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The Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017, Story 1: More on Moore: Roy Moore’s Attorney News Briefing — She Said Vs. He Said — Faulty Memory of Witnesses Leading To Wrongful Conviction — Sexual Abuse — Who Do You Believe? — The Voters of Alabama Must Answer This Question on December 12? — Videos — Story 2: Will The Senate Pass A Tax Reform Bill?– NO — Videos —

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Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

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Story 1: More on Moore: Roy Moore’s Attorney News Briefing — She Said Vs. He Said — Faulty Memory of Witnesses Leading To Wrongful Conviction — Sexual Abuse — Who Do You Believe? — The Voters of Alabama Must Answer This Question on December 12? — Videos —

Roy Moore & Jeff Sessions Cold Open – SNL

RUSH: Roy Moore Accuser Claims She Was Locked In Car In 1977; Child Locks Not Required Till 1980s

WATCH: Roy Moore’s attorney holds news briefing

Streamed live on Nov 15, 2017
The attorney for Roy Moore, the candidate for the Alabama seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, holds a press conference following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Moore.

Alabama seniors say Roy Moore’s alleged actions were normal back then (HBO)

Mark Levin: People of Alabama should decide if they believe the accusations against Roy Moore

Ben Shapiro: Roy Moore needs to go

What Pisses Me Off About Roy Moore and Stupid F&%king Republicans

Judge Roy Moore Sexual Misconduct Allegations | True News

On The Sean Hannity Show, Newt Gingrich says a “lynch mob” is after Roy Moore

Live Stream: #Pedowood Predators, Pervs, Pedophiles and Pederasts Are Tolerated But Trump’s Reviled

How reliable is your memory? | Elizabeth Loftus

TED

Published on Sep 23, 2013

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It’s more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

Mother Of Roy Moore Accuser Spills The HOAX By Accident! – Several Facts Turned Out To Be FAKED

WaPo REPORTER Beth SECRETLY RECORDED OFFERING WOMAN $1000 TO ACCUSE ROY MOORE

Mark Levin REVEALS The Truth About Judge Roy Moore Allegations! You Will Cheer!

As McCain Leads The Charge Against Moore, LOOK What SICKENING Secret From His Past EXPOSED

Mitch McConnell Handling Of Past Sex Scandal A Warning For Roy Moore | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

USA: SENATOR BOB PACKWOOD SCANDAL UPDATE

Bob Packwood Resigns from Senate

Woman Explains Why She Falsely Accused Her Dad Of Sexual Assault As A Child

Dr. Drew: Child abuse at the core of virtually all societies’ problems

Dr. Drew on staggering impact of sexual abuse

Tom Arnold talks about his childhood of abuse

CNN: CNN anchor Don Lemon talks coming out, abuse

Candace Conti: Former Jehovah’s Witness Takes on Church over Sex Abuse Allegations

What happens to a child after he/she suffers sexual abuse?

Roy Moore maintains lead in another new Senate poll

Roy Moore, left, and Doug Jones. (AL.com file photos)
Roy Moore, left, and Doug Jones. (AL.com file photos)
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5.1kshares

Republican nominee Roy Moore continues to find support in polling in the aftermath of sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

Fox 10/Strategy Research poll released Tuesday night showed Moore with a six-point lead over Democrat Doug Jones.

The poll, according to Fox 10, sampled 3,000 likely voters on Monday with Moore getting 49 percent of the vote, Jones 43 percent and 8 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percent.

Even with that edge, the poll indicated Moore has lost almost half of his support. A Fox 10 poll two weeks ago showed Moore with an 11-point lead. Moore’s support among Republicans also dropped 8 percent.

The poll also said that 11 percent of participants said they were less likely to vote for Moore because of the allegations made against him while 35 percent said it made them more likely to vote for him.

The allegations also did not alter the thinking of a majority of the undecided voters. Of those who have not made up their mind, 51 percent said that the allegations would not be a deciding factor while 44 percent said it made them less likely to vote for Moore.

An Emerson College poll, released Monday, had Moore with a 10-point lead. Five other polls conducted since the allegations were publishedlast week either had Jones winning or within the margin of error.

One other poll, conducted by an official from earlier Moore campaigns and presented exclusively to Moore-favoring Breitbart News, had the former Alabama chief justice leading by 11 points.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roy_moore_maintains_lead_in_an.html

Women supporting Roy Moore not concerned whether he dated teens

Dean Young and other Roy Moore supporters appear at a press conference in Montgomery on Nov. 16, 2017. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

Two women who joined longtime Roy Moore ally Dean Young at a press conference today said they aren’t concerned whether Moore sought dates with teenage girls when he was a county prosecutor in his early 30s, some four decades ago.

Moore has strongly denied the two most serious allegations against him – a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and an assault on a 16-year-old.

But Moore did not clearly deny dating teenage girls when he was in his early 30s in an interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Moore did, in an open letter to Hannity, say that he did not date “underage” girls.

AL.com and the Washington Post have published stories about women who said Moore dated them or asked them on dates when they were ages 16-18 and he was in his 30s.

Click here for AL.com’s coverage of Roy Moore.

Kay Day, 69, of Theodore, who joined Young at today’s news conference, said that doesn’t necessarily bother her and won’t affect her support for Moore, who faces Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 in the U.S. Senate election.

Day said she was 18 when she began dating her husband, who was 32 at the time. They got married in 1963.

“My mother married at 15 and married a man 14 years older than her,” Day said. “In that day, if you married someone that was 15 years older, it was common.”

“Even if it were so, that would not make me not vote for Judge Moore. That is just not something that would make me discredit and ruin a man for the rest of his life.”

Day, who grew up in Tennessee, said she began following Moore’s career during his legal battles over displays of the Ten Commandments.

“And I continue to follow him and have for 20 years, and devastated by what they would say about Judge Moore because I’ve known him for so long and been with him,” Day said. “Gentleman. Never heard anything come out of his mouth that would even give me an inkling. Never crossed my mind. Perfect gentleman.”

Dee Owens, 75, who came to Montgomery from Mobile today to join Young for the press conference, said she would not be bothered to learn that Moore dated teenage girls in his early 30s.

“Not in the least because that’s all right with me,” Owens said. “When I was young I dated a gentleman that was 22 years older than me and my parents didn’t have a problem with it. And mothers back then actually wanted their daughters to marry men that were older. They felt they would be taken care of.”

“I believe like he does,” Owens said. “And like the Ten Commandments, he stood up. He will stand for what’s right. Not like the RINOs we have in Washington. And definitely I’ll vote for him. And everybody I know, all my friends are voting for him.”

Young, who ran for a Congress last year and in 2013, is a regular presence at Moore rallies and press conferences and has known Moore since the early 1990s.

Moore said the campaign is working to debunk allegations against the candidate and will prevail against what he called the fake news media, elitist Republican establishment in Washington and the Democrats.

“Now they have all this endless parade of people who have never said anything for 40 years say that a man that you, Alabamians have watched for 25 years,” Young said. “You’ve watched him stand for what’s right, for what’s good and what’s just and what’s fair.”

Young aimed much of his criticism at Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who backed Sen. Luther Strange in his primary loss to Moore and has said he believes Moore’s accusers and that Moore should get out of the race.

Young also criticized attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Beverly Young Nelson, 56, who accused Moore of assaulting her in his car outside the Gadsden restaurant where she worked when she was 16. Moore has strongly denied the allegation.

Moore’s attorney, Phillip Jauregui, has challenged Allred to submit Nelson’s high school yearbook for examination by handwriting analysts. Nelson claims Moore signed the yearbook.

Allred said they would only allow the yearbook to be examined if the Senate Judiciary Committee or Select Committee on Ethics conducts a hearing on Nelson’s allegation. She said Nelson is willing to give testimony under oath and Moore should do the same.

Young pointed out that Allred declined to answer directly when asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN if the yearbook signature was a forgery.

“Is this a real signature?” Young said. “She won’t even answer that question.”

Owens said efforts by the national Republican establishment to derail Moore’s campaign in Alabama have made her more determined than ever to support him.

“I would like to go to Washington with a big stick,” Owens said.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/women_supporting_roy_moore_not.html

The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom

Abstract

Although memory can be hazy at times, it is often assumed that memories of violent or otherwise stressful events are so well-encoded that they are largely indelible and that confidently retrieved memories are likely to be accurate. However, findings from basic psychological research and neuroscience studies indicate that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. In the courtroom, even minor memory distortions can have severe consequences that are in part driven by common misunderstandings about memory, e.g. expecting memory to be more veridical than it may actually be.

Introduction

Pioneers in neuroscience such as Ramón y Cajal, Hebb, and Marr introduced the idea that memory is encoded in the patterns of synaptic connectivity between neurons. Increases in the strengths of these synapses encode our experiences and thereby shape our future behavior. Our understanding of the complex mechanisms that underlie learning and memory has progressed dramatically in recent decades, and studies have not provided evidence that memories are indelible. Quite the contrary, it is becoming clear that there are several ways through which memories can change.

The ‘imperfection’ of memory has been known since the first empirical memory experiments by Ebbinghaus1, whose famous ‘forgetting curve’ revealed that people are unable to retrieve roughly 50% of information one hour after encoding. In addition to simple forgetting, memories routinely become distorted27. The public perception of memory, however, is typically that memory is akin to a video recorder8 (Box 1). This distinction between the perception and reality of memory has important consequences in the context of the courtroom. In the legal system, like among the general public, it is generally assumed that memory is highly accurate and largely indelible, at least in the case of ‘strong’ memories.

Recently, some regional jurisdictions, such as New Jersey10,11, Massachusetts12, Texas13, and North Carolina14 have implemented procedural changes designed to mitigate effects of memory biases and to best preserve accurate memories of eyewitnesses. However, the legal system writ large has been slow to adapt to research findings on memory, even though these findings have implications not only for eyewitness testimony, but also for how jurors remember and weigh evidence. Interest in the research of memory processes and their relevance to the courtroom has increased since the advent of DNA evidence, which has exonerated hundreds of individuals who were falsely convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony. …

Conclusions

Memory is imperfect and is susceptible to distortion and loss. There are adaptive reasons for generalization and forgetting7. Indeed, Luria’s famous report of the mnemonist S.85 readily shows how an inability to forget can severely impair normal functioning. In addition, the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the occurrence of distortions in memory also allow memories to be updated and strengthened. Unfortunately, in the courtroom ‘memory’ is often misunderstood and undue assumptions are made about its veridicality.

Thus, there needs to be greater education and awareness of memory processes in judicial settings and in daily life. Society would benefit from a better understanding of what factors affect memory accuracy and of their complexity and potentially counter-intuitive nature. Secondly, the legal system needs to reevaluate the probative value of memory. Witnessing a potentially traumatic event does not produce an unbiased, indelible memory of the event. Memory is an adaptive process based on reconstruction. It works well for what it is intended — guiding current and future behaviour. However, it is not infallible, and therefore should not be treated as such. For these reasons, some have argued that the legal system should not convict individuals on eyewitness testimony alone, but rather should require corroborative evidence83,86. Lastly, more research ought to be carried out on the complex mechanisms that underlie memory so that we can better understand its limits, improve its reliability, and detect when it has gone awry.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183265/

Eyewitness memory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eyewitness memory is a person’s episodic memory for a crime or other dramatic event that he or she has witnessed.[1] Eyewitness testimony is often relied upon in the judicial system. It can also refer to an individual’s memory for a face, where they are required to remember the face of their perpetrator, for example.[2] However, the accuracy of eyewitness memories is sometimes questioned because there are many factors that can act during encoding and retrieval of the witnessed event which may adversely affect the creation and maintenance of the memory for the event. Experts have found evidence to suggest that eyewitness memory is fallible.[1] It has long been speculated that mistaken eyewitness identification plays a major role in the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals. A growing body of research now supports this speculation, indicating that mistaken eyewitness identification is responsible for more convictions of the innocent than all other factors combined.[3][4][5] The Innocence Project determined that 75% of the 239 DNA exoneration cases had occurred due to inaccurate eyewitness testimony. It is important to inform the public about the flawed nature of eyewitness memory and the difficulties relating to its use in the criminal justice system so that eyewitness accounts are not viewed as the absolute truth.[6]

Encoding

During the event

Challenges of identifying faces

People struggle to identify faces in person or from photos, a difficulty arising from the encoding of faces.[7] When participants were given a basic memory test from an array of photos or a lineup, they struggled to accurately identify the images and had low recognition. This finding provides a starting point for estimating the accuracy of eyewitnesses’ identification of others involved in a traumatic event. It can only get more challenging for a person to accurately encode a face when they are experiencing a traumatic event.[7] Because courts rely on eyewitness facial recognition, it is important to acknowledge that identification is not always accurate.[8] Face-specific cognitive and neural processes show contributions to holistic processing and recognition in the episodic memories of eyewitnesses.[9] Unreliability of eyewitness identifications may be a result of mismatching between how faces are holistically processed and how composite systems retrieve features in faces during an event.[10]

Other-race effect

The other-race effect (i.e. the own-race bias, cross-race effect, other-ethnicity effect, same-race advantage) is one factor thought to impact the accuracy of facial recognition. Studies investigating this effect have shown that a person is better able to recognize faces that match their own race but are less reliable at identifying other more unfamiliar races, thus inhibiting encoding.[11] Various explanations for this effect have been proposed. The perceptual expertise account suggests that with an increase of exposure to one’s own race, perceptual mechanisms develop which allow people to be more proficient at remembering faces of their own race.[12] The socio-cognitive account predicts that motivational and/or attentional components over focus on the race of a person.[12] Another hypothesis is that each race pays attention to certain facial details to differentiate between faces.[13] However, other races might not encode these same features. A final suggestion is that faces of the same race are encoded more deeply, leading a witness to have a more detailed memory for those faces; but there has not been much research to support this hypothesis. Research on the other race effect has mainly focused on the African American and Caucasian races. Most research has shown that white eyewitnesses exhibit the other-race effect, however this effect does extend to other races too.[13] In general, memory is an individual process and that conceptualization of race causes racial ambiguity in facial recognition. Mono-racial eyewitnesses may depend on categorization more than multiracial eyewitnesses, who develop a more fluid concept of race.[14] Perception may affect the immediate encoding of these unreliable notions due to prejudices, which can influence the speed of processing and classification of racially ambiguous targets. The ambiguity in eyewitness memory facial recognition can be attributed to the divergent strategies that are used when under the influence of racial bias. It should be noted this phenomenon is not limited to race. Stereotypes of any kind (whether they be related to age, gender, etc.) can affect the encoding of information at the time of the event. For example, if one is held at gunpoint by two individuals, one of whom is a man and the other is a woman wearing a hat, the victim may quickly fall back on the belief that men are more likely to be aggressors. Consequently, the victim may encode the situation as involving two male assailants, yielding problematic effects in the process of identifying the assailants later on.

