"Your love of liberty, your respect for the laws, your habits of industry, and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness." -- George Washington (1789)

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Far-right parties rattled the traditional powers in the European Union and made major gains in parliamentary elections Sunday, dealing an especially humiliating defeat to French President Emmanuel Macron.

On a night where the 27-member bloc palpably shifted to the right, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni more than doubled her seats in the EU parliament. And even if the Alternative for Germany extreme right party was hounded by scandal involving candidates, it still rallied enough seats to sweep past the slumping Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Sensing a threat from the far right, the Christian Democrats of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had already shifted further to the right on migration and climate ahead of the elections — and were rewarded by remaining by far the biggest group in the 720-seat European Parliament and de facto brokers of the ever expanding powers of the legislature.

Undoubtedly however, the star on a stunning electoral night was the National Rally party of Marine Le Pen, which dominated the French polls to such an extent that Macron immediately dissolved the national parliament and called for new elections. It was a massive political risk since his party could suffer more losses, hobbling the rest of his presidential term that ends in 2027.

Tags: EUROPE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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In one of his more bizarre outbursts, Volodymir Zelensky, red of face, jabbing his finger, recently accused China of being “an instrument in the hands of Putin”. He said this at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore as part of a world tour, in which he is encouraging participation at what Ukraine calls the Global Peace Summit.  This will take place in Switzerland from 15-16 June, and China has said it will not attend. Zelensky was treading a now well-worn path in which he and other senior Ukrainian figures insult countries that don’t bend to Ukraine’s demands for support in the war with Russia.

He believes that China has been discouraging countries from attending the Summit but provided no evidence of this.  Some reports suggest that up to 107 States may attend.  Although, in addition to Xi Jinping, there’s a chance Joe Biden may also not attend because of a fund-raiser in Texas.  Those who do send country delegations will undoubtedly enjoy the comforts of the Bürgenstock Resort on the shores of Lake Lucerne.  Though I suspect many will be confused about the purpose of the event.

For, despite its billing, this won’t be a Global Summit. If it was, it would undoubtedly look at the appalling situation in Israel and Gaza, and no doubt other conflict hotspots across the world too. It might consider more broadly how to strengthen the adherence of states to their obligations under the UN Charter or review progress in strengthening international peacebuilding architecture. But it won’t do those things.

Webmaster addition: 

 

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The chief commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force has hailed the achievements of his forces in recent years, saying they have made “leaping progress” by exercising self-reliance.

Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard said the Army’s Air Defense Force is in possession of a variety of systems that enable it to react to any possible threats in a timely manner.

The force, he continued, has also made great strides in specialized areas, especially in the field of developing different types of drones and radars.

“As a manifestation of the power of the Islamic Iran, the Air Defense Force has been able to achieve significant progress through self-belief and self-confidence,” Sabahifard said on Sunday.

“The progress and development of this specialized force in the past years has been very accelerated and leaping.”

Tags: IRAN, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A Wyoming substitute school teacher who refused to call transgender-identifying students by their preferred names has been banned from teaching at a high school in the Laramie County School District. His job is currently under review by multiple other schools, but he insisted that he won’t back down from his stance on the names issue.

Gene Clemetson said that it all began at East High School in Cheyenne when a transgender student, who he described as a biological male, asked to be called by a female name during an attendance roll call.

“I said to him, very politely, I have to go by the name on the roster,” Clemetson told the Cowboy State Daily.

The student returned with another teacher, who informed Clemetson that the student’s parents had given the school permission to call their child by an alternate name.

Clemetson responded, “Well that’s great, but again, if I’m calling the attendance, if I’m calling the roll, I’m going by the names officially registered with the district.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, EDUCATION
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The German government has declined an offer from the Taliban to repatriate Afghan migrants convicted of crimes on the grounds that it would indicate recognition of the Islamist regime.

The offer from the Taliban government follows the murder of a police officer by an Afghan national in a senseless knife attack in the southwest city of Manheim.

