Friday, October 16, 2015

The Comeuppance of Creepy Obama Crony Kevin Johnson

Michelle Malkin | Oct 16, 2015

Kevin Johnson introduces Barack Obama before the president delivered remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January. (Reuters)

The fit finally hit the shan for Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. His latest troubles are a stark reminder of the despicable White House role in railroading a vigilant government watchdog who red-flagged Johnson's corruption years ago.
Sports fans buzzed last week after ESPN shelved a documentary celebrating Johnson's efforts to keep the Sacramento Kings basketball team in his city. The public relations disaster came at the hands of the weekly Sacramento News & Review, which has published damning reports all year long on Johnson's use of public resources for personal gain -- along with sports website Deadspin, which has hammered Johnson over longtime allegations of the athlete-turned-Democrat point man's sleazy financial dealings and personal perversities.
The Sacramento News & Review, which is now being sued by Johnson, detailed how the mayor was using "city staff to screw around in the internal politics of the National Basketball Players Association. And having public employees help wage his power struggle for control of the National Conference of Black Mayors." Among Deadspin's damaging scoops: an exclusive interview with accuser Mandi Koba and video of her 1996 police interview in which the then-17-year-old victim graphically described repeated sexual molestation by Johnson, then 29 and a star member of the Phoenix Suns.
As I pointed out back in 2011, this alleged predatory behavior with teenage girls seemed to be an ongoing pattern with Johnson. Then-federal Inspector General Gerald Walpin of the Corporation for National and Community Service uncovered more instances of "inappropriate contact" between Johnson and three high school students while investigating misuse of nearly $1 million in AmeriCorps program funds at St. Hope Academy of California.
Walpin concluded that Johnson (who was fined, but escaped jail time) and his staff:
--Used AmeriCorps members to "recruit students for St. HOPE Academy."
--Used AmeriCorps members for political activities in connection with the "Sacramento Board of Education election."
--Assigned grant-funded AmeriCorps members to perform services for Johnson such as "driving [him] to personal appointments, washing [his] car, and running personal errands."
--Improperly used AmeriCorps "members to perform non-AmeriCorps clerical and other services" that "were outside the scope of the grant and therefore were impermissible" for "the benefit of St. HOPE."
According to Walpin's investigation: "Johnson's attorney, Kevin Hiestand, approached at least one of the (St. HOPE) students describing himself only as 'a friend of Johnson's,' and "'basically asked me to keep quiet.'" She had complained to St. HOPE officials that Johnson groped her sexually after instructing her to grade papers with him in her apartment. According to her interview with Walpin's investigators, "about one week later, Kevin Johnson offered her $1,000 a month until the end of the program, which she refused to accept."
Erik Jones, a teacher at St. HOPE, reported to the police that one of his students told him Johnson "started massaging her shoulders and then reached over and touched her breasts." Another student recounted for investigators how Johnson "kissed her cheek, brushed up against her," and touched her thigh on various occasions -- as well as flipping up her skirt on a St. HOPE-sponsored trip to Harlem.
Another St. HOPE official, Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez, left Johnson's nonprofit over what she considered a whitewash of the sordid molestation scandal. Michelle Rhee, Johnson's then-fiance (now wife) and former D.C. schools chief, was also a St. HOPE board member at the time. Walpin's office found that when she learned of the allegations, Rhee "played the role of a fixer, doing 'damage control'" and vouching for Johnson's character.
The White House, which so ostentatiously crusades against sexual harassment and the War on Women, looked the other way. The Obamas and Johnsons are close pals. Reminder: Johnson donated the maximum individual amount to Obama for America, campaigned across the country for Obama in 2008, and bragged to California media during his mayoral run about his friendship and access to both Barack and Michelle Obama.
Instead of cutting ties with the Sacto corruptocrat, the Obama White House showered his city with a new AmeriCorps grant worth more than $650,000. Inspector General Walpin, by contrast, was unceremoniously fired and smeared by Team Obama. As Walpin later recounted: "When I declined to repudiate my staff's work, the guillotine fell: I was summarily telephoned that if I did not resign in one hour, I would be fired. And I was, along with my special assistant, John Park."
The White House savaged the veteran watchdog's mental health and baselessly accused him of political interference. The first lady then installed her former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, in AmeriCorps' top management to ensure -- in Michelle Obama's own words -- that they remained the program's "No. 1 cheerleaders."
Never forget: Crooks and cronies of a feather connive and cover up together.

Bruce Springsteen Details Massive 'The River' Box Set

Four-CD/three-DVD 'The Ties That Bind: The River Collection' set will feature unheard outtakes, new documentary, book and 1980 concert film selections


The new hour-long documentary The Ties That Band was directed and produced by longtime Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny. It shows Springsteen playing acoustic renditions of songs from The River, along with photographs and concert footage from the era. Among many other songs, he plays "Independence Day," "Point Blank" and "Wreck On The Highway" outdoors near a garage (on what appears to be the grounds of his New Jersey home) as he explains their backstories in great detail.