Stress and trauma

Stress or trauma during an event can affect the encoding of the memory.[15] Traumatic events may cause memory to be repressed out of conscious awareness.[16] An inability to access the repressed memory is argued to occur in cases involving child sexual abuse. Another way encoding a memory can be affected is when the person involved in a traumatic event experiences dissociation; he or she mentally removes themselves from the situation, which may serve as a coping mechanism. Lastly, trauma may induce a flashbulb effect; the witness believes they vividly remember significant details of a salient event, although accuracy must be determined of such memories .[15] In legal settings the mental state of an individual at both witnessing a crime and in testimony can affect the success of their memory retrieval. Stress in small amounts is thought to aid memory, whereby stress hormones released by the amygdala promote the consolidation of emotional memories.[17] Nevertheless, stress in high amounts may hinder memory performance. Witnesses of severe crimes or trauma can suffer from further implications, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)[18] or even Psychogenic Amnesia.[19]

Post traumatic stress disorder

Explicit memory (used in legal testimony) is affected by post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD); individuals diagnosed with PTSD can struggle to recall explicit events from their memory, usually those which are especially traumatic events. This may be due to the individual preferring not to think about the unpleasant memory, which they may rather forget. Implicit memory, on the other hand, does not seem to be affected in the same way that explicit memory does, rather some individuals with PTSD may score higher on implicit memory tests than non-PTSD individuals.[18]

Psychogenic amnesia

Psychogenic amnesia (or dissociative amnesia) can affect explicit memory for a particular event.[19] Most often cases of psychogenic amnesia occur after witnessing an extremely violent crime or trauma, such as war.[20]

Mood-congruency effect

Everyday memory can be affected by factors such as stress or mood. The ‘mood congruency’ effect refers to memory being aided by a matching of mood at the encoding/learning stage to the retrieval stage. If a memory is encoded under stressfull conditions it may be more likely that the memory is better recalled if stress levels at retrieval are congruent to stress levels at encoding. Mood congruency may affect a witnesses ability to recall a highly stressful crime, if conditions of encoding and retrieval are different.[20] Moderate amounts of stress may be beneficial to memory by the release of corticosteroids. Conversely, too much stress (and therefore an extreme influx of corticosteroids) can affect function of the hippocampus and therefore hinder memory. Very high levels of corticosteroid release may be very detrimental for memory.[21]

Weapon focus

The weapon focus effect suggests that the presence of a weapon narrows a person’s attention, thus affects eyewitness memory.[22] A person focuses on the central detail (for example, the weapon) and loses focus on the peripheral details (for example, the perpetrator’s characteristics). While the weapon is remembered clearly, the memories of the other details of the scene suffer.[22] The weapon focus effect occurs because additional items require more visual attention, therefore they are frequently not processed. This increased focus of attention on central aspects takes away attentional resources from peripheral details. For example, if a gun was brought into a school, it would attract significant amount of attention, because students are not used to seeing that item. When participants were watching a slideshow, and were seeing an unusual stimulus item, their reaction times were slower (regardless whether the stimulus was dangerous) in comparison to reaction times for more frequent stimulus. When the item was dangerous (i.e. a weapon), participants had a lower accuracy and confidence than the control group’s.[23] Another hypothesis is that seeing a weapon might cause an aroused state. In an aroused state, people focus on central details instead of peripheral ones.[24]

Interference

The testimony of a witness can lose validity due to too many external stimuli, that may affect what was witnessed during the crime, and therefore obstruct memory. For example, if an individual witnesses a car accident on a very public street, there may be too many cues distracting the witness from the main focus. Numerous interfering stimulus inputs may suppress the importance of the stimulus of focus, the accident. This can degrade the memory traces of the event, and diminish the representation of those memories. This is known as the cue-overload principle.[25]

After the event

Because memory is subject to contamination, the most reliable test of a memory is the initial test.[26] Police procedures can reduce the effects of contamination on memory with proper testing protocols.[26]

Misinformation effect

Witnesses can be subject to memory distortions that can alter their account of events. It is of particular interest that the memory of an eyewitness can become compromised by other information, such that an individual’s memory becomes biased. This can increase eyewitnesses sensitivity to the misinformation effect. Individuals report what they believe to have witnessed at the time of the crime, even though this may be the result of a false memory. These effects can be a result of post-event information.[27] It is very important to provide witnesses with helpful response options on memory tests and to be warned of misleading influences that might affect how the memory of the event is recalled at a later time.[28] Many employees, police force workers, and others are trained in post-warning in order to reduce influences on the misinformation effect, which can be predicted before crime. In their studies, many researchers use eyewitnesses to study retrieval-blocking effects, which interfere with a witness’ ability to recall information.[29] Misleading information prior to the event can also influence misinformation effects. Other studies also address how the misinformation effect seems to amplify over increasing recall.[30] Discussing events and being questioned multiple times may cause various versions of the testimonies. However, the earliest records prove to be the most accurate due to a minimized misinformation effect.

Unconscious transference

Many mistaken identifications are the result of unconscious transference, or the inability to distinguish between the perpetrator and another person who was encountered in a different context.[31] In many of these cases, the culprit is confused with a different person who was present at the crime scene. Implicit processing takes place during the event, in which the witness encodes the general features of innocent bystanders, creating a sense of familiarity. At retrieval, this familiarity could cause people who were merely present in the crime scene to be confused with the culprit.[31] After viewing a video of a crime involving a thief and two innocent bystanders, participants were asked to identify the perpetrator from a lineup including the three persons present in the video and three other people never before encountered. Most participants falsely identified an innocent person from the lineup. Furthermore, participants were more likely to misidentify one of the two innocent confederates in the video than one of the three unfamiliar people.[31] Unconscious transference occurs in this instance when the witness misattributes his or her sense of familiarity of the perpetrator to a bystander.[32] This confusing effect of familiarity is found in the mug shot procedure as well.[33] The presentation of mug shot arrays alone does not seem to influence identification accuracy. However, this presentation can be influential if the police lineups include individuals who were earlier featured in the mug shot array. Individuals appearing in police lineups that also appeared in previous photo arrays may be identified as quickly as identifying the actual target. Therefore, in cases where a suspect is identified from mug shots following a line-up, it is uncertain whether the line-up identification is a result of the recognition of the perpetrator or of the detection of a person seen previously in mug shots.[33]

Retrieval

Lineups

police lineup is a method for an eyewitness to identify a perpetrator by viewing a series of photos, or a live group of suspects.[22] One possible outcome of a lineup is that the eyewitness can correctly identify the criminal. Another outcome is that the eyewitness can correctly state that the criminal is not in the lineup. A third option is that the eyewitness can fail to recognize that the culprit is present. Lastly, the eyewitness can incorrectly select another suspect. The ideal result is to correctly identify the offender, and the worst outcome is to mistakenly identify an innocent.[22]

Police role in lineup

There are specific guidelines for police to follow when administering a lineup, to reduce bias in the lineup and increase the accuracy of eyewitness judgements.[22] Police must reduce the pressure that eyewitnesses feel to select a criminal from an array of photos or persons. They should make sure that the eyewitness is aware that the perpetrator might not be in the lineup. Also, police should conduct a double blind procedure that does not allow them to see the lineup. This prevents police from giving the eyewitness any information, intentional or not, about who in the lineup is a police suspect. It also prevents the police from giving any feedback to the eyewitness. Feedback can produce a false confidence in the witness’ selection. When overseeing a lineup, the police can use speed of recognition to determine the validity of the identification. If the witness quickly identifies the perpetrator, then the selection is more likely to be correct.[22]

Style of lineup

sequential lineup presents a witness with a series of photos one at a time, requiring the participant to identify if each photo matches his/her memory before moving forward.[34] The witness does not know how many photos are in the group. In a simultaneous lineup, the photos or suspects are viewed together. Sequential lineups produce fewer identifications, since they are more challenging, and require absolute judgement. This means that the decision regarding the matching of the memory to the photo is independently made. On the other hand, a simultaneous lineup requires relative judgement, as the decision is not independent of the other possibilities. An absolute judgment is a judgment that requires the person to be 100 percent certain in their choice where a relative judgment is when someone makes up their mind based on what looks the closest. However, researchers such as Dr. Gary Wells from Iowa State University claim “during simultaneous lineups, witnesses use relative judgment, meaning that they compare lineup photographs or members to each other, rather than to their memory of the offender.”[35] Sequential lineups have been preferred historically, seeing as they do not rely on relative judgment. However, recent data suggests the preference for sequential lineups over simultaneous lineups may not be empirically supported. Individuals who participate in sequential lineups are less likely to make a selection at all, regardless if the selection is accurate or not. This suggests the sequential lineup fosters a more conservative shift in criterion to make a selection rather than an increased ability to pick the true perpetrator. Consequently, further research is needed before offering recommendations to police departments.[36]

Size of lineup

Lineup members should have diverse characteristics so that lineups are not biased toward or against the suspect. If the appearance of a person stands out amongst the otherwise indistinctive crowd, then an eyewitness is more likely to select that person regardless of their own recollection of the criminal. According to Schuster (2007), the suspect, if he is in the in person lineup or in a picture lineup, should not stand out from the others in the lineup. People’s eyes are drawn to what is different. If you make sure that all the men or women in the pictures have a similar appearance, have the same background in their picture, race, age, and are wearing the same or similar clothing, just to name a few, then the risk of getting a false positive will decrease. Thus, this lineup is suggestive.[37] Fillers should be added to the lineup in order to depict a broad spectrum of characteristics,[38] but must match any known description of the offender. If lineup members do not all match the known description of the offender then the lineup is biased toward the suspect.[39] Biased lineups have been shown to increase misidentifications, particularly in target-absent lineups.[40] Increasing the nominal size of a lineup (the actual number of suspects that are compiled) often decreases the potential for a wrong selection. Functional size also plays a role in lineup bias. Functional size is the reciprocal of the fraction of mock witnesses that choose the suspect from a lineup.[41] For example, in a lineup of nominal size 5, if 15 out of 30 mock witnesses (randomly chosen individuals that did not experience the offence) choose the suspect, the functional size of the lineup is the reciprocal of 15/30, which is 30/15, or 2. So although the lineup has 5 members, functionally it only has 2. Effective size is the number of probable suspects. Police use these three numbers to evaluate a lineup.[38]

Viewpoints

Many studies, as well as police procedures, are dependent on photo lineups or police lineups where the eyewitness views the suspects from a distance. This procedure is done in an attempt to eliminate suspects and identify the perpetrator. These types of lineups allow only small degrees of visual information for the eyewitness, such as limited viewing angles, which restrict the level of detail compared to a computerized virtual lineup where witnesses can see the targets from multiple angles and distances. One might anticipate that examination of the suspects from unlimited viewpoints would allow for better recognition cues, than when compared to limited views. However, unlimited visual information may be disadvantageous and counterproductive if the information offered at the time of retrieval was not actually present at the time of memory encoding.[42] For example, if an eyewitness only saw the face of the perpetrator from one angle, seeing the lineup participants from other viewpoints might be distracting. Other studies have demonstrated that unlimited viewpoints do improve accuracy in police lineups.[42] It should also be noted that the eyewitness accuracy improves when the distance between the suspect and witness matches the distance during the initial witnessing of the crime.[43]

Retroactive interference

Another phenomenon that may interfere with an eyewitness’ memory is retroactive interference. This occurs when new information is processed that obstructs the retrieval of old information.[44] A common source of interference that may occur after the event of a crime is the reporting of the crime. Police investigations include questioning that is often suggestive. The processing of new information may disrupt or entirely replace old information.[45] If a police officer has reason to believe that a suspect is guilty the interrogator’s bias can influence the eyewitness’ memory. The interrogators can also put pressure on witnesses causing them to want to select a perpetrator from a police lineup. Eyewitnesses are often unsuspecting of the interrogator bias and believe their memories to be uncontaminated.[46]

Co-witness contamination

The presence of a co-witness can often contaminate memories.[47] When witnesses confer about an event they can end up agreeing on an incorrect narrative. Research has found that 71% of witnesses changed their eyewitness accounts to include false components that their co-witnesses remembered.[48] This makes it very difficult to reconstruct the actual account of an event. To prevent this effect, police should separate witnesses as early as possible before the reporting of the event. Unfortunately this is difficult, especially if the police do not get involved immediately after the event. Police should inform witnesses of the possibility of contamination as soon as possible. Witnesses should be interviewed as soon as possible with police noting if the witnesses have compared accounts. Once the accounts have been recorded, police should make notes of similarities or differences that could point to contaminated details or facts. [49]

Confidence

A witness identifying a suspect can make a decision with little or great confidence. Level of confidence varies between different witnesses and situations. There are two types of confidence: confidence in a witness’ own ability to make an identification (prior to viewing a police lineup) and confidence in having made an accurate identification or accurate rejection. It must be considered that memories are normally vulnerable to multiple influences and prone to distortions and deceptions: “they are never constant and never result in fully accurate representations [and] these changes occur without us being aware of them.”[50] As a consequence, the witness’ confidence in his/her ability to make a correct identification should not be used to assess the accuracy of identification. Witnesses should be asked to attempt identifications even if their confidence is low. Confidence ratings after identification of a suspect is a better ( but not perfect) predictor.[51]

In many experiments, witnesses are asked to rate their confidence in their decision after making an identification from a lineup. A number of psychologists have investigated factors that might affect the confidence accuracy relationship. In a recent review of 15 experiments, suspect identifications made with high confidence were, on average, 97 percent accurate.[26] On the other hand, witnesses who report low confidence are highly suggestive of inaccurate identification. University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett analyzed trial materials for 161 DNA exonerated individuals and found that in 57 percent of those cases, it was possible to determine that, in the initial (uncontaminated) memory test, the eyewitnesses were, at best, uncertain.[26]

