COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
"Free people can say 'no'. Free people can refuse demands for their money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without the freedom to say 'no'. If someone demands that you do something and you can say 'no' and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being. If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do not wish to, then you are a slave. No other test need be applied" -- Michael Rivero
When Sarah Silverman sued artificial-intelligence titans OpenAI and Meta Platforms on July 7, her copyright lawsuits seemed to present a relatively straightforward allegation: These companies didn’t secure Silverman’s and other authors’ permission before using their copyright works, including her 2010 autobiography The Bedwetter, which isn’t okay, per these suits. Silverman is joined by two other authors, novelists Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, in these suits; their civil complaints are seeking class-action status which, if green-lit by the court, means that many, many more writers could take action against these companies.
Indeed, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Meta’s artificial-intelligence projects rely on the mass trawling of books to learn language and generate text, the suits say. Silverman’s suit contends that these AI projects didn’t secure her and other authors’ permission for using their works before inhaling them, violating intellectual-property law. They also claim that these AI systems gained access to these books via spurious means, using libraries of pirated texts — or as the suits’ co-attorney Matthew Butterick puts it to Vulture, “Creators’ work has been vacuumed up by these companies without consent, without credit, without compensation, and that’s not legal.”
Silverman claims that ChatGPT and Meta’s generation of text is the very receipt that proves they consumed them. If they can spit out summaries of The Bedwetter and other copyrighted works, her suit contends, then these systems must have used pilfered books to do so. The proposed class action is asking for financial damages as well as “permanent injunctive relief” to stop these AI systems from gobbling down their work — and then using that to create text — without permission or payment.
A group of writers headed by celebrated novelist Michael Chabon and Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang are suing Facebook parent Meta as well as ChatGPT maker OpenAI, alleging in two separate suits that their artificial intelligence platforms engaged in copyright violations with tens of thousands of books.
The dual proposed class-action lawsuits have the potential to turn into an epic battle if more writers join in — a growing possibility, as more authors are waking up to the fact that Silicon Valley is allegedly mass harvesting books to train A.I. bots.
In the suit against Meta, which was filed this week in a California federal court, the writers accuse the Facebook parent of vacuuming up mass quantities of books across the Internet in order to train the company’s “Llama” large-language model using data that included pirated versions of their writings.
Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok said there needs to be a special unit to protect FBI agents from Americans.
The FBI recently formed a unit to investigate threats against prosecutors and FBI agents involved in the Hunter Biden probe.
“We have stood up an entire threat unit to address threats that the FBI employee facilities are receiving,” executive director for human resources for the FBI Jennifer Moore told the House Judiciary Committee.
Moore said threats to the FBI are “unprecedented.”
Four years after the Hunter Biden scandal first burst into the limelight, news media fact-checkers are still revising their narratives. Once declarative in their findings, the latest fact checks have begun to hedge and equivocate in the face of contradictory evidence uncovered by Congress and open-records litigation.
The freshest example surfaced Friday when The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler updated his reporting on how Joe Biden as vice president came to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees in late 2015 to force the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor whose office was investigating the Burisma Holdings energy firm that employed Hunter Biden.
Citing documents uncovered by Just the News, Kessler admitted for the first time that Joe Biden may have “called an audible,” or changed the plan, on the firing of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin on his way to Kyiv aboard Air Force Two in December 2015.
This month, Just the News reported newly uncovered State Department and European Union documents, both of which indicated that Ukraine had made adequate progress in its anti-corruption reforms, including within its Prosecutor General’s Office. “Ukraine has made sufficient progress on its reform agenda to justify a third [loan] guarantee” and “the anti-corruption benchmark is deemed to have been achieved,” the State Department Interagency Policy Committee and the EU European Commission confirmed, respectively.
These findings call into question one of the central tenants of the fact-checkers’ assertion dating back four years ago: that then-Vice President Biden went to Kyiv to carry out the established policy of the U.S. government and international organizations, didn’t have a deciding role in its formulation and most notably, had nothing to do with Shokin's ongoing investigation of Burisma, the energy company with with the Bidens were deeply intertwined.
