November 19, 2013 |
The legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, and the Gettysburg Address wasn't lost on the participants in the new compilation “Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War,” created to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. “Day of Liberty,” sung by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, eagerly anticipated the day when freedom would be a reality for the nation's African Americans....
November 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The undercover FBI informant warned Pakistani immigrant Basit Javed Sheikh that it was not too late to back out. "You don't have to do it," he told Sheikh in a private Facebook message Oct. 17. But Sheikh, 29, a permanent U.S. resident living in central North Carolina, was adamant, according to a federal affidavit, telling the informant: "I'm serious" and "Akhi Wallahi!" - Arabic for "Brother, I swear to God!" Now Sheikh is under arrest on allegations of attempting to reach Syria to provide material support to Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq that the U.S. deems a terrorist organization.
November 2, 2013 |
This post has been updated. See note below for details. Many of the songs on "Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War" had been long relegated to the dustbins of history before executive producer Randall Poster decided to pair the 19th century tunes with contemporary artists such as Ashley Monroe and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. But beyond giving fresh treatments to nearly three dozen songs and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the project also delivers an allegory for the political polarization of the U.S. today.
October 22, 2013 |
Conservatives with long memories had to laugh at the recent New York Times front-page headline: "Fiscal Crisis Sounds the Charge in GOP's 'Civil War.'" That diagnosis largely hangs on the judgment of 1970s New Right direct-mail impresario Richard Viguerie, whose ears have been ringing with the thunder of Ft. Sumter for a quarter-century. Within a week of Ronald Reagan's 1981 inauguration, Viguerie was denouncing the Gipper as a traitor to the cause. The Associated Press ran a story headlined "Conservatives Angry With Reagan.
October 19, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Nine Lebanese hostages freed after being held by Syrian rebels for more than a year arrived to a tumultuous welcome in Beirut late Saturday, capping a complex deal that also resulted in the release of two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon and the reported freeing of scores of prisoners from Syrian jails. About an hour after the nine ex-hostages were mobbed by relatives and other well-wishers at a VIP lounge at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, images on Turkish television showed an aircraft carrying the two Turkish Airlines pilots arriving at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
October 18, 2013 |
If one ever needed proof that we live in a warrior culture, look no further than those who have falsely claimed military experience, from two-bit conmen to politicians and corporate leaders adding undeserved gravitas to their resumes. It is an attempt to steal glory, a recognition that much of the American public holds a special regard for those who have served. As Richard A. Serrano explores in his short, entertaining "Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery that Outlived the Civil War," this kind of military fraud is nothing new. In the economic dark days of the Great Depression, "veterans" discovered that a few well-placed lies about serving in the Civil War, backed by a supporting letter from a bamboozled politician, could land a veteran's pension from the government.
October 16, 2013 |
In 1942, the popular detective fiction writer Rex Stout published a book about Congress featuring "the silliest, stupidest and most dangerous statements that have ever been made by men laying claim to being leaders of the American people. " The book's title told the whole story: "The Illustrious Dunderheads. " I've been thinking about Stout during the government shutdown, which has triggered a fresh round of ridiculing Congress. But the joke is on us, as comedian Jimmy Kimmel recently noted.
October 10, 2013 |
Even before his on-again, off-again threat to punish the government of Syria for the use of chemical weapons, President Obama was criticized for what many saw as a halting and incoherent policy toward the civil war in that country. Advocates of muscular U.S. intervention noted that Obama had said it was time for President Bashar Assad to step aside, but he had declined to weaken Assad's position either by establishing a no-fly zone or by providing opposition forces with significant military hardware.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 |
Decades after that December day in the Guatemalan village, the former soldier could remember the women's screams. Their cries for help, he said, rang out from the church as the soldiers raped them. He recalled the bloodshed and the victims flung into a well, some still alive as they plunged. "At Dos Eres, the people were humble people," the soldier, Cesar Franco Ibanez, said of the 1982 massacre of more than 200 villagers. "They had no weapons. " In a Riverside courtroom this week, Jorge Sosa, a Moreno Valley martial arts instructor, is on trial, accused of lying on his application for U.S. citizenship.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 |
Horrific scenes of a civil war that ravaged Guatemala were relived Wednesday in a Riverside courtroom as testimony continued in the case of a suspected war criminal accused of lying on documents in order to become a U.S. citizen. Jorge Sosa, a Moreno Valley martial arts instructor holding U.S. and Canadian citizenship, faces 15 years in prison and having his U.S. citizenship revoked if he's convicted of failing to disclose his involvement in the Guatemalan army during the civil war, authorities said. Federal prosecutors say Sosa was a commander in the Guatemalan military's special operations force, known as the Kaibiles, and was involved in the 1982 massacre in the small village of Dos Eres.