"You're brought into a very late night intimate convention between two people," he says of "Independence Day." "It's part of a series of songs that I wrote about my dad that weren't completely autobiographical, but were emotionally autobiographical."

Also in the box set is a a two-DVD Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert shot in Tempe, Arizona on November 5th, 1980. The 160-minute set was shot on four cameras and recorded in multitrack audio. It's a high-energy (though sadly incomplete) show of Springsteen, wearing a grey sport coat, tearing through songs like "Born To Run," "Badlands" and "Cadillac Ranch" the day after Ronald Reagan was elected president. (The definitive fan site Brucebase refers to the concert as "one of the finest, most intense shows of the River tour.")  There's also 20 minutes of band rehearsal footage filmed in September of that same year weeks before the release of the album.

The River was Springsteen's fifth studio record, and his first one to hit #1 on the Billboard 200. The double album contained "Hungry Heart," his first Top Ten single, and veers back and forth between wild rockers ("Ramrod," "I'm a Rocker," "Cadillac Ranch") and somber, reflective tunes ("Independence Day," "Stolen Car," "Wreck On The Highway"). The title track was inspired by his sister Ginny, who married her husband Mickey after getting pregnant as a teenager.

"It was a record where I first started to tackle men and women and families and marriage," he said in 2009 before playing the complete record at Madison Square Garden. "There were certain songs on it that led to complete records later on. 'The River' sort of led to the writing on Nebraska. 'Stolen Car' led to the writing on Tunnel of Love. I handed it in with just one record and I took it back because I didn't feel it was big enough and I wanted to capture the themes that I'd been writing about Darkness. I wanted to keep those characters with me and at the same time added the music that made our live shows so much fun and enjoyable for our audience."

The River album sessions stretched for over a year between 1979 and 1980, producing more songs than could fit on even two records. Many great tunes, like "Restless Nights," "Where The Bands Are" and "Ricky Wants A Man of Her Own," didn't surface until the 1998 box set Tracks. Many others fell into the hands of bootleggers.

The first disc of The Ties That Band: The River Outtakes has 11 songs that have remained in the vaults over the past 35 years. They include "Meet Me In The City," the tale of a lovesick felon "charged with doin' things I can't explain" and "Party Lights," which shares lyrics with "Point Blank" and "Atlantic City" and has the "take that little brat of yours" line he added to his live cover of Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl."

"It was a nice place in our development," Springsteen says of The River in The Ties That Bind. "At the time, I was pouring through a variety of history books just to contextualize myself, understand where I came from and what that meant. I wanted to write songs of breadth that had some depth to them. And I knew I wanted to write about the place I lived and I wanted to write about social forces that I felt played through that history. I devoured quite a few history books at the time trying to get a sense of where everything came from."

Like previous Springsteen box sets centered around Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge of Town, the package will come with a book. The companion piece will contain 200 rarely-seen photos and a new essay by longtime Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Mikal Gilmore along with the original Rolling Stone review by Paul Nelson.

The album is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection Track List

CD 1
The River - Record One

1. "The Ties That Bind"
2. "Sherry Darling"
3. "Jackson Cage"
4. "Two Hearts"
5. "Independence Day"
6. "Hungry Heart"
7. "Out In The Street"
8. "Crush On You"
9. "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)"
10. "I Wanna Marry You"
11. "The River"

CD 2
The River - Record Two

1. "Point Blank"
2. "Cadillac Ranch"
3. "I'm A Rocker"
4. "Fade Away"
5. "Stolen Car"
6. "Ramrod"
7. "The Price You Pay"
8. "Drive All Night"
9. "Wreck On The Highway"

CD 3
The River: Single Album

1. "The Ties That Bind"
2. "Cindy"                    
3. "Hungry Heart"        
4. "Stolen Car" (Vs. 1)            
5. "Be True"
6. "The River"
7. "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" (Vs. 1)
8. "The Price You Pay"
9. "I Wanna Marry You"
10. "Loose End"

CD 4
The River: Outtakes
Record One

1. "Meet Me in the City"
2. "The Man Who Got Away"  
3. "Little White Lies"
4. "The Time That Never Was"          
5. "Night Fire"
6. "Whitetown"  
7. "Chain Lightning"  
8. "Party Lights"  
9. "Paradise By The "C""
10. "Stray Bullet"  
11. "Mr. Outside"           

Record Two

12. "Roulette"
13. "Restless Nights"
14. "Where The Bands Are"
15. "Dollhouse"
16. "Living On The Edge Of The World"          
17. "Take 'em As They Come"
18. "Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own"
19. "I Wanna Be With You"
20. "Mary Lou"
21. "Held Up Without a Gun"
22. "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)"

The Ties That Bind (Documentary)

The River Tour, Tempe 1980

Concert – Part 1

1. "Born to Run"
2. "Prove It All Night"
3. "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"
4. "Jackson Cage"
5. "Two Hearts"
6. "The Promised Land"
7. "Out in the Street"
8. "The River"
9. "Badlands"
10. "Thunder Road"
11. "No Money Down"
12. "Cadillac Ranch"
13. "Hungry Heart"
14. "Fire"
15. "Sherry Darling"
16. "I Wanna Marry You"
17. "Crush on You"
18. "Ramrod"
19. "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)"

