66 percent of the permits issued, but women are now making up half.

NCA Co-Founder Nick Dahlberg said in a statement that there is typically an uptick of women when a mass shooting happens as “these events sometimes shake people’s world views in terms of thinking they will be safe, or that others will protect them.”

However, the NCA notes that there are additional reasons as to the uptick of women looking to arm themselves.

“The NCA speculates women are enrolling at a higher rate for many additional reasons: Women now realize it’s finally time to arm themselves; their husbands urge them to carry a weapon; and many more women are simply scared of being attacked these days,” said the NCA in a statement.

This increase in the interest in firearms isn’t surprising given the national conversation about firearms over the last few months. The NRA has also seen record breaking numbers in terms of interest and donations. Between the obvious fact that being armed gives you a better chance at defending yourself and the fact that there are very loud and powerful entities trying to strip that ability to defend yourself from you, gun courses are sure to see upticks.

Women especially have every reason to want to own a gun, as a firearm levels the playing field against anyone who may wish to do them or their family members harm. With children having recently been put into the cross hairs, many women would likely be able to shoot back in order to defend their kids.

And more power to them. Guns are a girl’s best friend.

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Playboy Writer Conducts Experiment With Tucker Carlson’s Face, Gets Interesting Results

Playboy Magazine writer Bridget Phetasy leans to the right farther than you might expect for the Playboy Advisor and the author of the magazine’s Sex & Dating column. Today she published a piece about her experiment involving Tucker Carlson t-shirts and the insular left wing bubble we know as Los Angeles, California.

The results shouldn’t surprise any conservatives who have been paying attention to cultural and media trends over the last few decades but they do affirm my assertions that consumers of right leaning blogs, television, or talk radio also live in a bubble nearly as insular as the one Phetasy trolled in her experiment.

After two Twitter followers bought me Tucker Carlson T-shirts, I decided to test the bubble out and wore my T-shirt everywhere I went in L.A. for a week—and I made sure to make my week as #whitefeminist as I possibly could, so I went to spin class, farmer’s markets, yoga, Starbucks, and organic juice bars all over town.

The results were fascinating. My anecdotal evidence is far from scientific, but my findings were revealing. Perhaps it’s because he lost his signature bowtie, but what struck me was that out of dozens of people that I polled, only one personrecognized the image on my shirt as Tucker Carlson. I’d have to wear a Maddow shirt in Trumpland to really test the bubble theory out, but I’d hedge a guess that more people would recognize Maddow in red states than people recognize Tucker in blue states.

I think she’s right that left wing pundits would be better recognized in Trump country though I think that’s because of the nature of the media consumed on the right. On average I think right wing pundits spend a lot more time rebutting left wing pundits than vice versa. The topic of leftward media bias has been a front burner issue since Rush Limbaugh first took over the AM dial. The right looks at the left wing media while the left focuses more on the right’s politicians and activists.

Phetasy relates the story about  the lone Angeleno who identified Tucker’s face during her week long trolling effort.

On stage:
“Who knows who this is on my shirt?” I ask approximately 30 people in the audience at a comedy show I am hosting.

Silence.

“Nobody?” I say.

Out of the darkness someone yells, “Tucker Carlson.”

“Yes!” I exclaim. “Congratulations, you sir are the first person who’s correctly identified this man, and I’ve been wearing this shirt for a week.”

“Who’s Tucker Carlson?” an audience member asks.

“He has a show on Fox News.”

The audience boos.

Like I said, not surprising. In fact, if this played out any other way, I probably wouldn’t believe it. The left’s “we don’t watch/read/listen to [insert right wing pundit] but we know he/she’s an evil, racist, homophobic bigot who hates poor people and wants to destroy the environment” sentiment has become a cliche.

Here’s what that says about our own bubble on the right though: Virtually all right wing punditry is just self indulgent entertainment these days. It’s preaching to the converted. No, it’s not preaching—preaching implies some attempt at persuasion. There’s no mind-changing taking place apart from the pundits and politicians who had an overnight conversion from thinking Trump was a total buffoon to thinking he is the nth-dimensional chess grand master of the universe.

In short, virtually none of the hot air spent on “debating” issues online or on cable news is moving the needle at all. If people on the other side don’t even know who the ostensible thought leaders are among their opponents how much of that thought is getting through to them? Zero.

It’s why the shrieking from those bloggers and radio or television hosts who are obsessed with denigrating anyone on the right who hasn’t donned the red cap is either the most cynical kind of click/ratings pandering or the most self deluded kind of stupidity. I still stand by this statement. And I think that Phetasy’s demonstration of how little anyone outside the Fox News bubble is paying attention supports it.

To people who think this way, I say: Calm down, Sparky, you write for a website most of America doesn’t read, or you talk on a radio show most of America doesn’t listen to. And that applies to even the top people in the political commentary business. We work in a bubble for people who are entertained by political discussion. It’s not a large bubble. Get over yourselves.

The notion that we must all think with the same badly coiffed hive mind in order to Fight the Left™ is simply not true. Some of us being critical of Trump from the right cedes no ground to the left because praising his every move and rationalizing his ever flaw gains none.

The division among right wing pundits is as significant as a few goldfish being divided over the best location for their bowl. If blogging, getting retweets, or doing Fox News hits had any tangible effect on what happens in Washington, we’d have a balanced budget and a free market healthcare system people could afford.

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Truckers and Police Work Together to Prevent a Suicide

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, when a man near Detroit was threatening to jump off of a freeway overpass, Michigan State Police came up with a unique solution. They asked semi truck drivers to come park beneath the bridge so that, if they were unsuccessful in preventing the man from jumping, they would be there to catch him. Thirteen semi-trucks helped the man in need, who decided not to jump and is receiving care.