Following the attack last week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz initially indicated that he wanted to deport violent criminals, even to dangerous countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. “Such criminals should be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan,” Scholz told the Bundestag or lower house of parliament.

There is currently a ban on deporting migrants back to Afghanistan since the Taliban took back control of the country back in 2021.

Tags: AFGHANISTAN, GERMANY, IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM
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On Saturday, it was announced that women’s basketball sensation Caitlin Clark would not be included on the US Women’s Basketball team in the 2024 Olympics.

The greatest collegiate player in history, who broke nearly every men’s and women’s basketball scoring and assist records while at the University of Iowa, was excluded from the Olympic team.

Pot-smoking Brittney Griner, who has only played in one game and scored 11 points this year, made the team.

Webmaster addition: A reminder that Griner is a man pretending to be a woman. It's time to Bud-Light the Olympics!

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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As previously reported, a federal jury in the Northern District of Georgia has convicted a Georgia attorney and former City of Atlanta police officer of fraudulently obtaining approximately $15 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The former Atlanta prosecutor used the Covid money to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included the purchase of a Rolls-Royce and a 10-carat diamond ring for $148,000, as well as significant money transfers to her relatives and accomplice.

Shelitha Robertson, 62, of Atlanta was found guilty of multiple counts of fraud, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud itself, and money laundering in December.

Robertson on Friday was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg to seven years, three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

“Shelitha Robertson, who formerly served as an Assistant City Attorney and police officer for the City of Atlanta, has been sentenced for fraudulently obtaining approximately $15 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal stimulus program authorized as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia announced.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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A new CBS News/YouGov poll released on Sunday found that 62% of Americans support a national program to deport all of Joe Biden’s millions of illegal aliens.

Earlier today CBS polling expert Anthony Salvanto broke the news to Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation that 62% of Americans want all illegal aliens rounded up and deported.

Anthony Salvanto: “We tested that in a general way in principle. Would you support a new government program that would deport all people living in the U.S. illegally? And that finds majority favor. That finds six in 10. It’s strongest among folks who are MAGA. It’s strongest among Trump supporters, but also from some Democrats as well.”

The news stunned the far left CBS host.

Tags: IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM, WHITE HOUSE
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Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed that Donald Trump is preparing to round up his political enemies if he wins election in November.

The Congresswoman made the remarks during an appearance on journalist Kara Swisher’s podcast, named On with Kara Swisher.

“I mean, it sounds nuts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy threw me in jail,” she said. “He’s out of his mind. I mean, he did his whole first campaign around ‘lock her up.’ This is his motto.”

Webmaster addition: The Democrats are projecting again!

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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U.S. policy towards the war in Ukraine is to escalate rather than work to calm tensions, if activity on Capitol Hill is any indication.

In late May, Politico reported that the Biden administration had quietly given Ukraine the authority to conduct limited strikes in Russia using U.S. weapons. It was a stunning shift in administration policy that underscored the dire battlefield conditions in Kyiv and risked a serious escalation in the war, according to the administration’s own thinking.

In response to the news, lawmakers have introduced two competing amendments to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. One, introduced by Rep. Thomas Kean (R-N.J) “[s]tates that it is the policy of the United States to lift restrictions on Ukraine’s ability to strike legitimate targets inside Russia with U.S.-provided weapons.”

What exactly “legitimate targets” means is not specified in the legislative text. According to last week’s reporting, the White House had only greenlit strikes near the area of Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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In the summer of 2020, a group called The Transition Integrity Project met with a goal of determining the very worst outcome of the upcoming presidential election. Their final assessment, printed in the Washington Post, said a Donald Trump victory would be the end of the country. Their message was clear: Don't dare vote for Trump.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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It was reported earlier this year that physical attacks against New York Police Department officers reached unprecedented levels. Experts noted to the New York Post that anti-cop rhetoric and woke policies emboldening criminals have been fueling the rising number of attacks against cops.

Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Hendry told the paper that "well over 5,000 cops were attacked and injured last year" but that they "didn’t come out of nowhere. This dangerous environment has been building for years. ... It’s not going to get better until those who attack police officers are consistently prosecuted and kept in jail. And that won’t happen unless New Yorkers keep speaking up to demand an end to the chaos.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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by Dave DeCamp 

A State Department-linked Ukrainian NGO published a study on June 6 that listed hundreds of individuals and organizations that oppose aid to Ukraine in an effort to smear them as spreading “Russian propaganda.”

The NGO Texty.org.ua listed Antiwar.com and several of its staff members, including Eric Garris, Scott Horton, Kyle Anzalone, and many Antiwar.com contributors. Organizations that Antiwar.com works closely with were also named, including the Libertarian Institute and the Ron Paul Institute.

The American Conservative, which was also included in the list, reported that Texty.org.ua was co-founded by Anatoly Bondarenko. Bondarenko has worked as an instructor for a State Department program known as TechCamp, which provides training for foreign journalists and activists.

TechCamp’s website lists Bondarenko as a trainer for a Ukraine program that brought together “more than 60 local journalists, civil society, community leaders, and private sector partners in Eastern Europe” with the goal of helping to increase “digital and media literacy.”

The Texty.org.ua report is titled “Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the US impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it.”

The study acknowledges that most of the people listed “do not have direct, proven ties to the Russian government or propagandists.” But it claims that “the arguments they use to urge authorities to distance themselves from Ukraine echo key messages of Russian propaganda aimed at depriving Ukrainians of the ability to defend themselves with Western weapons and funds.”

The report links to Antiwar.com’s Ukraine news page as an example of “anti-Ukrainian statements.”

Other listed people and organizations are from across the political spectrum, from former President Donald Trump to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Dozens of Republican members of Congress were named, including Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and many others.

Media outlets frequently linked to on the front page of Antiwar.com were also listed, including Responsible Statecraft and The Grayzone. Peace groups, including CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, World Beyond War, and others, were also smeared.

Claire's Observations:  this smearing is complete and utter codswallop!!!  These blog voices are some of the most logical, literate, and factually responsible I know of, which is why I link to them frequently.

 And color me just a little insulted that WRH didn't make the list!!!  :-)

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Benny Gantz, the chair of Israel’s National Unity party, announced on Sunday that he was quitting the emergency government and war cabinet that was formed after October 7 and called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set a date for new elections.

Gantz said Netanyahu was preventing Israel from achieving “true victory” in Gaza. “I call on Netanyahu: Set an agreed election date. Don’t let our people be torn apart,” he said.

The National Unity party’s exit does not force elections since Netanyahu’s coalition still holds 64 out of 120 seats in the Knesset. Gantz called for others to join him, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party but recently called out the prime minister over his lack of a clear long-term plan for Gaza.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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The White House is prepared to roll out a plan that will make Saudi Arabia a Japan-style ally in exchange for Riyadh developing official ties with Tel Aviv. While the Biden administration has invested substantial effort to get the deal inked, it is likely dead on arrival because Saudi Arabia refuses to normalize with Israel unless Tel Aviv agrees to the creation of the Palestinian state. 

According to American, Israeli, and Saudi officials speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Washington is prepared to sign an agreement to defend Saudi Arabia if Riyadh establishes regular ties with Tel Aviv. However, it would not be a peace agreement as the two countries are not at war. 

Several hurdles must be cleared before the deal can be finalized, and it is unlikely that will happen. As Biden is seeking to make Saudi Arabia a treaty ally, it would need the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Additionally, the deal would require Tel Aviv to end the onslaught in Gaza and take permanent steps toward a Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to take either step. 

Tags: ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA, WHITE HOUSE
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A team of US special operations soldiers and intelligence personnel based in Israel assisted in the operation

Israel received intelligence support from the US in its Saturday operation in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp that killed over 200 Palestinians and freed four Israeli hostages.