The River Tour, Tempe 1980

Concert – Part 2

1. "Drive All Night"
2. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"
3. "I'm A Rocker"
4. "Jungleland"
5. "Detroit Medley"
6. "Where The Bands Are (Credits)"
BONUS: The River Tour Rehearsals
- Ramrod
- Cadillac Ranch
- Fire
- Crush On You
- Sherry Darling

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Nuclear Deal's True Purpose

Caroline Glick
October 15, 2015

President Obama speaks about the framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington (Reuters)

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post
It works out that US President Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, his nuclear deal with Iran, has nothing to do with preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power or even with placing restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Just weeks after Obama led the international community in concluding the nuclear pact with Iran, the Iranian regime filed a complaint with the UN Security Council accusing the US of committing a material breach of the agreement.

The US action that precipitated the complaint was a statement by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claiming that if Iran violates the deal, “the military option would remain on the table.”

In making the statement, Earnest was responding to a hypothetical question regarding what the US would do if the Iranians breached the deal.

Earnest explained that not only would the US then consider attacking Iran’s nuclear installations militarily, but that its “military option would be enhanced because we’d been spending the intervening number of years gathering significantly more detail about Iran’s nuclear program.”

“So when it comes to the targeting decisions,” he continued, “our capabilities [would be] improved, based on the knowledge that has been gained in the intervening years through this inspections regime.”

The Iranians argued that Earnest’s statement was a material breach of the nuclear agreement because under Iran’s interpretation of the deal, UN inspectors are barred from sharing sensitive information they collect during the course of their site visits.

As Tower Magazine pointed out at the time, Earnest’s remarks gave the Iranians a justification for refusing to allow UN nuclear inspectors from entering their nuclear sites. Indeed, Earnest’s remarks gave Iran a rationale for vacating its signature on the agreement.

Like the US and the other parties to the agreement, the Iranians can vacate their signature if they feel their claims against other parties’ perceived breaches of their commitments are not properly addressed by the relevant UN agencies. According to Obama, if Iran walks away from the deal, it will take the mullocracy up to a year to develop nuclear weapons.

Whereas Iran can use the deal to advance its nuclear program and then walk away, the US cannot use the deal to prevent Iran either from advancing its nuclear program or from walking away from the deal.

Sunday Iran test-fired a new ballistic missile. According to Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, unlike the Shihab intermediate-range surface-to-surface missiles that Iran already fields, the new Emad missile is precision guided. The Wall Street Journal reported that experts assess its range at 1,300 km.

The missile test is not a violation of the agreement. Last month US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged in a letter to Senator Marco Rubio that the deal does not restrict Iran’s ballistic missile program. Rather, Kerry claimed, Iran’s ballistic missile program is restricted by the Security Council resolution passed July 20 which calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” for eight years.

In response to Iran’s missile test Sunday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the US would take “appropriate actions” at the UN if the tests violated the resolution.

Unfortunately, Iran probably didn’t violate the resolution. Because whether the missile test was a violation or not is open to interpretation. Iran’s position is that the test is permitted because, it claims, it has nothing to do with its nuclear program. And because of the way Obama negotiated the nuclear deal and the Security Council resolution, Iran’s word is just as good as America’s on this score.

Moreover, even under the unlikely scenario that the administration determines that Iran’s missile test violated the Security Council resolution, such a conclusion will make no difference.

As Amir Taheri explained in The New York Post, America’s negotiating partners from the P5+1 view the nuclear deal as little more than a trade deal with Iran. Since they signed on in July, the Germans have expanded their trade with Iran 33 percent, making Germany Iran’s third largest trading partner.

Britain has lifted its restrictions on Iranian banks.

France has sent a 100-man delegation of salivating businessmen to Tehran.

China has penned an agreement to build Iran five nuclear reactors.

Russia has not only agreed to sell Iran the advanced S-300 air defense system and begun negotiating the sale of Sukhoi fighter jets, Russia has gone to war in coalition with Iran in Syria.

Other states, including India, Turkey, Austria and the UAE are all clamoring for deals in Iran. The question of whether or not Iran actually abides by the deal’s nuclear limitations is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.

Given the circumstances, the idea that Obama’s much touted “snapback” sanctions will actually be implemented if and when Iran is caught cheating on the nuclear deal or the restrictions on its ballistic missile program is a joke.

Kerry admitted to Congress that the US has given assurances to the Russians and Chinese that in the event sanctions are re-imposed they will not jeopardize those nations’ trade with Iran.

So sanctions, which Obama himself insisted failed in the past to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear program, cannot be reimposed, even if they are passed in the Security Council.

And they won’t be passed in the Security Council because no one on the Security Council is paying attention to whether or not Iran keeps its side of the agreement. And even if they did pay attention, and decide that Iran has breached the accord, Iran will simply walk away from the deal with little to no international response.

