December 30, 2009
Healthcare legislation Re "How Harry Reid threaded a needle," Dec. 24 As the Democrats and most people in the nation applaud the passage of the Healthcare Reform Act in the Senate, the man who deserves the lion's share of the credit is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who kept hope alive when almost everyone else gave up. First it was Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) refusing to support the expansion of Medicare, which he had previously advocated, and then it was Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.
December 24, 2009
To many of those who remember Ronald Reagan's presidency, his latter-day popularity is a little puzzling. The Republican icon, who like George W. Bush produced skyrocketing federal deficits by advocating tax cuts even as he hiked military spending and -- also like Bush -- promoted laissez-faire regulatory policies that culminated in a home-loan crisis, is today so widely admired that even Democrats such as President Obama frequently praise him....
November 2, 2009 |
When Russian businessman Yevgeny Ostrovsky decided to name his kebab joint Anti-Soviet Shashlik, he thought of it as black humor. It was a little tongue-in-cheek, a little retro, a little nod to the old-timers who still remembered when the meat grill, across the street from the famed Sovietsky hotel, was known by just that nickname. But it was also, in that ambiguous, extrajudicial way so common in today's Russia, a little bit illegal. Three applications for an "anti-Soviet" sign were rejected by the city without explanation.
October 14, 2009 |
A court ruled against Josef Stalin's grandson in a libel suit over a newspaper article that said the Soviet dictator sent thousands of people to their deaths. A judge at a Moscow district court rejected Yevgeny Dzhugashvili's claim that Novaya Gazeta damaged Stalin's honor and dignity in an April article that referred to him as a "bloodthirsty cannibal." A ruling against the newspaper would have been regarded as an exoneration of Stalin and a blow to Russians who accuse the Kremlin of whitewashing history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2009 |
Sergei Mikhalkov, who wrote the lyrics for the Soviet and Russian national anthems and also persecuted dissident writers as part of the Soviet propaganda machine, has died. He was 96. Mikhalkov, who fathered two noted film directors, died Thursday in a Moscow hospital. A cause of death was not given. He was born March 18, 1913, in Moscow. As a young author and war correspondent favored by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, he was commissioned to write lyrics for a new Soviet anthem designed to inspire Red Army soldiers in the midst of World War II. Mikhalkov's lyrics, co-written with journalist El Registan and set to music by Alexander Alexandrov, lauded Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who "brought us up on loyalty to the people" and "inspired us to labor and to heroism."
May 20, 2009 |
There were 6,295 Polish prisoners held captive at the monastery when the order came to "unload" the camp. It took a month and a half to kill all of them. The prisoners were mostly military officers, police, gendarmes and landlords, rounded up as a dangerous "bourgeois" elite when the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland in the run-up to World War II. The following year, 1940, the Communist Party decided to eliminate them.
May 6, 2009 |
War is not known to produce many saints, at least not among its policymakers whose decisions often come down to negotiating degrees of horror. World War II is no exception and no other figure makes that so frighteningly clear as Josef Stalin. Almost 20 years after the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, conventional wisdom concedes that Stalin was just as brutal a dictator as Adolf Hitler, ruthlessly deporting, imprisoning and murdering millions.
December 29, 2008 |
Television viewers have voted Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who sent millions to their deaths in the 1930s, Russia's third-greatest historical figure. Rights activists have blasted Stalin's inclusion in the nationwide project by the state-run Rossiya channel. They say authorities are trying to gloss over Stalin's atrocities. The project culminated with the announcement that medieval leader Alexander Nevsky, who defeated various European invaders during his 13th century reign and was subsequently canonized, had been voted the greatest Russian.
November 16, 2008 |
The New York Civil Liberties Union has demanded that city officials explain why they ordered a private art school to remove a banner displaying an image of Josef Stalin. In a letter Thursday to the Department of Buildings, NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman expressed concern that the banner was taken down from the Cooper Union after some residents of the local Ukrainian community complained that it "seemed to promote" the Soviet dictator on the 75th anniversary of a famine he imposed.
August 25, 2008 |
On the night of Feb. 20, 1939, three Soviet secret policemen knocked on a door at the Hotel Moskva in the Russian capital, asked to see the (fake) passport of its occupant, gave him a few minutes to gather some belongings and whisked him away to the notorious Lubyanka prison. Charged with espionage, he was questioned for almost a year before being sentenced to eight years in Norilsk, a mining center hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle and one of the bleakest islands in the Gulag Archipelago.