File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

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Biden Apologists Ignore the Damage Already Done Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 25 2024
Voters begin each day weary of the long litany of miseries that somehow began to cascade the day that Biden took office in January 2021.

Three years into the Biden presidency, the federal government’s estimated annualized interest payments on the national debt now exceed $1 trillion.  

For purposes of comparison, the Biden Administration requested just $773 billion for the Department of Defense for 2023.  

That worrisome development isn’t bad luck or coincidence.  It’s a direct consequence of Biden’s policy choices since entering office.  

Specifically, Biden campaigned in 2020 on a soothing theme of restoring normalcy and moderation to the nation.  In office, however, he immediately and unrelentingly governed from the extreme left, with reckless spending and hyperregulation.  As a consequence, inflation reached unsustainable highs, which in turn necessitated higher interest rates, which in turn has punished consumers and brought the cost of paying interest on the national debt to over $1 trillion.  

Facing increasingly grim reelection prospects, however, Biden and his advocates seek to convince exhausted American voters to stay the course with incremental improvements.  

The problem with their “happy days are here again” persuasion tactics is that they ignore three years of accumulated damage already done.  

Voters don’t start each day with a “Day Zero” clean slate.  Rather, voters begin each day, each week, each month and the new year 2024 with a working memory of what has brought them to this point.  

Voters remember 2019.  They remember low inflation, which was just 1.4% when Biden entered the White House in January 2021.  Consequently, they’re understandably impatient with Biden administration attempts to cast 3.4% inflation as some sort of “victory” simply because it happens to be down from 9.1% highs that it reached in the second year of his presidency even while he assured us that it was “transitory.”  

Indeed, Biden apologists continue to label inflation “transitory,” which is an odd definition for something that has persisted for three long years now, punishing working-class Americans who must spend a higher percentage of their income on basics like food and shelter and gas than wealthier Americans who can more easily withstand that blow.  

Biden nevertheless casts himself as the candidate who builds wealth “from the middle out and the bottom up?”  

Voters similarly recall low gas prices, which were $2.39 per gallon in January 2021.  They remember when Russia took a four-year break from invading neighboring countries.  

Voters also remember when Lilliputian Houthi rebels weren’t attacking U.S. ships and forcing international shipping to reroute all the way around Africa’s southern tip to connect Europe and Asia.  This week, Biden himself did his best Jimmy Carter impression by confessing that U.S. responsive attacks aren’t working.  As American military adversaries go, we’re not talking about the German Wehrmacht or even Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army here, yet Biden can’t manage to deter or swiftly defeat them.  

That wasn’t happening four years ago.  

Voters also remember when Iran wasn’t flush with cash after the Biden Administration relaxed sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration, which freed resources to fund Hamas and its murderous designs on Israel.  

They remember when there wasn’t such global disorder, with some new crisis seeming to arise every single day.  They remember when the Defense Secretary didn’t inexplicably disappear for days at a time unbeknownst to his boss the president himself.  They remember when mothers weren’t occasionally confronting shortages of such simple staples as baby formula.  They remember when America’s borders weren’t unchecked for literally millions of transgressors, countless numbers of whom might be terrorists or child traffickers or drug couriers.  

Voters begin each day weary of the long litany of miseries that somehow began to cascade the day that Biden took office in January 2021.  We don’t have short memories or suffer from collective amnesia.  

That explains why the latest polling reveals that only 34% of Americans say they’re better off than they were four years ago, which was the damning question posed to voters in the 1980 election.   

Biden and his campaign team may wish that life was like the film “Groundhog Day,” and conduct his reelection messaging accordingly.  Americans, however, possess a better working understanding of where we are versus four years ago, and what brought us to where we find ourselves today.

Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?