In his much cited article published last week about Obama’s ill-treatment of Israel during the course of his nuclear talks with Iran, ambassador Dennis Ross wrote that Obama’s commitment to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons was never straightforward.

The issue of whether the administration would take all measures to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or would merely seek to contain a nuclear Iran was never settled.

In a speech at a Washington synagogue last May, Obama insisted that he has a “personal stake” in ensuring the deal prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons because “this deal will have my name on it.”

But as the deal’s substance and the behavior of the US’s negotiating partners makes clear, the purpose of the nuclear accord isn’t to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It is to get Obama off the hook and place the deal’s opponents in the dock.

By giving Iran the right to walk away whenever it claims the US has breached the deal, Obama has ensured that Iran will walk away, and has given himself the means to blame the Republicans for the deal’s failure.

Just as the Iranians used Earnest’s statement as a reason for leaving the deal, so they should be expected to use any limitation the US places on implementing the deal as a means to vacate their signature and walk away.

Last week we learned that aspects of the US ’s commitments to Iran under the deal are illegal under US law. If the Republican Congress tries to force Obama to obey the law (that he himself signed), Obama will blame the Republicans when the Iranians respond by abandoning the deal. If the Republicans try to impose new sanctions on Iran because Iran breaches its commitments, then Iran can leave the deal.

And Obama will blame the Republicans.

What this means for Republicans is clear enough.

They must recognize the deal for what it really is – a political tool to weaken them, not Iran. Once they understand what is going on, they must refuse to fall into the trap Obama set for them. Republican mustn’t worry about whether or not Iran vacates its signature. It is the deal, not any action they may take, that ensures Iran will walk away.

Moreover, Republicans – and the deal’s Democratic opponents – must refuse to shoulder the blame when Iran acts as expected and walks away.

Obama negotiated a deal that guarantees Iran will become a nuclear power and prevents the US from taking steps, in the framework of the deal, to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Obama didn’t do this because he is a bad negotiator. He did this because his goal was never to prevent Iran from developing atomic bombs and delivery mechanisms. His goal was always to blame Republicans (and Israel) for what he had to power to prevent, but had no interest in preventing.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit

Inside Bob Dylan's Massive New Sixties Bootleg Series Trove


Between January 1965 and February 1966, Bob Dylan wrote and recorded his first three electric albums, breaking from folk music and forever changing the course of his career and of rock itself. And as his exhaustive new studio-outtakes box set reveals, the journey toward the perfection of Bringing It All Back HomeHighway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde was just as fascinating as the final products. The Cutting Edge 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, out November 6th, offers a definitive look at the development of Dylan's plugged-in sound, unveiling embryonic takes and alternate versions of some of his greatest songs, including "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Visions of Johanna."

"At the beginning, most songs were fairly shapeless," says organist Al Kooper, a key collaborator on Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. "Only little by little did they come together."

The collection reveals that six months before the Byrds turned "Mr. Tambourine Man" into a folk-rock smash, Dylan himself saw its possibilities, taking a clumsy, abortive stab at recording a drums-and-electric-guitar version. ("The drums are driving me mad," he says at the end.) It shows how Dylan attempted to record some Blonde on Blonde tracks with future members of the Band before opting for the subtler touch of Nashville musicians: Their "Visions of Johanna" is almost another song altogether (complete with lyric tweaks — "useless and small" instead of "useless and all"), rollicking where the released version is hushed. And it reveals how much fun Dylan was having in the studio, especially during Highway 61 Revisited — he improvises a shout-out to guitarist Michael Bloomfield during a version of "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence," and he cracks up uncontrollably at early attempts to deploy the police whistle in the title track.

The Cutting Edge will be available in a six-disc and a two-disc version, as well as a monster limited-edition 18-disc set that includes every single take of every song from the three albums. In all, it documents a process that is, in its own way, as dramatic as Dylan's most public going-electric moment, at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. "A lot of people don't realize what an incredible risk he took," says a source close to the Dylan camp. "Why risk alienating his gigantic audience? But the burst of creativity was remarkable. The music goes to so many different places, and no two things are done the same way twice."

The complete "Like a Rolling Stone" sessions take up an entire CD, tracing the meandering path the epochal song took over two days, from an indifferent-sounding waltz to a ferocious, world-shaking rock hit. "People are going to get lost in that," says critic and Dylan scholar Greil Marcus.

Dylan approached each of the three albums differently. He had just three days to record the half-acoustic Bringing It All Back Home, and nailed songs including "Gates of Eden" in single takes. He spent considerably more time on Highway 61, and the process was nearly chaotic. "The recording of Highway 61 was unbelievably disorganized," says Kooper, who famously sneaked into the session and ended up playing organ, an instrument he barely knew, on "Like a Rolling Stone." "It was an unprofessional situation, exemplified by how I ended up playing on it! But Blonde on Blonde was a thoroughly professional situation. I knew all the songs before we went in. I could teach them to the band before Bob got them."