A verdict was returned on Saturday in the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick presided over the hearing. Paxton was brought up on 16 counts of impeachment. A conviction on one article would mean impeachment. The Texas AG needed 10 state senators out of 31 to vote to acquit.
Paxton was aquitted on all 16 counts. Senators Paul Bettencourt, Brian Birdwell, Donna Campbell, Brandon Creighton, Pete Flores, Bob Hall, Joan Huffman, Bryan Hughes, Phil King, Lois Kolkhorst, Mayes Middleton, Tan Parker, Charles Perry, Kevin Sparks, Drew Springer, and John Whitmire voted to acquit consistently.
Paxton received 16 nay votes and 14 in favor for most of the articles, and was acquitted on every one. On Article 5, he picked up an extra vote, with 13 in favor and 17 opposed. Article 8 saw an even bigger departure from the yay column, with only 8 voting to impeach and 22 opposed. He received 18 nays for Article 9. Votes on articles 11-14 were skipped, and then Patrick announced a vote on Article 17 after the votes on 15 and 16, for which Paxton was acquitted.
After the acquittal votes, a motion wsa brought to dismiss charges 11-14, and that motion was granted.
Article 10 was perhaps one of the more contentious of the batch. It alleged that "While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth Paxton engaged in bribery in violation of Section 41, Article XVI, Texas Constitution. Specifically, Paxton benefited from Nate Paul providing renovations to Paxton's home. Paul received favorable legal assistant from, or specialized access to, the office of the attorney general."
The allegations are that Paul aided Paxton in facilitating an affair and provided renovations for his home. Paxton's wife, Angela, is also a state senator but was barred from voting in the impeachment trial due to the obvious conflict of interest.
An interesting moment came on day seven, when a witness for the prosecution revealed during questioning that it did not appear Paxton had made any renovations to his home, in contrast to what impeachment article 10 claims.
Attorney for Paxton, Tony Buzbee, questioned former Paxton personal assistant Andrew Wicker about the alleged renovations made to the Paxton’s home. Wicker had to admit that, despite the allegations, no renovations were made to the kitchen in question.
Sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday that I was in Afghanistan for the last time, watching my unit draw down, already feeling as though my sacrifices were for naught years before watching the eventual botched withdrawal on television. Other times, it feels as though it could’ve been a lifetime ago, probably because so many like me gave lifetimes in service to their country in a war with no real objective, that was destined to fail.
Now that we are done in Afghanistan – for now, that is – and have shifted our foreign policy towards the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, many in the Beltway are posturing and preparing for the next war. But the war that may be on the horizon is one we haven’t fought in many generations.
Former GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake announced Saturday that she and her legal team filed an appeal in her election case with the Arizona Court of Appeals.
"New evidence produced by Maricopa STRONGLY suggests County officials intentionally sabotaged the 2022 General Election, then gave false testimony attempting to cover up their misconduct," she wrote on X, the platform previously called Twitter.
In the appeal, Lake alleged the co-director of elections gave false testimony about the root causes of the problems that happened the day of the 2022 election.
"Maricopa’s Co-Director of Elections, Scott Jarrett, gave false testimony about the causes and the extent of the Election Day tabulator ballot rejections caused by misconfigured, speckled, or faded BOD-printed ballots," the appeal alleged.
"In reality, vote-center tabulators rejected BOD-printed ballots at a rate of over 7,000 every 30 minutes from 6:30 am, shortly after the polls opened, through 8:00 pm, after the polls closed," the appeal continued.
After 10 months of court battles over the 2022 election, Arizona Republican Kari Lake still has some fight left.
Lake has claimed that the election for governor, which she narrowly lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs, was tainted by misconduct that included malfunctioning election systems and improper signature verification of early voters’ ballots. She launched multiple efforts in Arizona’s state court system to have the results overturned but has not been successful.
