Bulk Rate Sentiments

Yeah, Yeah. The Holidays are here. It's time to rejoice. It's time to burn the Yule Log. It's time give gifts that advertise "As Seen On TV" on the packaging. And it's time to open the mailbox to see who's sending Holiday cheer sponsored by Hallmark.Sure I look forward to this time of the year, because, contrary to the popular belief, I'd much rather receive than give. But, year after year, the one thing I hate receiving, even more than a fruit cake or a hickory smoked summer sausage, is the photocopied family form letter. The letter that recants last year's achievements through glasses so colored in rose, you'd think Wally and the Beaver were reincarnated as friends or relatives.This is how most form letters sound: Wally was voted Class President for the twelfth straight year in a row, and Ward got a huge raise at work. With all the money he's making, I'm able to stay home and be the domestic engineer of our household (That's what Ward calls me. Ha. Ha). We're very proud of The Beaver. He has taken a shining to the internet and has friends all over the world. Why, he gets over 100,000 hits a day on his personal web page. If you want to visit his site, go to www.beaver.com. He'd love to hear from you. Happy Holidays, Love The Cleavers.These letters are the cancer of the Christmas presents. The blight of 'Twas the night before Christmas. And the loud bang you'd hear before the Silent Night.I've determined that resistance to this festive form mail is futile. So, if you can't beat 'em -- join 'em.This year, instead of sending a personal note with my cards, I'm going to have my Christmas mail printed at Kinko's and sent by the Post Office at Bulk Rate prices.What's more, you too can use my form letter. Simply circle the sentiment that best applies to you, affix a 33 cent stamp, and let impersonality creep into your holiday cheer this year.Dear Friend/Relative/Mom/Dad/18 year old I met on the internet: What a year this has been!!!I hoped and prayed A) for World Peace. B) Peace at Home. C) a piece of Regis Philbin's one million dollars.I know this will be a year that will go down in the pages of history because A) we partied like it was 1999 B) we realized Dan Quayle was dumb, but not dumb enough to think he could really be President. C) two words: Millennium Madness.Personally, 2000 was a good year for me because A) I got a job. B) I got a promotion. C) I stayed out of jail. And, having you as A) a friend B) a relative C) a mom D) a dad E) an 18 year old I met on the internet has really A) been an emotional boost for me. B) meant a lot. C) allowed me to spend more time on the computer than I do with my family or friends.I can't really say this was the best year of my life (that was probably A) 1985 B) 1993 C) Other_______). But, a year filled with A) love B) friends C) alcohol can't be all bad.I know you won't be able to believe this, but I'm A) still single. B) still married. C) divorced.Yup, after all these years A) I haven't found anyone good enough for me. B) I still love ___________. C) I finally realized 1) what a loser 2) what a cheat 3) Ellen DeGeneris might have been on to something, and I packed my bags and left.This year for the holidays I A) wish you the best. B) wish you were here. C) wish you'd download a picture of yourself.Be certain to celebrate the New Year with A) Old Friends. B) New Friends. C) a closet full of canned goods, dehydrated food, and guns. A) Merry Christmas B) Happy Chanukah C) Good Luck with your Twelve Step ProgramThere you go. Now that I've written your Hallmark sentiments, you have more time to go spend some of those new and improved twenty, ten and five dollar bills that have arrived just in the St. Nick of time for the holidays. And if there's anything that reminds me of this season, it's A) the smell of pine needles. B) the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. C) the smell of money.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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