The Blonde on Blonde sessions are the richest vein tapped by the set, yielding far more outtakes than the other two LPs. There's a groovier "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again," with Dylan syncopating the vocals, and an unnervingly danceable "Just Like a Woman" that's missing the line about amphetamines and fog. By that point, Dylan had slowed his process so he could fine-tune lyrics and experiment with wildly different arrangements. In Nashville, says Kooper, "we'd show up at the studio at noon and go home around 6 a.m. But we were only recording a small percentage of that time. Some days, we'd sit there for six hours and play ping-pong while he worked on lyrics."

The Cutting Edge is the third Bootleg Series collection released in the past two years, following Another Self Portrait and The Basement Tapes Complete — and the Dylan camp is nowhere near done raiding the vaults. "We've always wanted to do one of pre-album stuff where Bob is just singing songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses," says the Dylan source. "We'd also love to revisit Blood on the Tracks, Infidels, Oh Mercy and the gospel albums." 

The Best of The Cutting Edge 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 Track List

Disc 1:
1. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) acoustic, incomplete
2. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 2 (1/13/1965) acoustic
3. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 3 remake (1/13/1965) acoustic
4. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 1 remake (1/14/1965) electric
5. "I'll Keep It with Mine" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) piano demo, previously released on Biograph, 1985
6. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005
7. "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) acoustic, incomplete
8. "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" - Take 2 (1/13/1965) acoustic
9. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
10. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 2 Remake (1/13/1965) acoustic
11. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 1 Remake (1/14/1965) electric
12. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3, 1991
13. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"- Take 1 remake (1/14/1965) electric
14. "Outlaw Blues" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
15. "Outlaw Blues" - Take 2 Remake (1/13/1965) electric
16. "On the Road Again" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
17. "On the Road Again" - Take 4 (1/14/1965) electric
18. "On the Road Again"- Take 1 remake (1/15/1965) electric
19. "On the Road Again" - Take 7 remake (1/15/1965) electric
20. "Farewell, Angelina" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3, 1991
21. "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
22. "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" - Take 2 (1/15/1965) electric
23. "You Don't Have to Do That" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, incomplete

Disc 2:
1. "Tombstone Blues" - Take 1 (7/29/1965) alternate take
2. "Positively 4th Street" - Take 5 (7/29/1965) alternate take
3. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window"- Take 1 (7/30/1965) alternate take
4. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" - Take 3 (8/2/1965) rehearsal
5. "Highway 61 Revisited" - Take 3 (8/2/1965) alternate take
6. "Queen Jane Approximately" - Take 5 (8/2/1965) alternate take
7. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 5 (11/30/1965) rehearsal
8. "She's Your Lover Now" - Take 6 (1/21/1966) rehearsal
9. "Lunatic Princess" - Take 1 (1/27/1966)
10. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" - Take 8 (2/14/1966) alternate take
11. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" - Take 19 (1/25/1966) alternate take
12. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Take 13 (2/17/1966) alternate take
13. "Absolutely Sweet Marie" - Take 1 (3/7/1966) alternate take
14. "Just Like a Woman" - Take 4 (3/8/1966) alternate take
15. "Pledging My Time" - Take 1 (3/8/1966) alternate take
16. "I Want You" - Take 4 (3/10/1966) alternate take
17. "Highway 61 Revisited" – Take 7 (8/2/1965) false start

All tracks previously unreleased except Disc 1, track 2, Biograph; Disc 1, track 8, The Bootleg Series, Volume 1–3.

The Cutting Edge 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 (6CD Deluxe Edition) Track List

Disc 1:
1. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) acoustic, incomplete
2. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 2 (1/13/1965) acoustic
3. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 3 remake (1/13/1965) acoustic
4. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" - Take 1 remake (1/14/1965) electric
5. "I'll Keep It with Mine" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) piano demo, previously released on Biograph, 1985
6. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005
7. "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) acoustic, incomplete
8. "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" - Take 2 (1/13/1965) acoustic
9. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
10. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 2 Remake (1/13/1965) acoustic
11. "She Belongs to Me" - Take 1 Remake (1/14/1965) electric
12. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3, 1991
13. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Take 1 remake (1/14/1965) electric
14. "Outlaw Blues" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
15. "Outlaw Blues" - Take 2 Remake (1/13/1965) electric
16. "On the Road Again" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
17. "On the Road Again" - Take 4 (1/14/1965) electric
18. "On the Road Again" - Take 1 remake (1/15/1965) electric
19. "On the Road Again" - Take 7 remake (1/15/1965) electric
20. "Farewell, Angelina" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, previously released The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3, 1991
21. "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
22. "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" - Take 2 (1/15/1965) electric
23. "You Don't Have to Do That" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic, incomplete

