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 Betrays Israel for Michigan Votes Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 08 2024
Biden’s hesitancy to wield power with greater conviction, his inclination to tread softly when bold steps are appropriate, his weak hand extended in reconciliation toward Iran and even their Houthi rebel surrogates, suggest that his motivations stem as much from electoral calculation than propriety or strategic interest.

By now it’s acknowledged even among increasingly despondent mainstream media that Joe Biden trails Donald Trump in general election polling.  

Specifically, Biden hasn’t led Trump in the Real Clear Politics polling average since October 19 of last year, whereas Trump never came within four points in 2020 yet still almost won the election.  

Biden’s polling deficit in individual swing states, however, paints an even more grim picture for him just nine months out from November’s election.  

Of particular note, Biden now trails Trump by an astonishing 5.1% in Michigan, a state he won by nearly 3% in 2020.  What particularly distinguishes must-win Michigan for Biden is its disproportionate percentage of Arab American and Muslim voters, upon whom Biden must rely to retain that closely balanced state’s fifteen electoral votes.  

This week, Biden officials rushed to Michigan in an effort to placate Arab American and Muslim voters fuming over Gaza deaths, as reported by The Wall Street Journal:  

Dearborn is home to the largest Muslim population in the U.S. and is roughly 54% Arab-American, according to census figures.  …  The leaders have been pressing the White House for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and said the moves are aimed at holding Biden accountable.  Biden has faced protests and disruptions at his recent public events from activists calling for a cease-fire, and Democrats have expressed anxieties that the issue could hurt Biden’s ability to replicate the enthusiastic turnout from young voters that helped him win in 2020.  

In that light, Biden’s increasingly hostile approach toward Israeli leaders and his interference in their campaign to fully eradicate the Hamas threat assume a much more sinister hue.  

Biden’s hesitancy to wield power with greater conviction, his inclination to tread softly when bold steps are appropriate, his weak hand extended in reconciliation toward Iran and even their Houthi rebel surrogates, suggest that his motivations stem as much from electoral calculation than propriety or strategic interest.  

Moreover, while Biden may consider himself an innocent bystander and unfortunate victim of Middle East chaos, his dilemmas and growing electoral difficulties are of his own making.  

Ironically, in January 2020 when President Trump decisively eliminated Iran’s top terrorist military commander Qassem Soleimani, Biden erroneously predicted a Middle East “tinderbox.”  

Four years later, the Middle East actually is a chaotic tinderbox, but that has nothing to do with Donald Trump.  

Recall that upon becoming president, Biden commenced what NBC News labeled “a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent Trump-era sanctions imposed on Iran.”  As a result, Iranian oil exports increased, and the resulting wealth allowed it to subsidize its terrorist proxies like Hamas and the Houthi rebels.  

Indeed, Biden’s ostentatious choice to rehabilitate the Houthi rebels and reverse the Trump Administration’s designation of them as a terrorist organization was among his first acts as president:  

President Joe Biden’s administration will remove the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen from the Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist lists, the State Department confirmed Friday.  The last-minute decision by former President Donald Trump’s administration to designate the group that controls 80 percent of Yemen’s territory was widely condemned by international organizations for cutting off the delivery of critical food aid to a country on the brink of famine.  

The resulting tinderbox that Biden predicted in January 2020 is now creating electoral peril.  

As a consequence, Biden must now attempt to thread a needle by at least superficially expressing support for Israel and responding to deadly Iranian proxy attacks against American troops while placating far-left voters in the hope of sustaining his thin and diminishing reelection hopes.  

Meanwhile, Biden is now incoherently restricting American energy companies’ ability to export liquid natural gas to our allies, which has the effect of empowering Russia, Iran and other exporters.  

As America and the world descend further into the abyss of Joe Biden’s fourth year in office, many have drawn the parallel to Jimmy Carter’s similarly dysfunctional and unpopular presidency.  

That comparison, however, is unfair to Carter.  

Whereas Carter’s failures were attributable to his haplessness, Biden’s increasingly appear attributable to calculated electoral cynicism.  Accordingly, Biden’s accumulating foreign policy failures and electoral peril are well-deserved.

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?