The intelligence support included information provided by US drone flights over Gaza. The US began flying MQ-9 Reaper drones over Gaza days after October 7 and deployed special operations forces to Israel, demonstrating that US military support for Israel goes beyond providing weapons.

The Washington Post reported that a team of US special operations soldiers and intelligence personnel based at the US Embassy in Jerusalem provided the intelligence support. Besides the drone flights, the US provided communications intercepts, and Israel also received intelligence support from the UK.

Local residents said the Israeli special forces who carried out the raid were disguised as displaced Palestinians from Rafah, and others entered the camp in an aid truck. The Israeli military denied it used an aid truck, but Israeli media reported Israeli soldiers meant to blend in as Arabs were part of the attack. Israeli warplanes pounded Nuseirat as the Israeli commandos on the ground moved to locate the hostages.

Claire"s Observations:  Take a good, hard look at this injured child, being attended by Palestinian medics. Now imagine, for one moment, that this was your little boy.  He has no understanding of why he is hurting, and how on earth someone, who calls themselves "civilized" could have done this to him, or anyone in his family. 

The child's "crime"?!?!?  Breathing while Palestinian. No judge; no jury; just an executioner's bullet; shrapnel; or blown apart buildings, collapsing on people who had nothing to do with 7 October. At this child's age, there could not possibly be any complicity in that horrible massacre, which all civilized people in their right minds, condemn as horrific, including yours truly.

  And remember, with the Israeli mindset, Palestinians are guilty until proven innocent, if they survive.  This kid may be one of the lucky ones; the blood on the pads around him are bright red with his blood, indicating superficial wounds; but we don't know about any internal injuries or opportunistic infections yet, and the barely surviving hospitals in Gaza have little with which to treat that.

I still strongly caution what is left of the Israeli government, after the resignation of Benny Gantz, to be very careful as to what they wish for, as a total outcome of these operations in Gaza; karma sometimes has a way of turning things on their head, in a most spectacularly unwanted way.

 

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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US and British missile strikes on Yemen that were launched on May 30 killed 16 civilians and wounded 35 more, according to the Yemen Data Project (YDP).

Fourteen civilians were killed in strikes on a coast guard site at a port in the Red Sea province of Hodeidah, and two were killed in a bombing of a radio broadcast building that was also in Hodeidah.

At the time, the US and the UK shared little detail about the strikes, only claiming to have hit Houthi targets. The YDP said it was unclear which military was responsible for the strikes that killed civilians.

The US and British bombing campaign on Yemen started in January and has failed to deter the Houthis, as the Yemeni group continues to attack commercial shipping in response to the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. Two ships were reported to be struck by missiles off the coast of Yemen on Saturday.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Citing Israel’s killing of over 36,000 Palestinians in Gaza and its defiance of a World Court order to stop attacking Rafah, the NAACP on Wednesday joined the hundreds of human rights and civil society organizations urging the Biden administration to halt weapons transfers to Israel.

The leading U.S. civil rights group noted Israel’s defiance of the International Court of Justice’s May 24 order to stop attacking the southern Gaza city of Rafah and the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) May 26 bombing of a refugee encampment there that killed and wounded hundreds of Palestinians, including many women and children.

“The total death toll of Gazans has reached over 36,000 with another 81,000 injured,” the NAACP said. “Nearly 500 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 117 children, have also been killed.”

Webmaster addition: More indications that Biden is losing the black vote!

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The Israeli massacre in the Nuseirat camp to liberate four Israeli prisoners held by resistance factions in the Gaza Strip started at 11:00 in the morning on June 8. Although the scenes of Palestinians running for safety may have seemed sadly familiar, this invasion was different from others that have been carried out across the Gaza Strip.