The optimality hypothesis states that factors influencing the optimality of information processing also influence the reliability of the confidence estimate. During situations in which information processing conditions are less than optimal (e.g. the perpetrator is disguised or duration of exposure is brief) witnesses’ performance during identification decreases and they are less confident in their decision. The confidence accuracy correlation is thus estimated to be stronger in situations of optimal information processing such as longer exposure time, and weaker under conditions that are not optimal.[52]

Certain factors affect identification accuracy without influencing confidence whereas other factors influence confidence without having an effect on identification accuracy. Reconstructive processes in memory (i.e. the influence of post-event information on stored memories) can influence identification accuracy while not necessarily affecting confidence. Social influence processes (i.e. committing to a decision) might have an effect on confidence judgements while having little to no effect on the accuracy of the identification.[53]

Interviews

The method of conducting an interview has great implication on the accuracy of the testimony. When the person being interviewed is forced to provide more information, he/she is more likely to engage in confabulation.[54] For example, when participants were shown a video and instructed to answer all questions (answerable and unanswerable) about its content, they often fabricated information.[54] When prodded too much to remember something, people often fall upon false memories. This effect is also seen in hypnosis: when people intensely try and are guided to remember something, they may end up mistaking a vivid imagination as a memory.[55]

Cognitive interview technique

Researchers have developed a strategy, entitled the cognitive interview technique, to elicit the most accurate eyewitness memory.[56] In this preferred protocol for conducting interviews, the interrogator should make the witness feel comfortable, ask open-ended questions, and grant the witness freedom in describing the event.[22] In addition, the interviewer should encourage the witness to exhaust his/her memory by reinstating the context of the event, recalling the events in different orders, and viewing the event scene from different perspectives.[22]

Suggestibility

Distortions in a witness’s memory can be induced by suggestive questioning procedures.[57] Asking eyewitnesses to repeatedly retrieve information in multiple interviews may enhance memory because the event is being rehearsed many times or, as in many cases, increase suggestibility. Misleading information offered by the investigators may attract more attention than the originally encoded information, so the witness’ memory of the event is altered to include erroneous details suggested during the interview.[57] In addition, repeating questions could make the witness feel pressured to change his or her answer or elaborate on an already-given response with fabricated details.[58] Open-ended questioning can reduce the level of retrieval-enhanced suggestibility because the witness is not subjected to testing manipulation by the interviewer.[57]

Contextual reinstatement

Contextual reinstatement is a common technique used to help eyewitnesses remember details about a specific environment– reviewing the initial environment in which the original information was encoded. Taking a witness back to the scene where the event occurred, for example, will help facilitate the accuracy in identifying perpetrators. Reinstatement is thought to improve recall as it provides memory retrieval cues. Research has demonstrated that pairing faces of suspects or words with contextual cues at the scene of the crime will enhance performance on recognition tasks.[59][60] Therefore, it seems practical that these results can be applied to eyewitness identification. Methods commonly used to examine context reinstatement include photographs of the environment/scene, mental contextual reinstatement cues, and guided recollection. Studies show that re-exposing participants to the crime scene does enhance performance in facial recognition.[61] There were also notable effects for context reinstatement where improvement on correct identifications while increasing false alarms. Reports also show that the magnitude of improvement via context reinstatement increased in lifelike situations compared to laboratory studies.[62]

Experimental context

An alteration of context was found to be one of the most important predictors of recognition accuracy. Such changes in experimental context have been shown to have effects similar to transformations in appearance, such as disguises. Criminal identifications can be influenced by a change in context. Investigators must account for the fact that encountering an acquaintance that we usually see in one context, such as work place, alters memory generalizability when compared to encountering the same acquaintance in another environment that acts like an unassociated context, such as a grocery store. The changes in environment make it difficult to identify this acquaintance.[62] Initially, the individual might seem familiar but because this person is not in the normal context, it might be difficult to place the face and recall the name. Researchers have begun to implement procedures for reinstating the context surrounding a specific event in an attempt to improve identification accuracy. Reinstating the crime scene is often not possible. Sometimes, however it is possible to have eyewitnesses imagine and thus mentally reinstate the surroundings with imagery instructions and other mnemonic devices.[62] In some instances, objects from the crime scene such as guns or clothing can be used additionally to help reinstate the context. Such methods have successfully shown to improve reliability and accuracy of eyewitness recall.

Verbal overshadowing effect

The process of describing a face entails thinking about its features independently, but people process faces configurally (as a whole, encoding the features in relation to one another).[63] So, the process of describing the face often impairs the memory of it—this is the verbal overshadowing effect. A verbal overshadowing effect typically refers to the negative effect on memory recall as a result of giving a verbal description of a visual object. For example, a witness who gives a verbal description of a face is likely to have subsequent impaired recognition for that face.[64] However, Perfect et al. (2002) predicted that the verbal overshadowing effect would also be seen in voice recognition; that is that verbally describing a voice should also impair subsequent recognition of that voice. They predicted this because they argued that voices were difficult to articulate and so it is likely they would be vulnerable to the verbal overshadowing effect. This was found to be the case. Moreover, a dissociation between accuracy and confidence was observed. Participants’ confidence that they had identified the correct voice in the audio-lineup was not influenced by the verbal overshadowing effect; in other words, verbal overshadowing had the effect of decreasing earwitnesses’ recognition ability but without their knowledge.[65]

Child testimony

Most of the research on eyewitness memory has involved adults, despite the fact that it is not uncommon for children to have been involved in a crime or to have been the central witness of a crime. Statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service[66] revealed that 1,116 children under the age of 10 were witnesses to a crime in England and Wales in 2008/9.

Children’s testimony refers to when children are required to testify in court after witnessing or being involved in a crime. In situations where a child is the main witness of a crime, the result of the hearing is dependent on the child’s memory of the event. And there are several important issues associated with eyewitness memory of children. For example, the accuracy of the child’s explanation, in such situations, coupled with how well the child can identify the setting of the crime and the individuals involved in the crime, influence the credibility of the child’s testimony. Whilst research shows that it is possible for children to provide relevant and accurate forensic information, they appear less reliable than adult witnesses and like all witnesses, can create false memories.[67][68]

Moreover, children often have a limited vocabulary, a desire to please the officer, or difficulty answering questions because of trauma.[68] Using early childhood memories in eyewitness testimony can also be challenging because for the first 1–2 years of life, brain structures such as the limbic system, which holds the hippocampus and the amygdala and is involved in memory storage,[69] are not yet fully developed.[70] Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of 3–4 years, but that these memories decline as children get older (see childhood amnesia).[71][72]

Children can be involved in testimony not only when they are witnesses, but also when they are victims. There have been several cases of children recovering false memories of childhood abuse.[73] Children as especially suggestible[74] and in cases of recovered memories, is hard to determine whether the recovered memory is accurate or imagined. Due to the sensitivity of these cases, strategic interviewing is implemented for children, which may result in the validity of the memory to suffer. Strategic interviewing must be assessed with sensitivity on an individual bases and without leading questions, as they may influence the child’s answer.[75] Additional influences may include individuals surrounding the child prior to, and during the hearing. If children hear new information from such individuals, studies show that children will more than likely agree with what the others said – regardless of the child’s initial opinion.[76]

Studies on children show that the average child is at greater risk for memory loss, due to the brain’s immaturity and plasticity, when compared to an average adult.[21] Poorer memory performance in young kids was shown when youth of different ages were asked to recall a doctor’s visit.[15] Children aged 3–5 answered with much less accuracy than individuals aged 6–15, indicating developmental differences in memory capacity. Furthermore, it has been shown that information encoded and stored in memory is dependent on the extent of knowledge regarding the event. That is, if a child is exposed to an event that he or she knows little about, their memory of the event will not be as accurate when compared to a child who is more knowledgeable on event-related topics.[77] These results of increased sensitivity, suggestibility and memory loss in children lead one to question the competency of a child to serve as an eyewitness. Researchers have determined that a child should be considered a competent witness if he or she has the capacity to observe, communicate, produce sufficient memories, differentiate truth from lies, and understand the obligation to tell the truth.[15] However, the same caution that is taken with all eyewitnesses should be taken with child testimony, as all eyewitness testimonies are prone to inaccuracies.[3][4][5]

Intellectual ability and testimony

Individuals with intellectual disabilities are at a higher risk for sexual abuse and exploitation because they are often dependent on others and uneducated or physically incompetent in ways of self-protection.[78] Therefore, much research has been devoted to investigating the accountability of these individuals in eyewitness testimonies. When a group of adults chosen by the Developmental Disabilities Association was compared to a control group of college students, they performed equally well when a target was absent from a lineup. However, the control group were better at recognizing when a target was present in a lineup, leading to the determination that people with intellectual disabilities are more suggestible and likely to confabulate.[78] Children with intellectual disabilities show similar patterns in their eyewitness accounts. After watching a video of a crime, children with these disabilities performed worse than non-disabled kids of the same age on free recall, open-ended questions, and both general and specific misleading questions.[79] These children performed better than the age-matched control group only on leading questions with yes or no answers, suggesting that they are more likely to acquiesce in the interview.[79] These findings indicate that individuals with intellectual disabilities could be considered competent witnesses if interrogated in a non-leading manner.

Eidetic memory

Individuals who are said to possess eidetic memories are thought to hold to an image in mind for longer and with more accuracy than the average individual.[80] But evidence for eidetic memory is limited, and there is no evidence for photographic memory or a memory being an exact replica of an event. The memories of those who claim to have superior eidetic memories are just as flawed as the memories of individuals who have normal mnemonic abilities;[81] people who claim to have photographic memories are not immune to flawed eyewitness testimony. Witnesses who believe that they are able to retrieve an accurate mental photograph will also be much more confident in their account of the event and may influence the trial outcome.[80] Accuracy recall of such visual scenes is a controversial issue. In the past, eidetikers were believed to have extremely accurate recall for visual displays, but modern research findings might reveal a different story. Some research demonstrates that eidetic children have greater recall accuracy for visual details compared to non-eidetic children. Other researchers have failed to find any advantage between the two groups. It is also hypothesized that eidetic imagery is not exactly related to memory and improves recall for visual details. As such, photographic memory is not useful in the courtroom.[82]

The frequency of eidetic imagery is low in adults and shows greatest frequency in early child development.[83] In fact, it is almost non-existent past the age of 7. When procedures are used to classify eidetic memory separate from the characteristic of afterimage and memory image, a small number of children are classified as true eidetikers. These children are still suggestible; their eyewitness testimonies may still have error.

Earwitness memory

Research investigating earwitness memory has only recently emerged from the shadow of the extensively investigated phenomena of eyewitness memory and eyewitness testimony, despite having been in use within the English justice system since the 1660s.[84][85]Earwitness memory refers to a person’s auditory memory for a crime or incriminatory information they have heard.[86] Much of the research which has been conducted on earwitness memory focuses on speaker recognition, otherwise known as voice recognition, whilst there is less research which investigates memory for environmental sounds.[87] The majority of the literature on voice and face recognition finds a robust face advantage; compared to voice recognition, face recognition appears to be the stronger pathway, with most individuals finding it much more difficult to recall a voice compared to recalling a face.[88][89][90]

Eyewitness vs. earwitness accuracy

A substantial proportion of the literature into witness testimony finds a robust recall advantage for visual stimuli compared to auditory stimuli. We seem to have a profound memory advantage for visual objects and scenes whilst being poorer at remembering auditory information.[91] This therefore has clear implications for eyewitness and earwitness memory; what is seen should be more likely to be remembered than what is heard by a witness. This finding can be extended to faces and voices; within the person recognition literature, it has been found that individuals are far better at identifying a person by their face as opposed to their voice.[92][93][94]

Non-verbal memory: environmental sound

Researchers define environmental sounds as those that are either animate, inanimate, artificial or natural; sounds produced by real events as opposed to machine-generated sounds; sounds that are more complex than laboratory-produced sounds and those that are dynamic and convey a sense of activity.[95][96] Examples include the ring of a doorbell, coughing, rain, a car engine, a railroad crossing signal, and so on. Such environmental sounds are important sources of information and provide us with knowledge of our surroundings.

Research has found that recall for environmental sounds can be dependent upon the storage and retrieval of verbalizable interpretations. In one study, individuals heard a selection of ambiguous environmental sounds and attempted to label each sound as they were presented. A week later, individuals labelled the sounds again and it was found that re-labelling the sounds subsequently caused individuals to perform much better in the recognition test. Recognition of environmental sounds therefore appears dependent upon labeling both at input and in the test phase, either when labels are created by subjects as they hear the sounds, or when labels are generated by the experimenter and presented to subjects.[97] More recent research has found that it is possible to memorize the loudness of an environmental sound.[98] However it is important to remember that a lot of research investigating environmental sound and memory recall is conducted in a laboratory setting and so has limited ecological validity and generalizability.

Verbal memory: voice recognition

Compared to memory recall for faces, voice recall appears to be significantly more vulnerable to interference.[94][99] These consistent findings suggest that earwitness memory is far more vulnerable to the effects of interference compared to eyewitness memory;[100]although the weight placed on eyewitness memory in court should also be carefully considered as there is much evidence to suggest its fallibility.[101][102] For example, some studies have found that eyewitness identification can be impaired by effects such as the weapon focus effect or verbal overshadowing.[103][104] Nevertheless, voice recognition appears to be the pathway most significantly impaired by interfering factors.