 

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How Magnanimous: Judge Will “Allow” Alfie Evans to Go Home With Parents

*Just prior to publishing a judge ruled that Alfie will be allowed to return home with his parents, but will not be permitted to leave the country.

Little Alfie Evans has been fighting for his life in a British hospital for months. His parents have been fighting for his right to fight for his life. The world has been watching as the tragically broken British healthcare system has made every effort to deny Alfie’s parents the right to decide what is best for him. In a nation that was once the beacon of freedom for the European continent it seems shockingly tragic that any citizen must beg of the very people tasked with healing for the right to live.

Yet this is exactly what is happening (yet again). Though Alfie has been granted medical care and residency in Italy the National Health Service (NHS) is still prohibiting Alfie’s parents from removing him from the hospital and the hospital itself has even refused to allow them to remain by his side as he succumbs to the death the NHS has prescribed for him.

It’s enough to make one scream.

After removing Alfie’s oxygen against the wishes and pleading of mom and dad Tom Evans and Kate James, the tough tyke has continued his fight for life. He’s been breathing on his own, to the astonishment of hospital staff.

The case is still being heard in the courts nearly every day and information is hard to come but there is some indication that the judge in Alfie’s case may be considering the possibility of allowing the sick child to be released to his parents. It seems the judge did submit a question to Alder Hey Hospital (where Alfie is being left to die treated) asking if it would be possible for him to be safely moved from the hospital to the home of his parents.

There is no indication of whether or not the hospital thinks this is a possibility, or how they even interpret “safely”. One might ask themselves why on earth they would care if it was “safe” or not to move him given the fact that they just took away his breathing aids with the intention of letting him die. And then there’s this:

But a clinician has reportedly told the judge that a “genuine fear” among hospital staff from angry demonstrators supporting Alfie’s family would make the move “impossible” at present.

It seems the concern is more for the staff’s perceived safety than Alfie’s.

If Evans and James are indeed allowed to take their son home, that still doesn’t mean they’ll be granted the right to leave the country with their child for other treatment options in Italy. In a previous controversial case, the parents of little Charlie Gard were denied the right to take their child abroad for care and treatment despite raising all the necessary funds to pay for everything themselves.

Just imagine the rage and helplessness these parents must be feeling right now. In a supposedly “free country”, they have to ask the permission of perfect strangers to seek life-saving treatment for their child…to even take their child home to die in the comfort of his home…to even stay by his side 24/7 to comfort him in his final hours. Just imagine having to ask permission of your “democratically elected” officials to take your child on a trip out of the country…for any reason, let alone one that might save his life.

Permission.

Although it is still reprehensible to put a price on a child’s life, the NHS is certainly within it’s rights to decide that some treatment options are just too costly given the odds of survival. After all, this is the agreement every citizen in a state with socialized medicine agrees to when they vote for such policies.

However, it seems nothing but spiteful – even evil – to deny a parent the right to pursue life-saving care for their dying child or the right to simply take that dying child home for his last breaths. Especially considering that not only would the move relieve the financial burden of Alfie’s care from the NHS but also remove the bad press.

It looks as thought the NHS and the British courts are more interested in saving face than saving a life.

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The NRA Just Broke a 15 Year Fundraising Record, and No One Should Be Surprised

The NRA is an organization that thrives on controversy. The more it or its charge, the 2nd Amendment, are attacked the stronger it gets. It shares this ability with organizations like Chick-fil-A who only grow in influence and cash with every assault.

After the Parkland shooting occurred, the attack on the 2nd Amendment, gun owners, and the NRA began before the bodies had time to cool. This is par for the media course, as the left never lets a crisis go to waste, and pounced on their opportunity to push gun control. This time they did so with gusto, and instead of activists, they used children as a delivery system for their message.

It’s a tactic that sent the gun control argument to new heights, and the relentless assault on the gun-owning public was a sight to behold. There were school walkouts, marches, speeches, commercials, articles, interviews, and Ellen appearances. It was a gun control circus that P.T. Barnum would have thought was a bit much.

But the public definitely did think it was too much, and they ran straight to Fort 2A, also known as the National Rifle Association. Afraid they were going to lose their rights in some form or fashion, the NRA’s numbers grew by leaps and bounds, and so did their donations according to the Miami Herald.

In fact, they grew so much that it broke a 15-year record:

The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund raised $2.4 million from March 1 to March 31, the group’s first full month of political fundraising since the nation’s deadliest high school shooting on Valentine’s Day, according to filings submitted to the Federal Elections Commission. The total is $1.5 million more than the organization raised during the same time period in 2017, when it took in $884,000 in donations, and $1.6 million more than it raised in February 2018.

The $2.4 million haul is the most money raised by the NRA’s political arm in one month since June 2003, the last month when electronic federal records were readily available. It surpasses the $1.1 million and $1.5 million raised in January and February 2013, the two months after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

According to the Miami Herald, $1.9 million of the $2.4 million total came from small donors who gave less than $200.

This indicates that the push to keep our 2nd Amendment rights nice and unalienable comes from the general public. No one should be surprised by this, however. Despite the ferocity of the protests and campaigns against guns, our gun rights are still here.

The NRA’s Saiyan-like ability to become stronger the more it’s attacked isn’t a testament to the NRA’s political savvy, but to the American people’s clear decision that our guns won’t be going anywhere. The next time the gun grabbers decide to pounce, remember that the NRA’s explosive growth is a clear sign that we’re a gun culture, and we’re going to stay that way.

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