This time, the Israeli military wore civilian clothes, rode in Palestinian cars, and moved among the people in disguise. There were no warnings to evacuate, or orders from the army to move elsewhere, and people were surprised by the Israeli special forces and tanks. A large number of special forces hidden among the people only revealed themselves once the deadly operation began as other special forces stormed the area traveling in cars loaded with luggage, the same luggage that the displaced people carry with them, such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, and bags. When the Palestinians detected them, the soldiers quickly called for support, and helicopters, fighter planes, artillery, and tanks descended. Reconnaissance aircraft and foot solders then began committing massacres against the civilian population. 

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Jewish extremists rioted Thursday night in the West Bank town of Qusra, throwing stones at Palestinian residents and burning property, Hebrew media reported.

The apparent settler “hilltop youth” tried to burn down a house, and successfully burned several agricultural fields in the town, near the city of Nablus, a security source told Army Radio, which referred to the incident as Jewish terrorism. Footage circulating on social media appeared to show the blazes.

Palestinians threw stones at the perpetrators and at Israeli troops who arrived at the scene to disperse the crowd, Army Radio reported.

Soldiers returned fire, injuring two Palestinians, according to the report.

The Israel Defense Forces have not commented on the incident.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE
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Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI
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While President Joe Biden has repeatedly insisted he has nothing to do with his family's business dealings - going so far as to say he's never so much as discussed them with relatives, a new report from Politico completely destroys that lie. 

Illustration by Bill Kuchman/POLITICO (source images via AP, Getty Images, iStock)

"I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period," said Biden. "

"And what I will do is the same thing we did in our administration. There will be an absolute wall between personal and private [business interests] and the government. There wasn’t any hint of scandal at all when we were there. And I’m going to propose the same kind of strict, strict rules. That’s why I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else — even distant family — about their business interests. Period."

As Politico notes, Joe Biden’s political journey, stretching back to his first Senate bid, has always been a family affair. His first campaign was significantly supported by his family, setting a precedent for how his personal and professional lives would intertwine. Throughout his career, Biden’s relatives have not only been a staple in his campaigns but have also engaged in business ventures that at times involved his political patrons, converting some business partners into campaign supporters.

This longstanding blend of family, business, and politics has made it an absurd notion that Biden has distanced himself from the actions and ventures of his relatives, particularly his son Hunter Biden and his brother Jim Biden, whose foreign business dealings have been a continual source of controversy.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Jon Stewart has said that former President Donald Trump has given America a 'gift' by 'exposing' political and corporate corruption. 

Speaking on his new podcast, The Weekly Show, the comedian discussed Trump, the election and democracy. 

He said that Trump's conviction and ongoing trials have lifted the lid on 'a reality of crony capitalism, a reality of transactional corruption that is the heartbeat of corporate and political America.'

Trump's exploits have revealed the flaws and shady deals culture of US politics and business, Stewart said. 

He said: 'In some ways, he is doing us a service in that he is like…you know how they employ a white hat hacker who will go into a system and find its vulnerabilities.'

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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One of the basketball's rising stars will not be representing the United States at the Olympics this summer, with jealousy appearing to play a significant role.

Despite being one of the top players in the WNBA and the highest scoring player in women's college basketball history, Caitlin Clark will not be included on USA Basketball's roster for the upcoming Olympics in Paris.

Clark will be excluded from the Olympic team for an unusual reason: she has too many fans.

Webmaster addition: But Brittney Griner (a man pretending to be a woman) is on the team!

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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Judging by the near-infinite hype spewed about AI, its power is practically limitless: it's going to do all our work better and cheaper than we can do, replacing us at work, to name one example making the rounds. It's going to revolutionize everything from science to marketing, all the while reaping trillions of dollars in profits for those who own the AI tools, apps, etc. All these extravagant claims make good clickbait, but let's set a higher standard: if AI is so great, then prove it by eliminating all the surveillance, spam and robocalling that's making daily life such a chore. If AI is so powerful and can do pretty much anything a human can do only faster, better, cheaper, then why doesn't someone assign it a simple task: make all surveillance, spam and robocalling go away and become a thing of the dreary, dreadful past.
Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET/AI
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