Face overshadowing effect

A face overshadowing effect is often found to occur, whereby individuals’ voice recognition performance is impaired with the co-presentation of a face.[105] Visual information therefore appears to have the ability to significantly interfere with the recall of auditory information. However, research has investigated whether earwitness memory is impaired to the same extent when the face of the one speaking is concealed in some way. Research shows that when a face is covered, with a balaclava for instance, accuracy for voice identification slightly improves; however a face overshadowing effect still exists despite the earwitness being able to see fewer facial features.[106]

Pitch of voice

Voice pitch has also been identified as a factor that can affect voice recognition performance. Individuals are likely to exaggerate their memory for pitch; upon hearing a high pitched voice in an initial presentation (such as the perpetrator’s voice in a crime), individuals are likely to choose an even higher-pitched voice in the test phase (audio line-up). Similarly, upon hearing a low-pitched voice, they are likely to remember the voice as being even lower in pitch when voices are presented in an audio line-up.[107] Comparable cognitive functions seem to operate when individuals attempt to remember faces; ambiguity surrounding the ethnicity or gender of faces is likely to result in the individual’s recall of faces to be exaggerated with regards to ethnic and gender-related features. Researchers call this the accentuation effect.[108] It is suggested that voice pitch, alongside other ‘surface properties’ of speech such as speech content,[109] are instantaneously encoded into memory.[110] This contrasts with auditory features such as amplitude and speaking rate, of which there is contrary evidence about whether they are automatically encoded into memory.[111]

Other-accent effect

There is evidence to suggest that witnesses may find it harder to identify a perpetrator’s voice if the perpetrator speaks the witness’s native language with an accent compared to without one. It is thought that more cognitive effort is required to process a non-native speaker’s voice. This is because a ‘cost’ is placed on the listener, with accented voices violating the ‘speech schema’ the listener is familiar with in their own geographic region. Therefore, listeners may be required to expend more effort in order to recognize and distinguish the non-native speaker’s phonetic segments and words.[112][113]

An accent also has the potential to interfere with the witness’s ability to recognize the perpetrator’s appearance. It has been found that when witnesses are asked to recall a perpetrator, the perpetrator’s physical appearance is remembered less well when they have an accent compared to when they do not. This appears the case with different accents, speech content and how long a listener is exposed to the speaker. One proposed explanation for why accents can negatively affect the recall of visual information and eyewitness memory draws from Wickens’ (2002; 2008) multiple resource theory.[114][115] Wickens’ theory suggests that attentional resources are separated into distinct ‘pools’. Only visual and auditory tasks have access to visual and auditory attentional resources, respectively. However, when a task arises which requires the use of attentional resources from both modalities, this leads to competition for resources, in turn leading the inability to accomplish one or both tasks or resulting in poorer performance. Therefore, fewer general resources may have been available in order to encode and remember the perpetrator’s appearance after witnesses had used attentional resources for the processing of the accented voice and speech content.[113]

Direct hearing vs. devices

Whilst many earwitness accounts are attained directly and ‘in-the-moment’, many will be acquired over a telephone or over other communication devices. Whether the earwitness hears a conversation or other auditory information in person or hears it over a communication device could impact their rate of accuracy. However, contrary to this prediction, research has found no significant differences between the accuracy of voice identification when the voice was heard directly or over a mobile phone, despite the sound quality seeming poorer in the latter.[116]

Emotion

Researchers have also investigated to what extent the distinctiveness of a voice, such as heightened emotion, can aid or impair an individual’s recollection of it. There is evidence that faces are better remembered if they display emotion compared to when they appear neutral; in one study healthy control participants remembered more accurately happy faces than they did neutral faces.[117] Likewise, a host of studies have found that memories that are more emotional in nature are more complex and are less likely to be forgotten compared to memories that are more neutral.[118][119] It therefore seems logical for researchers to explore whether auditory material which is emotional in nature is also remembered better. Research has produced conflicting results. Bradley and Lang (2000) found that there was a memory advantage for auditory material when it was more emotional compared to when it was more neutral.[120] The authors also found that participants’ physiological activity when they listened to emotionally arousing sounds was very similar to the physiological arousal produced when they were shown emotional images. However, studies investigating emotion in voices have found no significant differences between recall rates for emotional voices and neutral voices, with some research even demonstrating that emotion can impair memory recall for the voice. For instance, it was found that angry voices were recalled to a lesser extent compared to if they were neutral in tone.[121] This finding has been supported by other studies which have also found that rather than enhancing voice identification, emotion may significantly interfere with it.[122] However it is important to remember that ethical guidelines will confine the levels of emotionality that are appropriate to be induced in participants in a laboratory study environment.

Time-delay

The amount of time between when an individual hears incriminatory information or the voice of their perpetrator, for instance, and the time they are required to recall the auditory information as an earwitness can affect their recall accuracy rate. Memory for auditory information including voice recognition appears to decline over time; studies have found that participants can recall more correct auditory information immediately after the initial presentation than after a four-day time interval, supporting several other studies finding similar results. Furthermore, the extent to which the time-interval affects memory recall for auditory information depends upon whether the witness just heard the auditory information of whether it was accompanied by visual information too, such as the face of the perpetrator. One study has found that recall is enhanced when both auditory information is heard and visual information is seen, as opposed to just hearing auditory information. Still, when individuals are asked to remember the voice and the speech content, they are only likely to have remembered the gist of what has been said as opposed to remembering verbatim.[123][124] This clearly has implications for the amount of weight that is placed upon earwitness testimony in court. Earwitnesses are not typically required to give statements or recall a voice or auditory information immediately after an event has occurred, but instead are required to recall information after a time-delay. This could significantly impair the accuracy of their recall. The testimonies of those who have only heard the voice of a suspect compared to a witness who has both seen the face and heard the voice of a suspect should also be treated with extreme caution in court.[125]

Children’s earwitness memory

It is of critical importance that research into children’s earwitness memory is also conducted in order to secure justice for child victims and witnesses. Compared to adult earwitness memory, the area of child earwitness memory has been largely neglected. In one of few studies comparing adult and child earwitnesses, Öhman, Eriksson & Granhag (2011) found that only children in the older age-group of 11–13 years performed at above chance levels for voice recognition, compared to the younger-age group of children (aged 7–9) and adults. They suggest that under the age of 10 a child may be overwhelmed by the cognitive demands of the task and so do not perform above chance levels on the task. Meanwhile, adults made the highest percentage (55%) of false identifications. They also found that voice pitch level and speaker rate was highly correlated with children’s but not adults’ false identification rates.[67] Overall however, the results confirmed other studies which have also shown that in general, earwitness performance for unfamiliar voices is poor.[126]

Other research found that children aged 11 to 13 years old who were tested very shortly after exposure to a voice made more correct identifications compared with children who were tested after a time interval of two weeks. This was found not to be the case for adult witnesses.[127]

Auditory memory in blind individuals

It has been suggested that blind individuals have an enhanced ability to hear and recall auditory information in order to compensate for a lack of vision.[128] However, whilst blind adults’ neural systems demonstrate heightened excitability and activity compared to sighted adults, it is still not exactly clear to what extent this compensatory hypothesis is accurate.[129] Nevertheless, many studies have found that there appears to be a high activation of certain visual brain areas in blind individuals when they perform non-visual tasks. This suggests that in blind individuals’ brains, a reorganization of what are normally visual areas has occurred in order for them to process non-visual input. This supports a compensatory hypothesis in the blind.[130][131][132]

Enhancement

Research has investigated how to improve the accuracy of earwitness performance. One study investigated whether an interview called a Cognitive Interview would improve adult or child (11–13 years) voice recognition performance or speech content recall if it was administered immediately after the event. It was predicted that a cognitive interview would improve the likelihood of witnesses making a correct identification and improve recall of speech content, whether immediately after the event of after a time-delay and regardless of age. It was also predicted that adults would recall more content than children, because other studies have indicated that children provide less detail than adults during free recall.[133] However, results revealed poor correct identification rates, regardless of the type of interview earwitnesses had received (19.8%), as well as high false identification rates; 38.7% of participants incorrectly identified an innocent suspect. It did not seem to matter if an interview had been conducted shortly after the event or not. Moreover, there did not seem to be any difference between children and adults in terms of the number of suspects they correctly identified by their voice. Many researchers would suggest that this furthers the case for children (aged 11–13) to be thought of as equally capable of proving potentially helpful earwitness accounts within court settings.[134]

Example

In 1984, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino selected Ronald Cotton from both a photographic line-up and later a physical line-up as her rapist, leading to his conviction of rape and burglary and a sentence of life in prison plus fifty-four years. Ronald Cotton spent eleven years in prison due to faulty eyewitness memory before DNA evidence exonerated him in 1995. Despite Jennifer’s strong intent to study her rapist’s features during the traumatic event for the purpose of identifying him afterward, she fell victim to encoding limitations at the time of the assault. Jennifer undoubtedly experienced a great degree of stress on the night of her assault with a knife pressed to her neck and a feeling of absolute powerlessness. “There in my memory, at the knife-edge of fear, time distorted”.[135] She also fell prey to factors after the incident that affected the accuracy of her recall. Even if memories are correctly encoded at the time of the event, interference and decay can alter these memories in negative ways. The simple passage of time entails memory loss, and any new information presented between the time of the crime and testimony can interfere with a witness’s recall. When Jennifer was asked to identify her perpetrator from a series of photographs, she was told by officers that she should not feel compelled to make an identification. However, Jennifer’s faith in the legal system led her to believe that the police must have had a suspect to warrant her participation in photographic identification. And when Jennifer selected the photo of Ronald, the police told her she did great. It should be noted the photograph of Jennifer’s true rapist, Bobby Poole, was not included in the lineup. The positive feedback Jennifer received allowed her to begin incorporating details from the photograph into her memory of the attack. The fact that Jennifer took five minutes to study the pictures before she selected Ronald Cotton’s photo also allowed Jennifer ample opportunity to encode Ronald’s face as her assailant and thereby interfere with her original memory. The photographs were presented simultaneously, allowing Jennifer to compare the photographs to each other as opposed to her memory of the event. As a result, when she was later asked to choose her assailant from a physical line-up, Jennifer saw Ronald in her memory and thus chose him. The police further solidified her choice by telling her “We thought that might be the guy…it’s the same person you picked from the photos.”.[136] As a result, the authorities viewed Jennifer as the ideal eyewitness, one who was motivated to remember the face of her assailant during the event and subsequently confident in her identification of the target. Unfortunately, the level of confidence in an eyewitness’ recall is not associated with accuracy of identification. The eyewitness’ confidence in his or her recall is, however, strongly associated with the jury’s belief in the accuracy of the eyewitness’ testimony, thus increasing the risk of assigning guilty verdicts to innocent individuals.[137] In conclusion, unconscious transference essentially contaminated Jennifer’s memory. Even after Jennifer learned of Ronald’s innocence, she still saw his face in her memory of the attack years later. It wasn’t until she met with Ronald face-to-face and he gave her his forgiveness did she begin to see Ronald for himself rather than as her assailant, thus beginning a remarkable and unexpected friendship.

References

 

Story 2: Will The Senate Pass A Tax Reform Bill?– NO — Videos —

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Recite Al Jazeeri: Arthur Laffer

Senators Gather to Tout Tax Reform Bill

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Reagan Budget Director Stockman Thrashes GOP Tax Bill as ‘Ideological Imposter’ of ‘81 Bill

Senate Republicans unveil their tax plan

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Mark Levin: The House and Senate bill on taxes are not serious tax reform plans and should fail!

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The Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017, Story 1: President Trump’s Address to South Korea’s National Assembly — Great Speech — Americans and Koreans Loved It — Every Breath You Take — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Tells It Like It Is — Does Not Blame China For Hugh Trade Deficits But Past Administrations — Videos — Story 3: Republican Party Senate Bill Wants To Delay Tax Cuts To 2019 Instead of Cutting Spending Now — Need New Political Party Advocating Balanced Budgets, Broad Based Consumption Tax,and Term Limits — Voters Will Stay Home Election Day, November 6, 2018 If Congress Does Not Completely Repeal Obamacare and Enact Fundamental Reform of Tax System — Videos — Story 4: Alabama Republican Candidate for Senator, Roy Moore, Accused of Sexual Misconduct in 1979 — Desperate Democratic Dirt — Let The Voters of Alabama Decide — Accusations Are Not Evidence — Videos

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 8, 2017.

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The Police – Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
Oh can’t you see
You belong to me
My poor heart aches
With every step you take
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Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
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With every step you take
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Every move you make
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
I’ll be watching you
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
(Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
Songwriters: Gordon Sumner

 

Full Text of President Trump’s Remarks to the South Korean National Assembly


U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 8, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 8, 2017.

November 07, 2017

Remarks by President Trump to the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea | Seoul, Republic of Korea

National Assembly Building

Seoul, Republic of Korea

11:24 A.M. KST

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Assembly Speaker Chung, distinguished members of this Assembly, ladies and gentlemen: Thank you for the extraordinary privilege to speak in this great chamber and to address your people on behalf of the people of the United States of America.

In our short time in your country, Melania and I have been awed by its ancient and modern wonders, and we are deeply moved by the warmth of your welcome.

Last night, President and Mrs. Moon showed us incredible hospitality in a beautiful reception at the Blue House. We had productive discussions on increasing military cooperation and improving the trade relationship between our nations on the principle of fairness and reciprocity.

Through this entire visit, it has been both our pleasure and our honor to create and celebrate a long friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea.

This alliance between our nations was forged in the crucible of war, and strengthened by the trials of history. From the Inchon landings to Pork Chop Hill, American and South Korean soldiers have fought together, sacrificed together, and triumphed together.

Almost 67 years ago, in the spring of 1951, they recaptured what remained of this city where we are gathered so proudly today. It was the second time in a year that our combined forces took on steep casualties to retake this capital from the communists.

Over the next weeks and months, the men soldiered through steep mountains and bloody, bloody battles. Driven back at times, they willed their way north to form the line that today divides the oppressed and the free. And there, American and South Korean troops have remained together holding that line for nearly seven decades. (Applause.)

By the time the armistice was signed in 1953, more than 36,000 Americans had died in the Korean War, with more than 100,000 others very badly wounded. They are heroes, and we honor them. We also honor and remember the terrible price the people of your country paid for their freedom. You lost hundreds of thousands of brave soldiers and countless innocent civilians in that gruesome war.

Much of this great city of Seoul was reduced to rubble. Large portions of the country were scarred — severely, severely hurt — by this horrible war. The economy of this nation was demolished.

But as the entire world knows, over the next two generations something miraculous happened on the southern half of this peninsula. Family by family, city by city, the people of South Korea built this country into what is today one of the great nations of the world. And I congratulate you. (Applause.) In less than one lifetime, South Korea climbed from total devastation to among the wealthiest nations on Earth.

Today, your economy is more than 350 times larger than what it was in 1960. Trade has increased 1,900 times. Life expectancy has risen from just 53 years to more than 82 years today.

