HIGHTOWER: U.S. In Arms Race With Itself

Oh, good, there's a new toy on the market.This is not the latest "Tickle Me Elmo," but a war toy, and you're just going to be tickled pink to hear this story.It's about the F-22, a state-of-the-art, double-winged, fighter jet that combines stealth technology with supersonic speed, agility and power. This baby comes in both your one-seat version and as a two-seater. Sticker price: $160 million. Each. The Air Force has ordered 438 of them, for a total tab of $70 billion, plus change.Before we shell-out 70 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars shouldn't we ask whether we can afford it and whether we even need it? For example, Washington says we must whack some $ 180 billion out of our Medicare benefits to balance the federal budget, but I say we should cut the F-22, not Medicare.We already have two powerhouse stealth fighters -- the F-15 and the F-117 -- that are far better than anything any potential enemy can put up in the skies against us. The F-117, for example, did just fine against the Iraqis in the Gulf War.Now get this: The F-22 was designed to counter a new fighter the Soviets were developing. Hello. The Soviet Union has disappeared, and so did their plane. But our Pentagon, in collusion with the huge contractor Lockheed-Martin, still plans to spend billions on an F-22 that will have no one to fight.The Pentagon, though, says other countries now have the F-15, so we need this new plane to combat them. How did other countries get F-15s? We sold the planes to them -- at discount prices, too, subsidized by us taxpayers.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . Guess what? We're in an arms race with ourselves! To help stop this stupidity, call the Campaign for New Priorities: 202-544-8222.For more information:Campaign for New Priorities 202-544-8222Source:"Air Force rolls out its costly superfighter" by Michael E. Ruane. Austin American-Statesman: April 10, 1997.

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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:
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