HIGHTOWER: Pentagon Hogs

Time for a Hightower Radio "Hog Report" and here they come, stampeding to the Pentagon's money trough.It's Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and other giant military contractors who are products of recent corporate mergers, and who now expect us taxpayers to pay them for merging, even though their corporate restructurings have resulted in thousands of workers being handed pink slips. "Payoffs for Layoffs" that's what these Pentagon's merger-payments amount to, but believe it or not, the Congress is going along with this scam, authorizing the payments in the latest defense-spending bill.Last year, Lockheed merged with Martin-Marrietta to form Lockheed Martin. This giant new hog headed straight to the Pentagon trough, where it was promised A BILLION DOLLARS just for having merged. Not for building an airplane or a rocket just for merging -- an act that will cost 30,000 good workers their jobs.Norman Augustine, Lockheed's head honcho, says it's just a matter of "longstanding federal policy," nothing taxpayers should get in a snit about. What Norm didn't mention is that Lockheed lobbied hard to make this billion-dollar giveaway federal policy, having spent $3.4 million in lobbying fees just in the first half of this year, and having contributed hundreds-of-thousands of dollars to both parties to prime the pump. What Norm also didn't mention is that he, personally, will be pocketing about $8 million of the Pentagon's payoff as a little "bonus" for his efforts in the Lockheed merger.So once again, those at the top get a goldmine, while workers and taxpayers get the shaft.Rep. Christopher Smith, a Republican member of Congress says, "I believe it's corporate welfare at its worst."Me too. To stop this kind of gouging, contact the Campaign for New Priorities: 202/544-8222.

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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