Like Korea, and since my election exactly one year ago today, I celebrate with you. (Applause.) The United States is going through something of a miracle itself. Our stock market is at an all-time high. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. We are defeating ISIS. We are strengthening our judiciary, including a brilliant Supreme Court justice, and on, and on, and on.

Currently stationed in the vicinity of this peninsula are the three largest aircraft carriers in the world loaded to the maximum with magnificent F-35 and F-18 fighter jets. In addition, we have nuclear submarines appropriately positioned. The United States, under my administration, is completely rebuilding its military and is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to the newest and finest military equipment anywhere in the world being built, right now. I want peace through strength. (Applause.)

We are helping the Republic of Korea far beyond what any other country has ever done. And, in the end, we will work things out far better than anybody understands or can even appreciate. I know that the Republic of Korea, which has become a tremendously successful nation, will be a faithful ally of the United States very long into the future. (Applause.)

What you have built is truly an inspiration. Your economic transformation was linked to a political one. The proud, sovereign, and independent people of your nation demanded the right to govern themselves. You secured free parliamentary elections in 1988, the same year you hosted your first Olympics.

after, you elected your first civilian president in more than three decades. And when the Republic you won faced financial crisis, you lined up by the millions to give your most prized possessions — your wedding rings, heirlooms, and gold “luck keys” — to restore the promise of a better future for your children. (Applause.)

Your wealth is measured in more than money — it is measured in achievements of the mind and achievements of spirit. Over the last several decades, your scientists of engineers — have engineered so many magnificent things. You’ve pushed the boundaries of technology, pioneered miraculous medical treatments, and emerged as leaders in unlocking the mysteries of our universe.

Korean authors penned roughly 40,000 books this year. Korean musicians fill concert halls all around the world. Young Korean students graduate from college at the highest rates of any country. And Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth. (Applause.)

fact — and you know what I’m going to say — the Women’s U.S. Open was held this year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and it just happened to be won by a great Korean golfer, Sung-hyun Park. An eighth of the top 10 players were from Korea. And the top four golfers — one, two, three, four — the top four were from Korea. Congratulations. (Applause.) Congratulations. And that’s something. That is really something.

Here in Seoul, architectural wonders like the Sixty-Three Building and the Lotte World Tower — very beautiful — grace the sky and house the workers of many growing industries.

citizens now help to feed the hungry, fight terrorism, and solve problems all over the world. And in a few months, you will host the world and you will do a magnificent job at the 23rd Olympic Winter Games. Good luck. (Applause.)

The Korean miracle extends exactly as far as the armies of free nations advanced in 1953 — 24 miles to the north. There, it stops; it all comes to an end. Dead stop. The flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins.

Workers in North Korea labor grueling hours in unbearable conditions for almost no pay. Recently, the entire working population was ordered to work for 70 days straight, or else pay for a day of rest.

Families live in homes without plumbing, and fewer than half have electricity. Parents bribe teachers in hopes of saving their sons and daughters from forced labor. More than a million North Koreans died of famine in the 1990s, and more continue to die of hunger today.

Among children under the age of five, nearly 30 percent of afflicted — and are afflicted by stunted growth due to malnutrition. And yet, in 2012 and 2013, the regime spent an estimated $200 million — or almost half the money that it allocated to improve living standards for its people — to instead build even more monuments, towers, and statues to glorify its dictators.

What remains of the meager harvest of the North Korean economy is distributed according to perceived loyalty to a twisted regime. Far from valuing its people as equal citizens, this cruel dictatorship measures them, scores them, and ranks them based on the most arbitrary indications of their allegiance to the state. Those who score the highest in loyalty may live in the capital city. Those who score the lowest starve. A small infraction by one citizen, such as accidently staining a picture of the tyrant printed in a discarded newspaper, can wreck the social credit rank of his entire family for many decades.

An estimated 100,000 North Koreans suffer in gulags, toiling in forced labor, and enduring torture, starvation, rape, and murder on a constant basis.

In one known instance, a 9-year-old boy was imprisoned for 10 years because his grandfather was accused of treason. In another, a student was beaten in school for forgetting a single detail about the life of Kim Jong-un.

Soldiers have kidnapped foreigners and forced them to work as language tutors for North Korean spies.

In the part of Korea that was a stronghold for Christianity before the war, Christians and other people of faith who are found praying or holding a religious book of any kind are now detained, tortured, and in many cases, even executed.

North Korean women are forced to abort babies that are considered ethnically inferior. And if these babies are born, the newborns are murdered.

One woman’s baby born to a Chinese father was taken away in a bucket. The guards said it did not “deserve to live because it was impure.”

So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?

The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported aboard as slaves. They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea.

To attempt to flee is a crime punishable by death. One person who escaped remarked, “When I think about it now, I was not a human being. I was more like an animal. Only after leaving North Korea did I realize what life was supposed to be.”

And so, on this peninsula, we have watched the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history. It is a tale of one people, but two Koreas. One Korea in which the people took control of their lives and their country, and chose a future of freedom and justice, of civilization, and incredible achievement. And another Korea in which leaders imprison their people under the banner of tyranny, fascism, and oppression. The result of this experiment are in, and they are totally conclusive.

When the Korean War began in 1950, the two Koreas were approximately equal in GDP per capita. But by the 1990s, South Korea’s wealth had surpassed North Korea’s by more than 10 times. And today, the South’s economy is over 40 times larger. You started the same a short while ago, and now you’re 40 times larger. You’re doing something right.

Considering the misery wrought by the North Korean dictatorship, it is no surprise that it has been forced to take increasingly desperate measures to prevent its people from understanding this brutal contrast.

Because the regime fears the truth above all else, it forbids virtually all contact with the outside world. Not just my speech today, but even the most commonplace facts of South Korean life are forbidden knowledge to the North Korean people. Western and South Korean music is banned. Possession of foreign media is a crime punishable by death. Citizens spy on fellow citizens, their homes are subject to search at any time, and their every action is subject to surveillance. In place of a vibrant society, the people of North Korea are bombarded by state propaganda practically every waking hour of the day.

North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.

The more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime.

In this way, the very existence of a thriving South Korean republic threatens the very survival of the North Korean dictatorship.

This city and this assembly are living proof that a free and independent Korea not only can, but does stand strong, sovereign, and proud among the nations of the world. (Applause.)

Here, the strength of the nation does not come from the false glory of a tyrant. It comes from the true and powerful glory of a strong and great people — the people of the Republic of Korea — a Korean people who are free to live, to flourish, to worship, to love, to build, and to grow their own destiny.

In this Republic, the people have done what no dictator ever could — you took, with the help of the United States, responsibility for yourselves and ownership of your future. You had a dream — a Korean dream — and you built that dream into a great reality.

In so doing, you performed the miracle on the Hahn that we see all around us, from the stunning skyline of Seoul to the plains and peaks of this beautiful landscape. You have done it freely, you have done it happily, and you have done it in your own very beautiful way.

This reality — this wonderful place — your success is the greatest cause of anxiety, alarm, and even panic to the North Korean regime. That is why the Kim regime seeks conflict abroad — to distract from total failure that they suffer at home.

Since the so-called armistice, there have been hundreds of North Korean attacks on Americans and South Koreans. These attacks have included the capture and torture of the brave American soldiers of the USS Pueblo, repeated assaults on American helicopters, and the 1969 drowning [downing] of a U.S. surveillance plane that killed 31 American servicemen. The regime has made numerous lethal incursions in South Korea, attempted to assassinate senior leaders, attacked South Korean ships, and tortured Otto Warmbier, ultimately leading to that fine young man’s death.

All the while, the regime has pursued nuclear weapons with the deluded hope that it could blackmail its way to the ultimate objective. And that objective we are not going to let it have. We are not going to let it have. All of Korea is under that spell, divided in half. South Korea will never allow what’s going on in North Korea to continue to happen.

The North Korean regime has pursued its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of every assurance, agreement, and commitment it has made to the United States and its allies. It’s broken all of those commitments. After promising to freeze its plutonium program in 1994, it repeated [reaped] the benefits of the deal and then — and then immediately continued its illicit nuclear activities.

In 2005, after years of diplomacy, the dictatorship agreed to ultimately abandon its nuclear programs and return to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation. But it never did. And worse, it tested the very weapons it said it was going to give up. In 2009, the United States gave negotiations yet another chance, and offered North Korea the open hand of engagement. The regime responded by sinking a South Korean Navy ship, killing 46 Korean sailors. To this day, it continues to launch missiles over the sovereign territory of Japan and all other neighbors, test nuclear devices, and develop ICBMs to threaten the United States itself. The regime has interpreted America’s past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past.

Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us, and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty.

We did not choose to draw here, on this peninsula — (applause) — this magnificent peninsula — the thin line of civilization that runs around the world and down through time. But here it was drawn, and here it remains to this day. It is the line between peace and war, between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair. It is a line that has been drawn many times, in many places, throughout history. To hold that line is a choice free nations have always had to make. We have learned together the high cost of weakness and the high stakes of its defense.

America’s men and women in uniform have given their lives in the fight against Nazism, imperialism, Communism and terrorism.

America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it. History is filled with discarded regimes that have foolishly tested America’s resolve.

Anyone who doubts the strength or determination of the United States should look to our past, and you will doubt it no longer. We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated. And we will not let the worst atrocities in history be repeated here, on this ground, we fought and died so hard to secure. (Applause.)

That is why I have come here, to the heart of a free and flourishing Korea, with a message for the peace-loving nations of the world: The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times. (Applause.) The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation.

All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea — to deny it and any form — any form of it. You cannot support, you cannot supply, you cannot accept. We call on every nation, including China and Russia, to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions, downgrade diplomatic relations with the regime, and sever all ties of trade and technology.

It is our responsibility and our duty to confront this danger together — because the longer we wait, the greater the danger grows, and the fewer the options become. (Applause.) And to those nations that choose to ignore this threat, or, worse still, to enable it, the weight of this crisis is on your conscience.

I also have come here to this peninsula to deliver a message directly to the leader of the North Korean dictatorship: The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.

North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves. Yet, despite every crime you have committed against God and man, you are ready to offer, and we will do that — we will offer a path to a much better future. It begins with an end to the aggression of your regime, a stop to your development of ballistic missiles, and complete, verifiable, and total denuclearization. (Applause.)

A sky-top view of this peninsula shows a nation of dazzling light in the South and a mass of impenetrable darkness in the North. We seek a future of light, prosperity, and peace. But we are only prepared to discuss this brighter path for North Korea if its leaders cease their threats and dismantle their nuclear program.

The sinister regime of North Korea is right about only one thing: The Korean people do have a glorious destiny, but they could not be more wrong about what that destiny looks like. The destiny of the Korean people is not to suffer in the bondage of oppression, but to thrive in the glory of freedom. (Applause.)

What South Koreans have achieved on this peninsula is more than a victory for your nation. It is a victory for every nation that believes in the human spirit. And it is our hope that, someday soon, all of your brothers and sisters of the North will be able to enjoy the fullest of life intended by God.

Your republic shows us all of what is possible. In just a few decades, with only the hard work, courage, and talents of your people, you turned this war-torn land into a nation blessed with wealth, rich in culture, and deep in spirit. You built a home where all families can flourish and where all children can shine and be happy.

This Korea stands strong and tall among the great community of independent, confident, and peace-loving nations. We are nations that respect our citizens, cherish our liberty, treasure our sovereignty, and control our own destiny. We affirm the dignity of every person and embrace the full potential of every soul. And we are always prepared to defend the vital interests of our people against the cruel ambition of tyrants.

Together, we dream of a Korea that is free, a peninsula that is safe, and families that are reunited once again. We dream of highways connecting North and South, of cousins embracing cousins, and this nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.

Until that day comes, we stand strong and alert. Our eyes are fixed to the North, and our hearts praying for the day when all Koreans can live in freedom. (Applause.)

Thank you. (Applause.) God Bless You. God Bless the Korean people. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

https://www.voanews.com/a/text-of-trump-speech-to-south-korean-national-assembly-/4106294.html

Story 2: President Trump Tells It Like It Is — Does Not Blame China For Hugh Trade Deficits But Past Administrations — China Must Work On The Denuclearization of North Korea — Videos

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Here’s what’s in the Senate Republican tax plan

  • The Senate plan contains some key differences from the one working its way through the House.
  • The plan would chop the corporate tax rate and make broad tweaks to the individual tax system.

Jacob Pramuk | Ylan Mui

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate tax bill has seven tax brackets, say sources  

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a plan which would chop the corporate tax rate and make broad tweaks to the individual tax system. It contains key differences from a bill working its way through the House.

GOP senators contend the tax system overhaul will ease the burden on middle-income Americans while encouraging companies to boost hiring and wages.

Trimming the tax burden on businesses and individuals has long been a Republican goal. With unified control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, the GOP aims to pass a tax reform plan this year, despite lingering challenges.

Issues facing GOP lawmakers include budget deficits generated by the deep cuts, opposition from blue-state House Republicans and backlash from Democrats who say the proposals will not go far enough to help middle-class workers.

Here are some of the key features of the Senate plan, much of which was outlined by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • The proposal chops the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. It would delay the change until 2019, a source told CNBC. In the House bill, that measure would take effect next year.
  • The Senate plan would keep seven individual income tax brackets, a source told CNBC. A 12 percent bracket would replace the current 15 percent, while the top rate would get cut slightly to 38.5 percent. The House plan would reduce the number of brackets to four.
  • Like the House bill, the Senate proposal would nearly double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples.
  • The Senate plan would eliminate federal deductions for state and local taxes. The House bill also has this.
  • It would not change the mortgage interest deduction, which allows deductions on interest for up to $1 million in mortgage debt. The House bill caps that figure at $500,000.
  • It keeps popular tax breaks for 401(k) retirement accounts and charitable contributions.
  • It aims to reduce the burden on pass-through businesses by adding a deduction.
  • The Senate plan increases the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,650.
  • The proposal doubles the exemption for the estate tax, or so-called death tax, but does not eliminate it. The House plan repeals the estate tax after six years.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted Thursday to advance its tax bill. Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, made changes to the proposal ahead of the vote.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday said the full House would vote on the proposal next week.

Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee aims to start marking up, or debating and amending, a bill next week.