Disc 2:
1. "California" - Take 1 (1/13/1965) solo acoustic
2. "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" - Take 1 (1/15/1965) acoustic, demo
3. "Mr. Tambourine Man" - Takes 1 - 2 (1/15/1965) incomplete, with band
4. "Mr. Tambourine Man" - Take 3 (1/15/1965) incomplete, with band
5. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" - Take 1 (6/15/1965)
6. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" - Take 8 (6/15/1965)
7. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" - Take 3 (7/29/1965)
8. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" - Take 3 remake (7/29/65)
9. "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence" - Take 2 (6/15/1965)
10. "Tombstone Blues" - Take 1 (7/29/1965)
11. "Tombstone Blues" - Take 9 (7/29/1965) previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005
12. "Positively 4th Street" - Takes 1–3 (7/29/1965)
13. "Positively 4th Street" - Take 4 (7/29/1965)
14. "Positively 4th Street" - Take 5 (7/29/1965)
15. "Desolation Row" - Take 1 (8/4/1965)
16. "Desolation Row" - Take 2 (8/4/1965) piano demo
17. "Desolation Row" - Take 5 remake (8/2/1965)
18. "From a Buick 6" - Take 1 (7/30/1965)
19. "From a Buick 6" - Take 4 (7/30/1965) released in error on first pressing of Highway 61 Revisited, 1965

Disc 3:
1. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 1–3 (6/15/1965)
2. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 4 (6/15/1965)
3. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 5 (6/15/1965)
4. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Rehearsal (6/16/1965)
5. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 1 (6/16/1965)
6. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Takes 2-3 (6/16/1965)
7. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 4 (6/16/1965) released on Highway 61 Revisited, 1965
8. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 5 (6/16/1965)
9. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 6 (6/16/1965)
10. "Like a Rolling Stone" -Take 8 (6/16/1965)
11. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Takes 9-10 (6/16/1965)
12. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 11 (6/16/1965)
13. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 12 (6/16/1965)
14. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 13 (6/16/1965)
15. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 14 (6/16/1965)
16. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Take 15 (6/16/1965)
17. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Master take - lead guitar isolated track
18. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Master take - vocal and guitar isolated track
19. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Mast take - drums and organ isolated track
20. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Master take - piano and bass isolated track

Disc 4:
1. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" - Take 1 (7/30/1965)
2. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" - Take 17 (7/30/1965 released in error on the first pressing of "Positively 4th Street" single
3. "Highway 61 Revisited" - Take 3 (8/2/1965)
4. "Highway 61 Revisited" - Take 5 (8/2/1965)
5. "Highway 61 Revisited" - Take 7 (8/2/1965)
6. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" - Take 1 (8/2/1965)
7. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" - Take 3 (8/2/1965)
8. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" - Take 13 (8/2/1965)
9. "Queen Jane Approximately" - Take 2 (8/2/1965)
10. "Queen Jane Approximately" - Take 5 (8/2/1965)
11. "Ballad of a Thin Man" - Take 2 (8/2/1965) incomplete
12. "Medicine Sunday" - Take 1 (10/5/1965)
13. "Jet Pilot" - Take 1 (10/5/1965) Previously released on Biograph, 1985
14. "I Wanna Be Your Lover" - Take 1 (10/5/1965)
15. "I Wanna Be Your Lover" - Take 6 (10/5/1965)
16. "Unknown Instrumental" - Take 2 (10/5/1965)
17. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" - Takes 5-6 (11/30/1965)
18. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 1 (11/30/1965)
19. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 5 (11/30/1965)

Disc 5:
1. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 7 (11/30/1965)
2. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 8 (11/30/1965) previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005
3. "Visions of Johanna" - Take 14 (11/30/1965)
4. "She's Your Lover Now" - Take 1 (1/21/1966)
5. "She's Your Lover Now" - Take 6 (1/21/1966)
6. "She's Your Lover Now" - Take 15 (1/21/1966) previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3, 1991
7. "She's Your Lover Now" - Take 16 (1/21/1966) solo piano
8. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" - Take 2 (1/25/1966)
9. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" - Take 4 (1/25/1966)
10. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" - Take 19 (1/25/1966)
11. "Lunatic Princess" - Take 1 (1/27/1966)
12. "Fourth Time Around" - Take 11 (2/14/1966)
13. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" - Take 3 (2/14/1966)
14. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" - Take 8 (2/14/1966)

Disc 6:
1. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Take 1 (2/17/1966)
2. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Rehearsal (2/17/1966)
3. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Take 5 (2/17/1966) previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005
4. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Take 13 (2/17/1966)
5. "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" - Take 14 (2/17/1966)
6. "Absolutely Sweet Marie" - Take 1 (3/7/1966)
7. "Just Like a Woman" - Take 1 (3/8/1966)
8. "Just Like a Woman" - Take 4 (3/8/1966)
9. "Just Like a Woman" - Take 8 (3/8/1966)
10. "Pledging My Time" - Take 1 (3/8/1966)
11. "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" - Take 1 (3/9/1966)
12. "Temporary Like Achilles" - Take 3 (3/9/1966)
13. "Obviously 5 Believers" - Take 3 (3/10/1966)
14. "I Want You" - Take 4 (3/10/1966)
15. "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" - Take 1 - (2/16/1966)

From The Archives Issue 1245: October 8, 2015

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Q & A with Philip Jenkins

October 13, 2015

Philip Jenkins is the author of the new bookThe Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels. His other books include The Great and Holy War and Jesus Wars. He is Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, and he lives in Texas and Pennsylvania.