She filed her latest appeal of a court ruling that went against her in May, according to the Arizona Republic. That appeal, which dealt with election issues in Maricopa County, was transferred to an appeals court based in Tucson.
Lake’s opening brief in the case says there is new evidence to support her allegations.
“New evidence demonstrates that Maricopa falsely certified its 446 vote-center tabulators passed mandatory L&A certification testing prior to Election Day and strongly suggests Maricopa planned the Election Day debacle,” the brief filed with the court said. L&A stands for “logic and accuracy.”
Business magnate Jann Wenner has been removed from his position on the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation after he made some controversial remarks about Black and female musicians, as reported by Variety.
Despite the Biden administration’s touting of a “humane” immigration system, the U.S. southern border is the world’s deadliest land route for migrants, Jennie Taer, an investigative reporter with the Daily Caller News Foundation, told the One America News Network.
The rollout of the CBDC's, or Central Bank Digital Currency, is ramping into high gear as the Fed gets ready to remove cash from circulation. Make no mistake about it this is all about controlling everything you do. Dozens of countries have now moved out of the pilot program phase and are getting close to launching their CBDC's.
Is Ukraine stuck? Wars can be very unpredictable – especially in their early weeks – but there are a lot of signs that Ukraine has run into political and military trouble.
It is not that its forces are likely to be defeated or that the Russians are about to sweep into Kiev. Far from it. They are in a mess too.
It is that the large-scale recapture of the land lost to Russia in 2022 looks less and less likely as the days shorten. Those who invested heavily in a summer offensive against Russia have so far been disappointed. And what then?
The USA is still (wisely) dead set against involving itself directly in the war, so what will break the stalemate? Does this just have to go on and on filling graveyards and doing severe economic damage to Ukraine and Europe? With what aim?
The words 'women,' 'girls' and 'females' should be removed from online articles about periods to avoid offending transgender people, a sanitary pad manufacturer is said to have told a website.
The firm Always reportedly issued the edict to the parenting site Good To Know to make content it sponsored 'inclusive'.
Writer Milli Hill told The Mail on Sunday she was 'outraged' when the website changed all mentions of women or girls in her contribution to a recent article about helping teens with their first periods.
'Women' and 'female' were replaced with 'people' or 'bodies' in the piece, entitled 'How can I help with my daughter's first period?'
The average American spends as much as seven hours in front of a screen every day. But according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2023, children who are inactive and have too much screen time may be at risk of developing various heart issues.
Elon Musk and Andrew Tate have backed Russell Brand's claims that he is a victim of a 'co-ordinated media attack', as the comedian took to his YouTube channel to 'absolutely deny' what he called 'very serious criminal allegations' made against him.
The video comes ahead of a much-anticipated Channel 4 Dispatches investigation set to air at 9pm tonight, with speculation building over who or what could at the centre of the investigation.
Sources said the long running current affairs documentary series will feature details about a well-known celebrity, which the Mail have been told are shocking.
There is no indication that Brand will feature in the programme, however, last night he made a video address to fans where he insisted any relationships he had 'during his time of promiscuity' were 'consensual'.
Through the rest of the month, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has suspended all bookings for super vessels in an attempt to mitigate the escalating backlog of ships waiting to proceed through the canal to their final destinations.
Susanna Gibson, a candidate for the Virginia statehouse who solicited money from people online for her to perform sex acts on video with her husband, may have violated Virginia’s prostitution law, two attorneys in the state told The Daily Wire.
President Joe Biden faced backlash online Thursday afternoon after a video of him went viral saying that the “workers without high school diplomas” in the U.S. are “African American and Hispanic workers.”
Dove is facing backlash, including from X owner Elon Musk, after it was revealed that the company was partnering in a “fat liberation” campaign with a Black Lives Matter Activist accused of wrecking a white female student’s life with uncorroborated accusations.