If the Senate and House pass separate tax bills, lawmakers will have to reconcile them. Republicans have set an end-of-the-year target to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

If three GOP senators oppose the plan, the chamber cannot pass it, assuming all Democrats and independents vote against it.

House lawmakers are searching for ways to reduce the budget deficits created by the bill to make it comply with budget rules. A tax proposal cannot add more than $1.5 trillion in deficits over 10 years under budget guidelines recently set by the Senate and House.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/09/senate-republicans-release-tax-reform-plan.html

 

Senate GOP plan would delay corporate tax cut, protect mortgage interest deduction

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on Nov. 9 that the tax process is “very complicated,” with senators, House members and President Trump all wanting different priorities included. (Jordan Frasier/The Washington Post)

 November 9 at 3:40 PM

Senate Republicans are forging their own path on the effort to overhaul the U.S. tax code, offering a plan Thursday that would delay President Trump’s top business priority and blow up House Republicans’ carefully crafted compromise on property tax deductions.GOP Senate leaders unveiled a tax package that would delay cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent until 2019. That’s a major departure from Trump’s insistence on immediate tax cuts that he says are necessary to spur the economy.The one-year delay would lower the cost of the tax bill by more than $100 billion, and negotiators are trying to preserve as much revenue as they can for other changes. But it could also delay companies moving back to the United States from overseas or prompt them to hold off on other decisions as they wait for the corporate rate to fall.It was one of many trade-offs that Senate leaders made as they tried to craft a bill that would lower taxes but also add no more than $1.5 trillion to the debt over 10 years. Still, a number of changes are expected to be made as lawmakers begin debating the measure next week. The bill as currently constructed does not comply with Senate rules that prohibit certain legislation from adding to the deficit after 10 years.This could force Republicans to make some of the taxcuts temporary, though those decisions have not yet been made.

From left: Republicans House SpeakerPaul Ryan, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Melina Mara/The Washington Post) (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Senate Republicans briefed White House officials on the one-year delay, and Trump administration officials said they would accept such a provision. To try to prod companies into expansion next year, the Senate bill would allow companies to immediately deduct all capital investments in 2018. Companies would be allowed to immediately expense these investments for five years.

The emerging Senate bill comes as the GOP’s broader tax cut effort comes into sharper focus. With the House likely to pass its version of the House bill as soon as next week, Republicans are making progress advancing Trump’s top legislative priority.

But before the tax cut bills can become law, the House and Senate must pass matching versions of the legislation, and a number of differences remain.

“We know we have more work yet to be done, but this is a historic step,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said. “Will there be some differences? Of course, that’s the legislative process. We welcome that.”

In a move that could cause major tension in the House, the Senate bill would prohibit Americans from deducting state and local income and property taxes from their federal bills, a change which could raise taxes overall for Americans in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, and Illinois.

The Senate’s approach to state and local deductions is at odds with the tax bill in the House, where Republicans settled on a compromise — scrapping some of the state and local deduction but still allowing a deduction of up to $10,000 on property taxes — after GOP lawmakers from high-tax states revolted against an initial House plan to scrap the deduction entirely.

The proposal to eliminate that deduction in both the Senate and House bill would only apply to individuals and families, while businesses would still be allowed to deduct state and local taxes, as these would be protected as a business expense. The discrepancy could further inflame Democrats, who have criticized the GOP tax cut effort as offering too many benefits for companies and stripping benefits away from individuals and families.

“Senate Republicans are doubling down on their gamble with middle class family budgets to pay for massive handouts to big corporations and tax cheats,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore).

The Senate bill also eliminates the personal exemption many Americans take to lower their taxable income, but it does expand the child tax credit and nearly doubles the “standard deduction.”

The Senate plan would also keep the mortgage interest deduction largely intact, capped at the current level of $1 million, according to a Republican official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. In the House bill, people would only be allowed to deduct interest payments on their first $500,000 worth of home loans, a proposal that generated fierce opposition from the housing industry.

The Senate bill would also make changes to the estate tax, a levy placed only on very large estates when they’re inherited from their deceased owner. The House bill would eliminate the estate tax, but the Senate bill would stop short of that. It would essentially double the size of estates that are exempt from being taxed, but it would not jettison the provision completely.

The Senate bill would also continue allowing people to deduct payments on student loan interest and to deduct some medical expenses — a provision dropped from the House plan that could lead to significantly higher taxes for many households, particularly for the elderly.

The Senate bill will propose to lower tax rates across income levels as a way to lower tax bills for most Americans, Senate Finance Committee aides said.

The package as currently constructed, however, has significant problems.

Senate Finance Committee aides said they planned to make adjustments to the legislation because it likely does not comply with Senate rules that prohibit certain bills from adding to the debt after 10 years. This could require them to allow the tax cuts to expire after a number of years.

Republicans control 52 votes in the 100-seat Senate, meaning they can only lose two members if they want to pass a bill without Democratic support. A 50-50 tie would go to Republicans, as Vice President Pence would cast the tiebreaking vote.

It’s because of that delicate majority that many White House officials expect a tax bill — if it eventually becomes law — to more closely resemble the Senate bill. Senate Republicans will work to resolve differences among themselves in the next few weeks, but major changes made in the House could upend any agreement.

Senate lawmakers also must grapple with strict rules that regulate how a tax-cut bill is designed. To use special Senate procedures to get around a filibuster from Democrats, Republicans must write a bill that does not add more than $1.5 trillion to the debt over 10 years.

Republicans, such as Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and James Lankford (Okla.), have said they would not support a tax plan that adds too much to the debt, creating a bloc of votes that would be able to kill the bill if they aren’t appeased.

House Republican leaders are facing difficult decisions as they try to advance their tax bill. On Thursday, House Ways and Means Committee Republicans voted to advance their bill out of committee. The vote, which clears the bill to advance to the House floor, included revisions meant to eliminate a $74 billion shortfall and address other issues complicating the bill’s passage.

To offset the various revenue-losing provisions introduced Thursday, House tax writers opted to increase tax rates on foreign assets moved back to the United States by multinational corporations. The previous five percent tax on fixed assets would rise to seven percent, while a 12 percent tax on cash held abroad would jump to 14 percent.

The House revisions would also direct further benefits to middle-class taxpayers. It would restore the Child Adoption Tax Credit left out of the previous version and allow for a deduction of moving expenses available to active-duty military members. The Child Adoption Tax Credit is also included in the Senate bill.

Other changes in the House bill are directed at businesses, including a further rate reduction for certain qualified “pass-through” firms that send their earnings to their owners to be taxed as individual income.

Another revision to the House bill that Brady released Thursday appears to dramatically change the rules on what sort of political activities a tax-exempt nonprofit organization may engage in. Language that applied only to religious organizations, giving them a freer hand to speak out on political campaigns, was broadened in the new amendment to include all 501(c) (3) organizations.

The stock market fell Thursday after The Washington Post reported that the Senate bill included a one-year delay, with investors worried that it could force companies to hold back expansion plans. But White House officials signaled they were willing to accept a one-year delay if it meant the bill would eventually become law.

There are other notable differences between the Senate and House bills.

In a break from the House plan, which kept the top marginal income tax rate at the current 39.6 percent, the Senate bill would slightly lower it to 38.5 percent — a win for advocates of supply-side economic theory who argue a lower top rate will grow the economy.

The Senate bill will retain seven income brackets for families, while the House bill proposes collapsing the existing seven brackets down to four.

The House bill would immediately cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, offer families a five-year “flexibility credit” of $300 per parent, and expand the child tax credit. It would also collapse the seven income tax brackets paid by families and individuals down to four brackets, only taxing income above $1 million at the highest rate of 39.6 percent.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/senate-gop-plan-would-delay-corporate-tax-cut-until-2019-breaking-with-trump/2017/11/09/92ea07ec-c55d-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.8e2bb4b399b9

Both the Senate and House tax bills would make the child tax credit more generous. While the Senate version is somewhat more favorable to the middle class, both would disproportionately favor high earners.CreditAndrew Burton/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, acknowledged on Friday that the Republican tax plan might result in a tax hike for some working Americans, saying he “misspoke” days earlier when he said that “nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase” under the Senate bill.

“I misspoke on that,” Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in an interview on Friday with The New York Times. “You can’t guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase, but what we are doing is targeting levels of income and looking at the average in those levels and the average will be tax relief for the average taxpayer in each of those segments.”

The Senate bill unveiled on Thursday would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families, according to a preliminary New York Times analysis. The plan would also disproportionately benefit high earners and corporations. Still, middle-class earners would fare better under the Senate proposal than its counterpart in the House, the analysis found.

The Senate Finance Committee bill would, on average, cut taxes for people at every income level. But, as Mr. McConnell alluded to in his revised remarks, those benefits would vary widely within income brackets, depending on the specific circumstances of individuals and households, and many would pay more than under existing rules.

Republican lawmakers have been in a dash to devise — and pass — a tax overhaul that would mark their most significant achievement since taking control of Congress. President Trump and Republican leaders have outlined two main objectives for the rewrite: cutting taxes for American businesses and for the middle class. The legislation reduces tax rates on individuals and businesses, while eliminating some tax breaks to make up for lost revenues. It is meant to accelerate economic growth and increase wages for workers.

Continue reading the main story

The Times analysis, using the open-source software TaxBrain, found that roughly one-quarter of families in the middle class would see their taxes increase in 2018, by about $1,000 on average. By 2026, the share seeing an increase would rise slightly, to about one-third, and the average increase would rise to about $1,600. For the majority of middle-class families that receive a tax cut, the average savings would be about $1,300 in 2018 and $1,700 in 2026.

HOW MUCH WOULD PEOPLE SAVE?

People across income brackets would see savings from the Senate plan in 2018. But for many in the middle class, the savings would be relatively small. The table below shows the average savings, by income, for those who would receive a tax cut.

  • Under $30,000:

    $180

  • $30,000-$50,000:

    $600

  • $50,000-$75,000:

    $976

  • $75,000-$100,000:

    $1,277

  • $100,000-$200,000:

    $2,113

  • $200,000-$500,000:

    $4,121

  • More than $500,000:

    $28,313

The Times analysis defines the middle class broadly as those earning between two-thirds and twice the median household income, or about $50,000 to $160,000 per year for a family of three. To focus on families, the analysis excluded individual filers and households headed by people 65 or older and is adjusted for the size of each household.

Under the House bill, The Times has found, about half of middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026.

The analysis did not seek to calculate how workers might benefit from a steep cut in the corporate tax rate, which both the Senate and House bills would reduce to 20 percent from a top rate of 35 percent today, or project how the bills might increase economic growth and, with it, Americans’ wages.

On Friday, the independent Tax Foundation released an analysis of the plan’s growth effects. It projected that the Senate bill would increase gross domestic product by 3.7 percent over the next decade and raise wages by 2.9 percent across the economy.

For taxpayers earning more than $1 million a year, the Senate bill offers a more limited upside and downside than the House bill.

The Senate bill is less likely than the House bill to yield tax increases for high-income Americans, in part because it cuts the top marginal personal tax rate, while the House bill creates a so-called “bubble rate” that would actually raise taxes on many high-salaried workers.

The Senate measure would also produce a smaller average tax windfall for high earners than the House version, in part by offering less generous benefits for owners of businesses known as pass-throughs, which are not organized as corporations.

Under the Senate plan, “Americans are especially likely to face a tax increase if they have a smaller family, have mostly wage income instead of investment income, or claim some of the many deductions that the bill repeals, like those for state and local taxes and employee business expenses,” said Lily Batchelder, a professor and tax specialist at New York University Law School, who worked on economic policy in the Obama administration. “They are increasing taxes on many in the middle class, while concentrating their tax cuts on the wealthy.”

The Senate bill appears much better for the very wealthy than it is for the somewhat wealthy. About half of families earning between two and three times the median income — or about $160,000 to $240,000 for a family of three — would pay more in 2018 than under existing law. But among the richest families, those earning more than about $500,000 for a family of three, nearly 90 percent would get a tax cut.

The findings come with an important caveat: The Senate bill, as written, appears unable to muster the 60 votes needed to avoid a Democratic filibuster, meaning Republicans will need to amend it to comply with the budget reconciliation rules and allow permit passage by a simple majority. Those changes could likely include putting expiration dates on some of the bill’s major provisions, which could make the final version of the bill look less favorable to the middle class, particularly in later years.

The Times’s figures are based on an analysis of Census Bureau data using a tax model from the Open Source Policy Center, a Washington research organization affiliated with the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. Because the analysis is based on publicly available data, not actual tax records, it may not capture all the intricacies of Americans’ household finances.

The Senate bill differs sharply from the House version in its approach to cutting taxes on businesses. But when it comes to taxes on individuals and families, the bills are more similar than different. Both would double the standard deduction while eliminating a raft of deductions and credits. Both would make the child tax credit more generous. Both would restructure federal income tax brackets to impose lower marginal tax rates at most income levels, although the Senate approach, unlike the House version, doesn’t eliminate two brackets entirely.

The Senate bill includes features that would make its plan more favorable to the middle class. It preserves some popular tax deductions and credits that the House bill initially would have eliminated, and it makes the child tax credit somewhat more generous and widely available. On the other hand, the Senate bill, unlike the House version, would eliminate the deduction for property taxes, which could lead to higher federal taxes for homeowners in areas with high property tax rates or expensive housing markets.

Aparna Mathur, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, said senators could improve the bill with further changes, such as expanding the earned-income tax credit and extending the benefits of the child tax credit to more low-income taxpayers. “We clearly need to do more to help the lowest-income families,” she said. “At the same time, we can engage in more base broadening for the highest-income households, perhaps by eliminating and not just capping the mortgage-interest deduction.”

The Times analysis found that roughly one-fifth of the Senate bill’s cuts in 2018 would go to families and individuals earning $1 million or more, and close to half would go to people earning at least $200,000. Between 10 million and 15 million taxpayers earning less than $100,000 a year would pay more than under existing law.

Families earning more than $1 million a year would see their after-tax income rise by about 1.7 percent in 2018 compared with what they would make under current law, nearly triple the gains enjoyed by those earning less than $200,000.

Over all, the Senate bill would cut individual income taxes by about $30 billion in 2018, and by $900 billion over the next decade, according to Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. And most people in all income groups would see a tax cut, although the cuts would be modest for most lower earners.

