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

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
On the Biden Administration's Plan to Relax Regulations Designed to Prop Up Electric Vehicles:

"When President Joe Biden issued regulations that he and his side of the political aisle hoped would eventually lead to electric vehicles replacing automobiles that burn gasoline and diesel fuel, it was regarded as a glorious moment. The backtracking, however, has begun, a welcome development we didn't believe was possible from the man who once irresponsibly promised 'to end fossil fuel.'

"Unfortunately, it's being done for the wrong reasons.

"The New York Times reported over the weekend that the 'administration intends to relax elements of one of its most ambitious strategies to combat climate change, limits on tailpipe emissions that are designed to get Americans to switch from gas-powered cars to electric vewhicles.' The Times calls it a 'concession to automakers and labor unions.' ...

"While there is plenty of conjecture and speculation, there is no science that says replacing fossil-fuel powered vehicles with EVs will have a salutary effect on the climate. The EV manufacturing chain is one long line of carbon-dioxide emissions. From the extraction of raw materials using equipment that burns fossil fuels, to the assembly process, to the charging, operating, and then eventual disposal of EVs, their environmental impact is far from benign. The truth is they are as dirty, if not more so, than conventional automobiles."

Read the entire article here.

— Issues & Insights Editorial Board
— Issues & Insights Editorial Board
Posted February 20, 2024 • 08:02 AM
On Biden Spinning His Seeming Inaccuracies in Describing Questioning by the Special Counsel:

"In his press conference following the report on his retention of classified documents, Joe Biden lashed out at special counsel Robert Hur for saying the president has such 'dimished faculties,' it would be difficult to criminally charge him.

"One of the key and scripted moments was Biden angrily denouncing Hur for raising his son's death.

"Many in the media eagerly replayed the clip the next day, calling Hur's question outrageous, callous and unprofessional.

"But NBC reports it was not Hur but Biden himself who raised Beau Biden's death."

Read the entire article here.

— Jonathan Turley, Attorney and Professor at George Washington University Law School
— Jonathan Turley, Attorney and Professor at George Washington University Law School
Posted February 16, 2024 • 09:22 AM
Reporting on Alleged Claims that U.S. Intelligence Agencies Tasked Foreign Partners with Spying on Trump’s 2016 Campaign:

"The U.S. Intelligence Community asked fellow members of the '"Five Eyes" intelligence alliance to surveil Trump's associates and share the intelligence they acquired with US agencies,' sources told a small team of independent reporters who broke the story yesterday. 

"In 'CIA' Had Foreign Allies Spy on Trump Team, Triggering Russia Collusion Hoax, Sources Say,' journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag reported that top-line takeaway, along with several other key details. According to the authors, 'multiple credible sources,' said that 'the United States Intelligence Community (IC), including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), illegally mobilized foreign intelligence agencies to target Trump advisors long before the summer of 2016.'

"The article, published on Shellenberger's Substack, noted, 'Unitl now, the official story has been that the FBI's investigation began after Australian intelligence officials told US officials that a Trump aide had boasted to an Australian diplomat that Russia had damning material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.' That probe, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, launched on July 31, 2016, although Special Counsel John Durham would later conclude the Australian tip failed to justify the investigation into the Trump campaign."

Read the entire artice here. 

— Margot Cleveland, The Federalist
— Margot Cleveland, The Federalist
Posted February 15, 2024 • 09:00 AM
On the Prospect of a Kamala Harris Presidency:

"You would think that after three years of Joe Biden's misbegotten presidency, Americans would have suffered enough and fate would cut us a break.

But Kamala Harris has other ideas.

As a reminder that things can always get worse, the veep from hell said the four most terrifying words in the English language: 'I'm ready to serve.'

Oh, God, please, not that!

If she gets control of the Oval Office, the last three tumultuous years will be fondly recalled as the good old days."

Read the entire article here.

— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Posted February 14, 2024 • 08:03 AM
Reporting on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' Alleged Conflict of Interest in the Georgia Election Interference Case Against Trump.

"The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's Georgia election interference case says that it's 'possible' misconduct allegations leveled against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis 'could result in disqualification.' if evidence shows she financially benefited from the case, and that a hearing on the matter will proceed as scheduled on Thursday.

"Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee made the remarks during a hearing Monday to determine whether Willis, prosecutor Nathan Wade, and others will have to testify Thursday during a hearing the judge had scheduled to hear arguments on the matter. ...

"'I think it's clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one,' Judge McAfee said in Monday's hearing. 'The state has admitted a relationship existed. And so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again if there even was one. And so because I think its possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations."

Read the entire article here.