Q: You ask, "What exactly is a gospel, and can we legitimately apply the term to the texts that circulated through the Middle Ages and beyond?" How would you answer that?

A: That is actually one of the toughest problems I had! A gospel is literally “Good news”, or “Good message,” translating the Greekeuaggelionevangelium. It means the Good news of Christ, and it usually means a narrative of Christ’s deeds or words, whether during his life or afterwards.

The story is told by some early reporter or observer, commonly someone identified as an apostle or companion. The best standard to use is whether a work was identified as a gospel by its early users.

The problem is that some of the oldest gospels don’t look anything like the works we have in the New Testament, with their narrative frameworks. So the Gospel of Thomas is mainly a collection of sayings, the Gospel of Truth is a theological meditation, and many of the earliest Gnostic Gospels tell what Jesus revealed after his death.

Yet early believers called them all gospels – and interestingly, the mainstream church also had no problem with calling them gospels, even if they condemned their contents.

One problem I did face is that some of the most influential “gospels” feature Christ only marginally, and are mainly about the Virgin Mary. Often, they apply to her a lot of the stories that we know about Jesus himself, including the miraculous birth and death, and even something like a Resurrection or Ascension.

So, I am using the term in this broad sense. As I say, calling something a gospel says nothing about whether it is historically true or not, and early mainstream church leaders called something a gospel even when they disagreed with it totally.

The key point was how the work was intended, and how it was meant to be used. If it was meant to serve the same function as the canonical gospels, then I call it a gospel.

Q: What are some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about the Lost Gospels?

A: Even if we are not specialists, we all know something about the Lost Gospels, even if it is only from The Da Vinci Code.

We know, or think we know, that there were lots of alternative gospels in the early church, but then they vanished from use, or were brutally suppressed by the mainstream church, probably somewhere around the 4th century.

Thereafter, Christians just used the canonical Big Four gospels tight up till modern times, when the other contenders were rediscovered.

The problem is that that story is a myth. Some gospels were suppressed, but in some parts of the world, not others, and they carried on being read for centuries thereafter elsewhere.

We find a church in Ireland still reading from an unknown Gospel of James in the 8th or 9th century. Christians in Central Asia carried on reading a whole library of lost gospels, including Thomas, well into the 10th century and probably much later.

Even in Catholic Europe, the church carried on reading alternative gospels throughout the Middle Ages, and these became the basis of much Christian art. Some of those alternatives – like the Protevangelium, the so-called “First Gospel” – were also truly ancient, and were probably written even before the famous Gnostic Gospels that have been so sensationally rediscovered in our own time.

Linked to that is the myth that the destruction of alternative gospels created a narrow and intolerant Christianity which, for instance, excluded female holy figures.

Yet mainstream churches were happy to read and use alternative texts that made the Virgin Mary close to divine, and almost a Christ figure in her own right. How could female figures have been exalted more than that?

The other surprising thing is just how many of the ideas of the ancient “lost gospels” carried on existing outside the Christian world altogether, and they survive today in alternative gospels and stories preserved by Muslims.

One mysterious item is the Gospel of Barnabas widely used by Muslims today in a form that has Jesus point to Muhammad as the true prophet. That is a late addition, of course, but it looks very much like Muslims were reworking a really old alternative Christian gospel dating back to perhaps the 2nd or 3rd centuries.

The main difficulty I have in answering the question is that there are just so many of these alternative gospels and gospel traditions around that were never lost, it’s hard to begin to describe them here!

Q: You write, "When we tell the Christian story in any era on only a European scale...we miss a very large part of the story." What are some of the most important aspects of Christianity in other parts of the world?

A: Early churches read a great many texts besides what we know today as the Bible, even if they did not always give them that full canonical authority. Over time, lots of those texts fell out of widespread use.

But if you go to Ethiopia, the ancient church there carried on preserving and reading dozens of those ancient texts, including some dating back to the third and second centuries B.C. Only in quite modern times did scholars rediscover those, and understand how important they were.

Another amazing story that is still not properly understood is what happened to some ancient scriptures dating back to Jesus’s time, which circulated widely in the ancient world, but then dropped out of use and were forgotten.

In the 19th century, though, scholars found that many of these were preserved in the Slavonic languages of Eastern Europe. In other words, you might be reading a medieval Russian book, and you’ll find a text that was a translation of an ancient scripture composed in Hebrew at a time when the Second Temple still stood. And that text survives nowhere else in the world, in no other language.

Rediscovering those texts in modern times, and tracing their influence, has been just an awe-inspiring experience. Almost everywhere you look, in whatever culture or language, you find these forgotten scriptures.

And then of course there are the great eastern churches that penetrated into Central Asia, where they encountered Buddhists and members of other great faiths.

We find survivals of ancient alternative gospels there in oases along the Silk Route. Some Christian texts and ideas even found their way into Buddhist scriptures, a mixing that we certainly would not think of as even possible at that time.

Q: What was the impact of the Reformation on the alternative gospels?

