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Sunday, April 19, 2015

This week, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the Women on the Twenty Act, legislation aimed at putting an American woman on the $20 bill. Shaheen's efforts nod to an initiative by Women on 20s, a group that is lobbying to change the $20 by 2020. That year Americans will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. (The $20 is also overdue for a redesign to thwart counterfeiters.)


[Susie] Ferrell walked out the door for work on April 19, 1995. For families like her parents, Don and Sally Ferrell of Chandler, the pain lingers 20 years after a bomb exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, resulting in the death of Susan Ferrell and 167 other people. A city and state that were devastated by the horrific event have worked to grieve and heal, but the bombing has left a permanent mark. The legacy of those who died will never be forgotten. Twenty years later, there are survivors and people who lost loved ones, co-workers and friends who remain in an emotional struggle that doesn read more


Saturday, April 18, 2015

The estate of Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, is suing a publisher for royalties for the use of extracts from his diaries. A biography of Goebbels published by Random House quotes extensively from Goebbels' diaries, which are copyrighted until the end of this year. Random House initially agreed to pay a fee, but later said it was wrong to pay the estate of a Nazi war criminal. Other publishers have paid royalties to use extracts from the diaries. read more


The U.S. Navy is developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, that can be launched from a cannon and "swarm" in a coordinated attack. The drones will be able to fly autonomously and "overwhelm an adversary," the U.S. Office of Naval Research said of its Low-cost UAV Swarming Technology (Locust) program. Wings unfold once the drones are in the air and then they can fly in formation. The US Navy plans to demonstrate the launch of 30 Locust drones in 2016. BBC News reports, "U.S. use of military drones has attracted criticism from human rights groups, who say that despite their highly targeted nature, innocent non-combatants are often killed in the process. The prospect of autonomous swarms of drones carrying out pre-programmed military missions is only likely to increase such concerns." read more


Friday, April 17, 2015

Fugitive Iraqi militant leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who was right-hand man to Iraq's ex-leader Saddam Hussein, has been killed, Iraqi officials say. They say he died in fighting in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. His supporters have denied the claim.

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Comments

Edward T. Linenthal's The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory (www.amazon.com) is well worth reading. He focuses on three narratives used to "explain" the event, a core argument discussed in Charles Taylor's article "Trauma Culture" at www.salon.com

Having spent some years in Oklahoma, the narrative you never hear discussed in public - at least I didn't, not outside a small academic circle - was the fact that some of the knee-jerk, ignoramic views about government that were held by McVeigh and Nichols aren't all that far from the hearts of many of the state's citizenry.

I have a feeling if the perps had turned out to be what so many thought they were upon hearing of the tragedy - Muslims - that point would not have been glossed over in quite the same way.

The fact remains: the blame for the single largest body count run up by domestic terrorists in this country falls on demented riiighties.

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