— Olivia Rubin and Peter Charalambous, ABC News
— Olivia Rubin and Peter Charalambous, ABC News
Posted February 13, 2024 • 09:10 AM
On President Joe Biden:

"The 2024 election took another unpredictable turn on February 8 when Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur concluded that President Biden had willfully retained and disclosed classified information but did not deserve prosecution because a jury would see him as a 'well-maening, elderly man with a poor memory.' The special counsel report reinforced GOP criticisms of a two-tier system of justice while amplifying widespread doubts that Biden is up to the job of president.

"And how did Biden respond? With a defiant, combative statement and press conference where he read from notes, caustically dismissed the report's findings that his memory is fading, insulted reporters, and then, in unscripted comments, confused the presidents of Egypt and Mexico and said that Israel's response to the Hamas atrocities of October 7 has been 'over the top.'

"It may have been the worst Oval Office address in my recollection. Only Bill Clinton's 'I did not have sex with that woman' screed springs to mind as competition. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, Biden tried to debunk concerns over his age and ability -- and promptly confirmed our worst fears about what is happening inside the White House."

Read the entire article here.

— Matthew Continetti, Founding Editor of the Washington Free Beacon and a Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
— Matthew Continetti, Founding Editor of the Washington Free Beacon and a Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
Posted February 09, 2024 • 07:21 AM
Reporting on Concerns Regarding Ongoing Downward Job Number Revisions:

"A top economist is raising concerns that monthly job figures under the Biden administration are starting out strong, but then begin shrinking through belated statistical revisions.

"'In 28 years, I've never seen 11 of 12 months where job numbers came out looking very strong, and then they were revised downwards,' Peter Earle, the senior economist for the American Institute for Economic Research, told the Just the News, No Noise TV show Wednesday evening. 'Of course, the kicker there is that when you revise those things downwards, they don't get the sort of media attention that the top line initial number gets.'

"The Daily Caller reported this week that data it analyzed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the government last year overestimated the number of jobs in the U.S. economy by an average of 105,000 per month.

"The shrinking job statistics come as concerns grow that companies are beginning to layoff employees."

Read the entire article here.

— Charlotte Hazard, Just the News
— Charlotte Hazard, Just the News
Posted February 08, 2024 • 11:18 AM
On President Biden's Response to Iran:

"The great and not overrated Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz describes war as 'an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.'

"When it comes to Iran, President Joe Biden seems to regard the action of war as 'an act of showmanship to placate U.S. domestic critics while doing nothing to alter Iran's escalatory behavior.' ...

"Take the U.S. retaliatory strikes Friday against Iranian-aligned militias in Iraq and Syria. In response to an Iranian-aligned militia's killing of three American service personnel, the Biden administration sought to make a big play out of the fact that the U.S. struck dozens of militia targets Friday evening and Saturday morning. The narrative was that Biden had hit back hard. Some in the media shared that assessment. Politico called the strikes 'a massive show of American firepower.'

"I disagree. In reality, these strikes were a massive show of American political pyrotechnics. A show designed to sate domestic political concerns in an election year far more than to impose any substantive consequences on Iran for its continued aggression. And the aggression continues with Iranian proxies launching repeated strikes on U.S. interests with apparent impunity since the U.S. action."

Read the entire article here.

— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
— Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner
Posted February 07, 2024 • 08:21 AM
On the Fani Willis Scandal:

"To qualify as a first-rate American political scandal, the escapade should include three juicy elements: sex, money, and the abuse of power.

"Fani Willis and Nathan Wade hit the trifecta."

Read the entire article here.

— Charles Lipson, the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Chicago
— Charles Lipson, the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Chicago
Posted February 06, 2024 • 10:10 AM
On President Biden's Unprecedented Refusal to Enforce Federal Immigration Law:

"Three years into the border crisis, most Americans still don't understand what's actually happening at the border. This lack of understanding extends to the mainstream press and to most Republicans, who have struggled to communicate effectively on the issue.

"The cause of the current crisis is President Joe Biden's unprecedented refusal to enforce federal immigration law, which requires that all asylum-seekers be detained rather than released into the United States. The solution, therefore, is for Biden to start enforcing federal law as he is constitutionally required to do -- or for Congress to deny the president something else he wants until he does.

"Many observers, however, seem unclear about the cause of the crisis. Praising a not-yet-released Senate immigration bill, which a trio of senators is currently negotiating with the White House behind closed doors, the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes that 'the President needs Congress to fix the underlying incentives at the border.' But the president, not Congress, has created the incentives that have attracted so many illegal aliens, by offering a near guarantee that asylum-seekers will get released into the U.S. rather than detained as their claims are adjudicated."

Read the entire article here.

— Jeffrey H. Anderson, President of the American Main Street Initiative and Former Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice
— Jeffrey H. Anderson, President of the American Main Street Initiative and Former Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice
Posted February 05, 2024 • 07:52 AM
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?