A: Alternative gospels became highly unfashionable at the Reformation. Protestants hated them and usually tried to suppress them while Catholics were almost embarrassed to be using these things of dubious authenticity.

Paradoxically though, new contacts with Africa and Asia meant that many ancient gospels and scriptures suddenly came to the attention of European scholars.

They read and explored them, but as the subject of scholarly analysis, not devotion. The alternative scriptures were exiled from the parish churches, but they found a place in academic lecture halls and seminar rooms.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m working on the three centuries before Jesus’s time, looking at the creation of the thought world we know from the New Testament – how people came to believe so strongly in ideas like the afterlife and the Last Judgment, in Satan, in angels and demons, and how they came to put such weight on the stories of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

The rise of those ideas makes for what I would describe as one of the greatest intellectual and spiritual revolutions in human thought.

Q: Anything else we should know? 

A: I suppose my main point in Many Faces is this: that contrary to myth, the Christian world through much of its history was “awash with gospels”!

What interests me is how modern writers often ignore that fact of extreme diversity, in order to make recent discoveries look all the more exciting and surprising – which they generally are not.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why Gun-Control Zealots Ignore the Facts

By Thomas Sowell — October 13, 2015

<p>President Barack Obama steps off Marine One upon his arrival at Roseburg Municipal Airport, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 in Roseburg, Ore. Obama traveled to Roseburg, to meet with families of the victims of the Oct. 1, shooting at Umpqua Community College, as part of a four-day West Coast tour. Obama is also scheduled to attend a fundraiser event later today in Seattle with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He's is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the four-day visit. </p>
President Barack Obama steps off Marine One upon his arrival at Roseburg Municipal Airport, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 in Roseburg,Oregon. Obama traveled to Roseburg, to meet with families of the victims of the Oct. 1, shooting at Umpqua Community College, as part of a four-day West Coast tour. Obama is also scheduled to attend a fundraiser event later today in Seattle with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He's is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the four-day visit.

President Obama’s intrusion into the mourning community of Roseburg, Ore., in order to promote his political crusade for stronger gun-control laws, is part of a pattern of his using various other sites of shooting rampages in the past to promote this longstanding crusade of the political Left.

The zealotry of gun-control advocates might make some sense if they had any serious evidence that more restrictive gun-control laws actually reduce gun crimes. But they seldom even discuss the issue in terms of empirical evidence.

Saving lives is serious business. But claiming to be saving lives and refusing to deal with evidence is a farce. Nor is the Second Amendment or the National Rifle Association the real issue, despite how much the media and the intelligentsia focus on them.

If there is hard evidence that stronger gun-control laws actually reduce gun crimes in general or reduce murders in particular, the Second Amendment can be repealed, as other amendments have been repealed. Constitutional amendments exist to serve the people. People do not exist to be sacrificed to Constitutional amendments.

But if hard evidence shows that restrictions on gun ownership lead to more gun crimes, rather than less, then the National Rifle Association’s opposition to those restrictions makes sense, independently of the Second Amendment.

Since this all boils down to a question of hard evidence about plain facts, it is difficult to understand how gun-control laws should have become such a heated and long-lasting controversy.

There is a huge amount of statistical evidence, just within the United States, since gun-control laws are different in 50 different states and these laws have been changed over time in many of these states. There are mountains of data on what happens under restrictive laws and what happens when restrictions are lifted.

Statistics on murder are among the most widely available statistics, and among the most accurate, since no one ignores a dead body. With so many facts available from so many places and times, why is gun control still a heated issue? The short answer is that most gun-control zealots do not even discuss the issue in terms of hard facts.

The zealots act as if they just know — somehow — that bullets will be flying hither and yon if you allow ordinary people to have guns. Among the many facts this ignores is that gun sales were going up by the millions in late-20th-century America, and the murder rate was going down at the same time.

Among the other facts that gun-control zealots consistently ignore are data on how many lives are saved each year by a defensive use of guns. This seldom requires actually shooting. Just pointing a loaded gun at an assailant is usually enough to get him to back off, often in some haste.

There have been books and articles based on voluminous statistics, including statistics comparing gun laws and gun-crime rates in different countries, such as Guns and Violence by Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm of George Mason University. Seldom do these factual studies back up what the gun-control zealots are saying.

Why would an ultimately factual question about the consequences of gun-control laws divide people along ideological lines? Only if at least one set of people were more devoted to their vision than to the facts.

This shows up when gun-control zealots are asked whether whatever new law they propose would have prevented the shooting rampage that they are using as a stage from which to propose a new clampdown on gun ownership. Almost always, the new law being proposed would not have made the slightest difference. That too is part of the farce. A deadly farce.

So is the automatic assertion that whoever engaged in a shooting rampage was a madman. Yet these supposedly crazy shooters are usually rational enough to choose some “gun-free zone” for their murderous attacks. They seem more rational than gun-control zealots who keep creating more “gun-free zones.”

Gun-control zealots are almost always people who are lenient toward criminals, while they are determined to crack down on law-abiding citizens who want to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is © 2015 Creators Syndicate Inc.