Part One Shane BauerMay/June 2019 Issue Scroll I went to Syria to understand America’s role in one of the 21st century’s greatest tragedies. Sneaking Into Syria There are four main types of Americans fighting on the ground in Syria: special forces soldiers, CIA agents, Islamic extremists, and anarchists. As I putter in a motorboat across the Tigris River one afternoon in May 2018, I have no idea which of these, if any, I will encounter in the weeks ahead. The Pentagon already told me I couldn’t tag along with its troops; the CIA doesn’t publicly admit to having anything to do with Syria; the extremists would be happy to see me dead; and the anarchists tend to be cautious about tipping off the feds that they are fighting in a foreign country. I disembark with a handful of locals and walk up a gravelly slope to a small shack. Iraq, which I just came from, is on the opposite side of the river. Turkey is not far upstream. A man with a wrinkled, … [Read more...] about Behind the Lines
Remarks for report card for weak students
By JON MOOALLEM MARCH 20, 2019 A weeklong trip in Alaska was supposed to be an adventure. In an instant, it became the experience that defined us all. The Voyages Issue Rick Steves Wants to Save the World, One Vacation at a Time The Mystery Gift at the End of the World It Was Just a Kayaking Trip. Until It Upended Our Lives. There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It Anyway. The Voyages Issue A weeklong trip in Alaska was supposed to be an adventure. In an instant, it became the experience that defined us all. By JON MOOALLEM photo illustration by: DAVID BENJAMIN SHERRY The whale sighting happened right away, minutes into Day 1. Jon, Dave and I had just been dropped off on a remote Alaskan shoreline, an hour and a half by boat from the closest speck of a town. Jon was working as a sea-kayaking guide that summer in Glacier Bay National Park, and he had invited us up for a seven-day excursion during his week off. As the … [Read more...] about It Was Just a Kayaking Trip. Until It Upended Our Lives.
By CAITY WEAVER MARCH 20, 2019 The particular sheen of America by Amtrak. The Voyages Issue Rick Steves Wants to Save the World, One Vacation at a Time It Was Just a Kayaking Trip. Until It Upended Our Lives. There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It Anyway. The Voyages Issue The particular sheen of America by Amtrak. By CAITY WEAVER photographs by: Holly Andres Tell your fellow americans that you plan to cross the United States by train, and their reactions will range from amusement at your spellbinding eccentricity to naked horror that they, through some fatal social miscalculation, have become acquainted with a person who would plan to cross the United States by train. Depending how you slice it — time or money — there are either 61 or 960 immediate reasons not to travel by Amtrak trains from New York City to Los Angeles. Those are the extra hours and dollars, respectively, that you might reasonably expect to … [Read more...] about There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It Anyway.
Carolyn Kaster / AP File (2017) President Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he finishes speaking in April 2017 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. Today marks the second anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, and the nation is divided on whether to give the president a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on his first two years in office. By Sun Staff (contact) Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019 | 2 a.m. On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump took the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States. The two years since have generated a ceaseless swirl of news about chaos and dysfunction in the West Wing, divisive comments and tweets from Trump, a simmering investigation into the Trump team’s involvement with Russian nationalists, and many other topics. The stories came so fast it could be difficult to keep up with them. In the short time since Trump was sworn in, four of his former associates have been convicted of felonies and 10 of his original … [Read more...] about Two years of Trump: Dizzying dysfunction, controversies, mark first half of president’s first term
Inmate No. 15000-030 is released into the frigid January morning at 8:46, a gray custodial suit of sweatpants and long-sleeved thermal clinging to his immense frame, a bushy salt-and-pepper beard wrapping around his face, a guard escorting him with a high-powered rifle slung over his right shoulder. Most politicians would appear hopelessly—dangerously—misplaced in a federal prison. Kent Sorenson is not most politicians. Standing over six feet tall and weighing every bit of 270 pounds, with 11 tattoos and a cleanshaven head, Sorenson is probably the only state senator to have ever been mistaken for a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. That happened during his first stop on the penal turnpike, the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“The MCC”) in Chicago, an administrative facility with maximum-security lodging where the “fish” was viewed warily by fellow inmates. A white supremacist, they figured, sizing him up. It didn’t take long—as soon as … [Read more...] about Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.