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How 60 Words From 13 Years Ago Ruined A Country's Relationship With The Rest Of The World

Welcome to 2014! Some of the fun things our government has been up to in the past decade include: mass torture, detention without trial, assassinating citizens with remote-control robots, and mass surveillance of every American's phone calls and Internet use. Not spooky at all, nope.Pretty often I find myself wondering: Do the president and military just get to do whatever the hell they want? We're supposed to be a nation governed by laws, but in practice so many of the most important laws have been declared secret that nobody seems to know what's allowed and what's not anymore.RadioLab and BuzzFeed produced this amazing radio piece. They traced our past decade of unaccountable military mayhem back to a 2001 law called the Authorization for Use of Military Force. This is that law's story.It's a whole hour long, so get somewhere comfortable before hitting play. It's worth it though.

Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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