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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Folly: Paul Krugman Ranks Obama Presidency Above Reagan, Clinton, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 23 2014
Krugman asserts with a straight face and his trademark clueless earnestness that Obama inhabits the highest echelon of American presidents.

"Obama has emerged," says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, "as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history." 

At this point, the most salient question regarding Krugman shouldn't be what he thinks about any particular issue, but why anyone continues to pay him attention.  Sure, the man possesses a Nobel prize, but so do such moral and intellectual titans as Yasser Arafat, Al Gore, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. 

Just one week ago, Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal helpfully highlighted some of Krugman's more glaring ignominies: 

"So Paul Krugman, who once called on Alan Greenspan 'to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble';  who, a few months before the Eurozone crisis erupted, praised Europe as 'an economic success' that 'shows that social democracy works';  who, as the U.S. fracking revolution was getting under way, opined that America was 'just a bystander' in a global energy story defined by 'peak oil';  and who, in 2012, hailed Argentina's economy as a 'remarkable success story' - this guy now tells us, in Rolling Stone magazine, that Barack Obama has been a terrific president." 

Which brings us to his latest unmerited attention-grabbing commentary. 

In the Rolling Stone piece referenced by Stephens, Krugman asserts with a straight face and his trademark clueless earnestness that Obama inhabits the highest echelon of American presidents. 

Never mind that Democrats running for office across the country won't even admit on camera that they voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.  Or that Obama's own former cabinet officers like Leon Panetta and Bob Gates have penned humiliating memoirs critical of their former boss.  Or that Obama's own public approval rating is no better than the supposedly evil and inept man he replaced, and his standing among foreign leaders and citizens alike is dismal. 

No, according to Paul Krugman, Obama is greater than Reagan, greater than Clinton, greater than Kennedy, greater than Eisenhower and greater than Truman. 

That's not hyperbole or a gratuitous sideswipe at Krugman.  Those are Krugman's own words in an interview with ABC News: 

"I think in my ranking of consequential presidents, at least in modern history, it would probably be FDR, LBJ, Obama and then Reagan...  Again, look at what he did.  Bill Clinton is an incredibly gifted politician.  Bill Clinton is in a room, and it doesn't matter how many people are in the room, you think he's talking to you.  But in fact, Bill Clinton was not a consequential president.  And Obama, although clearly not a natural politician, is a consequential president...  He hasn't done anything really stupid.  Health care is a huge achievement, financial reform is a much bigger thing than people think, and finally in environmental policy there is some good stuff that is not getting enough credit."  

Let us revisit that "modern history" to which Krugman refers. 

Harry Truman successfully brought an end to World War II, and saved millions of American and Japanese lives by electing to use two atomic weapons.  He laid the foundation for America's Cold War opposition to Soviet expansionism, saved Berlin from blockade, revived Europe with the Marshall Plan and rescued South Korea from suffering the same hellish fate as North Korea. 

Dwight Eisenhower compelled racial integration, presided over a decade notable for its peace and prosperity in the aftermath of World War II, contained Soviet and Chinese expansionism and brought us our interstate highway system. 

John F. Kennedy also checked Soviet malfeasance, continued federal integration policies, proved that tax cuts sparked economic health and set America on its course toward a moon landing. 

Ronald Reagan won a four-decade Cold War after entering office while the Soviet model appeared inexorable.  His revolutionary economic policies commenced an economic expansion and prosperity increase unprecedented in human history, he restored U.S. military superiority and revived Americans' sense of optimism and pride.  And Bill Clinton, for all of his flaws, moderated his liberal inclinations, worked with Congressional Republicans to achieve revolutionary welfare reform and accepted deregulatory policies that allowed the Internet to flourish and the economy to expand.  

In contrast, one would be hard-pressed to identify a single point on the globe that Obama's policies have improved.  From Russia to China to Israel to Africa to the Middle East, we have witnessed a degradation in America's standing.  After six years of his presidency, our enemies flagrantly disrespect us and our friends distrust us.  Domestically, instead of the natural cyclical economic recovery that would have occurred had Obama done nothing to impede it, we've witnessed the most sluggish "recovery" in American history as the result of his tax and regulatory policies. 

Perhaps Paul Krugman simply sought publicity for his counterfactual assertion that Obama's presidency has been a highly successful one.  Or perhaps he actually believes it. 

In either case, the American people know better and have it in their power to take corrective action. 

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?