Story 4: Alabama Republican Candidate for Senator, Roy Moore, Accused of Sexual Misconduct in 1979 — Desperate Democratic Dirt — Let The Voters of Alabama Decide — Accusations Are Not Evidence — Videos

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 November 9 at 12:52 PM


Leigh Corfman, left, in a photo from 1979, when she was about 14. At right, from top, Wendy Miller around age 16, Debbie Wesson Gibson around age 17 and Gloria Thacker Deason around age 18. (Family photos)

Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.

It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”


This undated family photo shows Leigh Corfman with her mother, Nancy Wells, around 1979 when Corfman was about 14 years old. (Family Photo)

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.

Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.

Of the four women, the youngest at the time was Corfman, who is the only one who says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing. She says they did not have intercourse.

In a written statement, Moore denied the allegations.

“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore, now 70, said.

The campaign said in a subsequent statement that if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news.”

After The Post published this story Thursday afternoon, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and a handful of other GOP senators said Moore must step aside if Corfman’s account is true.

According to campaign reports, none of the women has donated to or worked for Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, or his rivals in the Republican primary, including Sen. Luther Strange, whom he defeated this fall in a runoff election.

Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them. She also was concerned that her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility.

“There is no one here that doesn’t know that I’m not an angel,” Corfman says, referring to her home town of Gadsden.

Corfman described her story consistently in six interviews with The Post. The Post confirmed that her mother attended a hearing at the courthouse in February 1979 through divorce records. Moore’s office was down the hall from the courtroom.

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.

“I have prayed over this,” Corfman says, explaining why she decided to tell her story now. “All I know is that I can’t sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed.”

This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up.

****

Moore was 30 and single when he joined the district attorney’s office, his first government job after attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, serving in Vietnam, graduating from law school and working briefly as a lawyer in private practice in Gadsden, the county seat.

By his account, chronicled in his book “So Help Me God,” Moore spent his time as a prosecutor convicting “murderers, rapists, thieves and drug pushers.” He writes that it was “around this time that I fashioned a plaque of The Ten Commandments on two redwood tablets.”

“I believed that many of the young criminals whom I had to prosecute would not have committed criminal acts if they had been taught these rules as children,” Moore writes.

Outside work, Moore writes that he spent his free time building rooms onto a mobile home in Gallant, a rural area about 25 miles west of Gadsden.

According to colleagues and others who knew him at the time, Moore was rarely seen socializing outside work. He spent one season coaching the Gallant Girls, a softball team that his teenage sister had joined, said several women who played on the team. He spent time working out at the Gadsden YMCA, according to people who encountered him there. And he often walked, usually alone, around the newly opened Gadsden Mall — 6 feet tall and well-dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt, say several women who worked there at the time.

Corfman describes herself as a little lost — “a typical 14-year-old kid of a divorced family” — when she says she first met Moore that day in 1979 outside the courtroom. She says she felt flattered that a grown man was paying attention to her.

“He was charming and smiley,” she says.

After her mother went into the courtroom, Corfman says, Moore asked her where she went to school, what she liked to do and whether he could call her sometime. She remembers giving him her number and says he called not long after. She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house.

“I was kind of giddy, excited, you know? An older guy, you know?” Corfman says, adding that her only sexual experience at that point had been kissing boys her age.

She says that it was dark and cold when he picked her up, and that she thought they were going out to eat. Instead, she says, he drove her to his house, which seemed “far, far away.”

“I remember the further I got from my house, the more nervous I got,” Corfman says.

She remembers an unpaved driveway. She remembers going inside and him giving her alcohol on this visit or the next, and that at some point she told him she was 14. She says they sat and talked. She remembers that Moore told her she was pretty, put his arm around her and kissed her, and that she began to feel nervous and asked him to take her home, which she says he did.

Soon after, she says, he called again, and picked her up again at the same spot.

“This was a new experience, and it was exciting and fun and scary,” Corfman says, explaining why she went back. “It was just like this roller-coaster ride you’ve not been on.”

She says that Moore drove her back to the same house after dark, and that before long she was lying on a blanket on the floor. She remembers Moore disappearing into another room and coming out with nothing on but “tight white” underwear.

She remembers that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back.

“I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman says.

She remembers thinking, “I don’t want to do this” and “I need to get out of here.” She says that she got dressed and asked Moore to take her home, and that he did.

The legal age of consent in Alabama, then and now, is 16. Under Alabama law in 1979, and today, a person who is at least 19 years old who has sexual contact with someone between 12 and 16 years old has committed sexual abuse in the second degree. Sexual contact is defined as touching of sexual or intimate parts. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

The law then and now also includes a section on enticing a child younger than 16 to enter a home with the purpose of proposing sexual intercourse or fondling of sexual and genital parts. That is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor in 1979 would have run out three years later, and the time frame for filing a civil complaint would have ended when the alleged victim turned 21, according to Child USA, a nonprofit research and advocacy group at the University of Pennsylvania.

Corfman never filed a police report or a civil suit.

She says that after their last encounter, Moore called again, but that she found an excuse to avoid seeing him. She says that at some point during or soon after her meetings with Moore, she told two friends in vague terms that she was seeing an older man.

Betsy Davis, who remains friendly with Corfman and now lives in Los Angeles, says she clearly remembers Corfman talking about seeing an older man named Roy Moore when they were teenagers. She says Corfman described an encounter in which the older man wore nothing but tight white underwear. She says she was firm with Corfman that seeing someone as old as Moore was out of bounds.

“I remember talking to her and telling her it’s not a good idea,” Davis says. “Because we were so young.”

A second friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing her job, has a similar memory of a teenage Corfman telling her about seeing an older man.

After talking to her friends, Corfman says, she began to feel that she had done something wrong and kept it a secret for years.

“I felt responsible,” she says. “I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad.”

She says that her teenage life became increasingly reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16.

As the years went on, Corfman says, she did not share her story about Moore partly because of the trouble in her life. She has had three divorces and financial problems. While living in Arizona, she and her second husband started a screen-printing business that fell into debt. They filed for bankruptcy protection three times, once in 1991 with $139,689 in unpaid claims brought by the Internal Revenue Service and other creditors, according to court records.

In 2005, Corfman paid a fine for driving a boat without lights. In 2010, she was working at a convenience store when she was charged with a misdemeanor for selling beer to a minor. The charge was dismissed, court records show.

****

This undated photo shows Gloria Thacker Deason when she was about 18. (Family photo)

The three other women who spoke to The Post say that Moore asked them on dates when they were between 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

Gloria Thacker Deason says she was 18 and Moore was 32 when they met in 1979 at the Gadsden Mall, where she worked at the jewelry counter of a department store called Pizitz. She says she was attending Gadsden State Community College and still living at home.

“My mom was really, really strict and my curfew was 10:30 but she would let me stay out later with Roy,” says Deason, who is now 57 and lives in North Carolina. “She just felt like I would be safe with him. . . . She thought he was good husband material.”

Deason says that they dated off and on for several months and that he took her to his house at least two times. She says their physical relationship did not go further than kissing and hugging.

“He liked Eddie Rabbitt and I liked Freddie Mercury,” Deason says, referring to the country singer and the British rocker.

She says that Moore would pick her up for dates at the mall or at college basketball games, where she was a cheerleader. She remembers changing out of her uniform before they went out for dinners at a pizzeria called Mater’s, where she says Moore would order bottles of Mateus Rosé, or at a Chinese restaurant, where she says he would order her tropical cocktails at a time when she believes she was younger than 19, the legal drinking age.

“If Mother had known that, she would have had a hissy fit,” says Deason, who says she turned 19 in May 1979, after she and Moore started dating.

This undated family photo shows Wendy Miller around the time she was 16. (Family photo)

Around the same time that Deason says she met Moore at the jewelry counter, Wendy Miller says that Moore approached her at the mall, where she would spend time with her mom, who worked at a photo booth there. Miller says this was in 1979, when she was 16.

She says that Moore’s face was familiar because she had first met him two years before, when she was dressed as an elf and working as a Santa’s helper at the mall. She says that Moore told her she looked pretty, and that two years later, he began asking her out on dates in the presence of her mother at the photo booth. She says she had a boyfriend at the time, and declined.

Her mother, Martha Brackett, says she refused to grant Moore permission to date her 16-year-old daughter.

“I’d say, ‘You’re too old for her . . . let’s not rob the cradle,’ ” Brackett recalls telling Moore.

Miller, who is now 54 and still lives in Alabama, says she was “flattered by the attention.”

“Now that I’ve gotten older,” she says, “the idea that a grown man would want to take out a teenager, that’s disgusting to me.”

This undated family photo shows Debbie Wesson Gibson when she was about 17. (Family photo)

Debbie Wesson Gibson says that she was 17 in the spring of 1981 when Moore spoke to her Etowah High School civics class about serving as the assistant district attorney. She says that when he asked her out, she asked her mother what she would say if she wanted to date a 34-year-old man. Gibson says her mother asked her who the man was, and when Gibson said “Roy Moore,” her mother said, “I’d say you were the luckiest girl in the world.”

Among locals in Gadsden, a town of about 47,000 back then, Moore “had this godlike, almost deity status — he was a hometown boy made good,” Gibson says, “West Point and so forth.”

Gibson says that they dated for two to three months, and that he took her to his house, read her poetry and played his guitar. She says he kissed her once in his bedroom and once by the pool at a local country club.

“Looking back, I’m glad nothing bad happened,” says Gibson, who now lives in Florida. “As a mother of daughters, I realize that our age difference at that time made our dating inappropriate.”

****

By 1982, Moore was by his own account in his book causing a stir in the district attorney’s office for his willingness to criticize the workings of the local legal system. He convened a grand jury to look into what he alleged were funding problems in the sheriff’s office. In response, Moore writes, the state bar association investigated him for going against the advice of the district attorney, an inquiry that was dismissed.

Soon after, Moore quit and began his first political campaign for the county’s circuit court judge position. He lost overwhelmingly, and left Alabama shortly thereafter, heading to Texas, where he says in his book that he trained as a kickboxer, and to Australia, where he says he lived on a ranch for a year wrangling cattle.

He returned to Gadsden in 1984 and went into private law practice. In 1985, at age 38, he married Kayla Kisor, who was 24. The two are still married.

A few years later, Moore began his rise in Alabama politics and into the national spotlight.

In 1992, he became a circuit court judge and hung his wooden Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom.

In 2000, he was elected chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, and he soon installed a 5,280-pound granite Ten Commandments monument in the judicial building.

In 2003, he was dismissed from the bench for ignoring a federal court order to remove the monument, and became known nationally as “The Ten Commandments Judge.”

Moore was again elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012, and was again dismissed for ignoring a judicial order, this time for instructing probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Roy Moore, a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, shared remarks at the Values Voter Summit on Oct. 13. (C-SPAN)

All of this has made Moore a hero to many Alabama voters, who consider him a stalwart Christian willing to stand up for their values. In a September Republican primary for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Moore defeated the appointed sitting senator, Luther Strange, who was backed by President Trump and other party leaders in Washington. Moore faces the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, in a special election scheduled for Dec. 12.

On a visit home in the mid-1990s to see her mother and stepfather in Alabama, Corfman says, she saw Moore’s photo in the Gadsden Times.

“ ‘Mother, do you remember this guy?’ ” Wells says Corfman said at the time.

That’s when Corfman told her, Wells recalls. Her daughter said that not long after the court hearing in 1979, Moore took her to his house. Wells says that her daughter conveyed to her that Moore had behaved inappropriately.

“I was horrified,” Wells says.

Years later, Corfman says, she saw a segment about Moore on ABC News’s “Good Morning America.” She says she threw up.

There were times, Corfman says, she thought about confronting Moore. At one point during the late 1990s, she says, she became so angry that she drove to the parking lot outside Moore’s office at the county courthouse in Gadsden. She sat there for a while, she says, rehearsing what she might say to him.

“ ‘Remember me?’ ” she imagined herself saying.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.4b18e033f463

 

Roy Moore’s full statement on teen sex encounter allegation

Roy Moore
Roy Moore ((Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com))

The Roy Moore campaign this afternoon released this statement in response to an article from The Washington Post claiming the U.S. Senate candidate had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when Moore was 32.

Here is the statement:

Today, the Judge Roy Moore Campaign for U.S. Senate issued a statement responding to yet another baseless political attack by the Washington Post, a paper that has endorsed Judge Moore’s opponent. Moore campaign chair Bill Armistead released the following statement on Thursday afternoon:

“Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today’s Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake.  National liberal organizations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last ditch Hail Mary.

Roy Moore accused of sexual encounter with teen in 1979

Roy Moore accused of sexual encounter with teen in 1979

Three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

“The Washington Post has already endorsed the Judge’s opponent, and for months, they have engaged in a systematic campaign to distort the truth about the Judge’s record and career and derail his campaign.  In fact, just two days ago, the Foundation for Moral Law sent a retraction demand to the Post for the false stories they wrote about the Judge’s work and compensation.  But apparently, there is no end to what the Post will allege.

“The Judge has been married to Kayla for nearly 33 years, has 4 children, and 5 grandchildren.  He has been a candidate in four hotly-contested statewide political contests, twice as a gubernatorial candidate and twice as a candidate for chief justice.  He has been a three-time candidate for local office, and he has been a national figure in two ground-breaking, judicial fights over religious liberty and traditional marriage.  After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now. 

“Judge Roy Moore is winning with a double-digit lead.  So it is no surprise, with just over four weeks remaining, in a race for the U.S. Senate with national implications, that the Democratic Party and the country’s most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind.

“This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”

On Thursday, Judge Moore called the allegations by the Post “completely false and a desperate political attack.”

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roy_moores_full_statement_of_t.html

Doug Jones: “Roy Moore needs to answer these serious charges”

By John Sharp

The Democratic opponent of Republican Roy Moore during the Dec. 12 general election had a simple eight word response Thursday to allegations that the former judge behaved inappropriately with teenage girls in the late 1970s.

Roy Moore needs to answer these serious charges,” the Doug Jones campaign emailed to AL.com hours after The Washington Post’s report that alleges Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor and pursued three other teenage girls.

Moore is accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, when he was 32 years old.

Moore’s campaign released a statement earlier in the day, calling the allegations the “very definition of fake news.”

The Jones campaign’s statement underscored a day of limited commenting from politicians in Alabama. Republicans like Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she was waiting on more facts about the allegations, while U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said that “if the allegations are true,” Moore does not belong in the Senate.

Jones, in the 24 hours leading up The Washington Post’s article, had been been calling on the former judge to debate him. Moore declined to appear in a debate sponsored by WHNT-TV in Huntsville and Reckon by AL.com.

Moore, before the publication of The Washington Post article, held a rather comfortable lead in recent polling over Jones, a former U.S. District Attorney from Birmingham. A Raycom News Network poll had Moore leading Jones by 11 percent. Other polling, in recent weeks, has had the race somewhere near 6 to 8 percent in favor of Moore.

Said Moore’s campaign: “Judge Roy Moore is winning with a double-digit lead.  So it is no surprise, with just over four weeks remaining, in a race for the U.S. Senate with national implications, that the Democratic Party and the country’s most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind.”

http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/11/doug_jones_roy_moore_needs_to.html

Roy Moore scandal in Alabama might slow Bannon’s insurgency, GOP leaders hope

Jon Ward

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks at a rally for U.S. Senate hopeful Roy Moore, September 2017. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP)

The explosive allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore may have an unintended casualty: Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump who is leading an insurgency against the GOP establishment.

At least, that’s what Bannon’s chief target, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is hoping.

When Bannon first backed Moore in the Republican Senate primary in Alabama, it looked like a shrewd move. Moore led in the polls by double digits in the runoff with Sen. Luther Strange, who’d been appointed to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

And Bannon was looking for a way to establish himself as a kingmaker, after leaving his post as senior White House adviser to President Trump.

When Bannon endorsed Moore, he told allies that he wasn’t opposing Strange — whom Trump backed — to spite the president.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore greets supporters, Sept. 26, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. (Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP)

His real target was McConnell, he said, and he expanded on this theme in a highly publicized interview with “60 Minutes” in early September.

Days before Moore beat Strange in the primary runoff, Bannon said that those who wished to defeat Moore “cannot take the righteousness … people like Judge Moore represent.”

Moore’s decisive primary win helped cement the idea that Bannon was now a powerful figure on the right whose endorsement would be key for Republican candidates. It was a step toward wresting control of the GOP from McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

McConnell’s allies hit back in late October. An outside group that supports the Senate leader, the Senate Leadership Fund, began criticizing Bannon on Twitter and said it planned to run ads in Republican primaries against Bannon-endorsed candidates, such as Kelli Ward in Arizona.

“Bannon’s well-documented, toxic views and alt-right paper trail could become a liability for candidates who are perceived as closely tied to him,” SLF President Steven Law told the Washington Post at the time.

On Thursday, McConnell and his Republican Senate colleagues were quick to distance themselves from Moore after the Post reported on four women who allege that Moore pursued them and initiated sexual contact when they were teenagers. One woman was 14 at the time, another 16.

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” McConnell said in a statement on behalf of all Senate Republicans.

Moore will face off against Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., didn’t qualify or hedge his comments; he said unequivocally that Moore should drop his candidacy. “He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of,” McCain said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters about allegations made against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Nov. 9, 2017. (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

McConnell allies wasted no time in piling on to make sure that Bannon’s name was dragged into the uproar over the allegations against Moore.

“Dear GOP, send your thank you cards to the Breitbart embassy attn: Steve Bannon,” tweeted Josh Holmes, a former McConnell chief of staff.

Holmes went further in a comment to the Post: “If it’s true, the GOP doesn’t have any place for pedophiles and he should step down immediately.”

And the SLF foreshadowed a possible line of attack in future campaign ads, contrasting Senate Republicans with Bannon’s Breitbart News, which defended Moore against the allegations.

SLF linked to a clip of Breitbart’s Joel Pollak downplaying the allegations against Moore.

“He’s being accused of relationships with teenagers. Now to me that’s not accurate,” Pollak said. “The 16-year old and the 18-year old have no business in that story because those are women of legal age of consent.”

SLF tweeted: “While Senate Republicans fight for @realDonaldTrump’s tax reform, Bannon’s @BreitbartNews is arguing the age of consent for teens.”

Bannon did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/roy-moore-scandal-alabama-might-slow-bannons-insurgency-gop-leaders-hope-223029129.html

What Is the Age of Consent in Alabama?

In Alabama, the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. Generally, a person over the age of 16 can consent to sex with anyone else who is over the age of 16.

What Are Some Issues With Age of Consent in Alabama?

Age of consent is incredibly important in Alabama. An individual who is 19 years old or older has sexual contact with someone who is younger than 16 but older than 12 has committed sexual abuse. If a person over the age of 16 has sex with a person under that age, they have committed second-degree rape, provided they are more than two years older than their partner. The law is not clear as to what would happen if both partners are between the age of 12 and 16. However, it does say that a person under the age of 14 cannot be prosecuted as an adult. Moreover, having sex with a person under the age of 12 is rape in the first degree.

Are There Any Exceptions to Age of Consent?

No. In Alabama law, there are no recognized exceptions to age of consent.

Are There Any Defenses to Age of Consent?

Not really. This type of statutory rape is a strict liability offense, meaning that even if a defendant had a good faith belief or made an honest mistake as to an individual’s age, they will still be criminally liable.

Homosexual Age of Consent in Alabama

In Alabama, there are laws on the books which make all homosexual intercourse, regardless of the age of the partners, illegal. However, the United States Supreme Court held in 2003 that state laws prohibiting consensual, private, homosexual conduct between adults are unconstitutional. With this law still on the books, it is not clear what the age of consent for homosexual conduct in Alabama is. However, it is probable that a state court would default to the age of consent for heterosexual conduct, assuming that the state legislature does not clarify the issue.

Should I Seek Legal Advice?

If you believe you may have violated Alabama’s age of consent laws, you should seek legal advice immediately. Violating these laws carry severe criminal and civil penalties. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights, and if necessary, zealously represent you in a court of law.

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/alabama-age-of-consent-lawyers.html?redesigned=1

What is the 2017 Age of Consent in Alabama?

The Alabama legal Age of Consent for sexual contact is 16 years old. There are a total of A total of thirty one states have set their age of consent at 16, the lowest age of consent in any state.

In Alabama, a person 19 years old or older who subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old is charged with sexual abuse. Someone 16 or older who has intercourse with someone between the ages of 12 and 16 who is at least two years younger then they are can be charged with second-degree rape.

Alabama has no Close-in-age Exemption

There are no set close-in-age exemptions or “Romeo and Juliet laws” to Alabama’s age of consent. This means that anyone who engages in sexual activity with someone under the age of consent in Alabama is liable for prosecution, including people only a few years older then their sexual partner and even two individuals who are both under the age of consent.

What is the Age of Consent?

AL Legal Age of Consent, 2016 and 2017

The Age of Consent is the age at which a person is deemed by Alabama law to be capable of consenting to, and engaging in, sexual acts. Anyone who engages in sexual activity of any type with a partner under the applicable Age of Consent is breaking the law and can be charged with crimes ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony (statutory rape) depending on the jurisdiction in which they are prosecuted. Alabama’s specific laws on the Age of Consent can be found above.

What happens if I violate the Alabama Age of Consent?

If you engage in sexual activity with a minor who is under the Alabama Age of Consent of 16, you can be prosecuted under Alabama sexual abuse laws  and charged with crimes ranging from sexual assault to first degree rape, regardless of whether or not the sexual acts were consensual. Depending on the charges, conviction can carry penalties ranging from one to fifty years in prison and registration as a sex offender .

What happens if I travel to a state where the Age of Consent is lower?

In most states, the travel or transportation of a minor over state lines with the intention of engaging in sexual activity is in itself a severe misdemeanor or felony. As a result, it is generally not possible to evade a state’s age of consent rules by travelling to a different state.

https://www.age-of-consent.info/states/Alabama

What is the Alabama Age of Consent?

The Alabama Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Alabama are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.

Alabama statutory rape law is violated when an individual over age 18 (or 16 or older if the victim is at least 2 years younger than the offender) engages in sexual intercourse with a person over the age of 12 and under age 16. The offender commits the crime of sodomy If an individual age 16 or older engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16 and older than 12.

View list of sexual assault laws & punishments in Alabama 

Alabama has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as “Romeo and Juliet law”, is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.

Depending on the situation, the Alabama close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.


Age of Consent across the United States

The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States. Click the map to view any state’s age of consent laws.

Age Of Consent:

16 years old

17 years old

18 years old


The age of consent in Alabama is based on the following statutes from the Alabama criminal code:

Alabama Age Of Consent Law:
13A-6-70: (c) A person is deemed incapable of consent if he is: (1) Less than 16 years old...

13A-6-67 : (a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if: ...
(2) He, being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual intercourse who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old.

13A-6-62 (a) A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if: ...
(1) Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.

13A-6-64 : (a) A person commits the crime of sodomy in the second degree if: ...
(1) He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.

13A-6-81 : A person commits the crime of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19 years if:
(a) He or she is a school employee and engages in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student, regardless of whether the student is male or female. Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(b) As used in this section, sex act means sexual intercourse with any penetration, however slight; emission is not required.

(c) As used in this section, deviant sexual intercourse means any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.

(d) The crime of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student is a Class B felony.

13A-6-82 : A person commits the crime of a school employee having sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19 years if:
(a) He or she is a school employee and engaging in sexual intercourse with a student, regardless of whether the student is male or female. Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(b) As used in this section, sexual intercourse means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a student, done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party. The term includes soliciting or harassing a student to perform a sex act.

(c) The crime of a school employee having sexual intercourse with a student is a Class A misdemeanor.

Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Alabama

Alabama has ten statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Alabama Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Alabama equivalent of that charge.

The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.

Criminal Charge Severity Punishment
Electronic solicitation of a child Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
Enticing child to enter vehicle, house, etc., for immoral purposes Class C felony No less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years.
Facilitating solicitation of unlawful sexual conduct with a child Class C felony No less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years.
Rape- second degree Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
School employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19 Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
Sexual abuse of child under 12 Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
Sexual abuse- first degree Class A misdemeanor Up to one (1) year and a fine up to $6,000.00
Sexual abuse- second degree Class C felony No less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years.
Sodomy- second degree Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
Transmitting obscene material to a child by computer Class B felony No less than two years and no more than 20 years.

https://www.ageofconsent.net/states/alabama

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The Pronk Pops Show 996, Story 1: Atheist Security Guard Dressed In Black and Wearing Body Armor, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, Entered The First Baptist Church and Shot and Killed 26, Including 8 Members of A Single Family with Pregnant Mother, Victims Range in Age From 18 Months to 77 Years and Wounded 20, in The Texas Small Town of Sutherland Springs, Population 400,  A Nearby Neighbor, Stephen Willeford, 55, Shot Killer With His Rifle,Three Times, Twice in The Neck and Once in The Side, Killer Died of Wounds, After Brief High Speed Car Chase — The Times They Are A Changin — Blowing In The Wind — Videos

Posted on November 7, 2017. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Autos, Blogroll, Breaking News, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Elections, Employment, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Independence, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Atheist Security Guard Dressed In Black and Wearing Body Armor, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, Entered The First Baptist Church and Shot and Killed 26, Including 8 Members of A Single Family with Pregnant Mother, Victims Range in Age From 18 Months to 77 Years and Wounded 20, in The Texas Small Town of Sutherland Springs, Population 400,  A Nearby Neighbor, Stephen Willeford, 55, Shot Killer With His Rifle,Three Times, Twice in The Neck and Once in The Side, Killer Died of Wounds, After Brief High Speed Car Chase — Videos

 

Stephen Willeford shot church shooting suspect Devin Kelley.

Texas Church Shooting: At Least Two Dozen Parishioners Killed | NBC Nightly News

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Suspected Texas gunman identified as Devin Patrick Kelley

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A woman who was shot several times during the Texas church shooting played dead to survive, according to her daughter. Farida Brown, 73, was rushed to the hospital with four gunshot wounds to her legs after the attack during Sunday morning services. Adi Guajardo of CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports.

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Hero describes chasing alleged Texas church shooter

Johnnie Langendorff tells “GMA” how he helped stop the suspect, Devin Kelley, who authorities believe killed 26 people and injured at least 20 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

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Who Was Devin Kelley? | Texas Church Mass Shooter

Bob Dylan The Times They Are A Changin’ 1964

“The Times They Are A-Changin'”

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Blowing In The Wind (Live On TV, March 1963)

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind Lyrics

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can really see the sky?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs

Violence followed Texas church gunman after high school

Wherever Devin Patrick Kelley went after graduating from high school, a trail of violence followed.

In New Mexico, Kelley was kicked out of the Air Force following a court-martial two years after he enlisted for abusing his wife and reportedly hitting her child hard enough to fracture his skull. In Colorado, he was charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty after someone saw him punch a dog several times. And in Texas, sheriff’s deputies were called to his parents’ house after his girlfriend told a friend he was abusing her.

Authorities say Kelley opened fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others.

According to their investigation, Kelley entered the small church during worship services dressed in black tactical gear and carrying an assault rifle. He fired it as he walked down the centre aisle, shooting people who had no way to escape.

Authorities have said the suspect’s mother-in-law attended the church and she’d gotten threatening texts from him. Kelley’s parents and other relatives did not return numerous messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. But according to military officials and authorities in three states, the 26-year-old Kelley had a history of threatening loved ones with violence.

A native of the San Antonio suburb of New Braunfels, Kelley graduated from high school in 2009, according to a district spokeswoman. He enlisted in the Air Force the following year and was assigned to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, with the responsibility of moving passengers, cargo and personal property in military transportation. He got married for the first time in 2011.

But according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, Kelley faced a court-martial in 2012 on allegations that he abused his wife and a child. According to court-martial documents the Air Force released Monday, Kelley was accused of choking his wife, pulling her hair and kicking her. He also hit the child on the head and body, according to the documents. The Air Force’s former chief prosecutor, Don Christensen, told The New York Times that Kelley fractured the child’s skull.

Kelley also was accused of pointing a loaded firearm and an unloaded firearm at the woman, according to the court-martial documents, but he pleaded not guilty to those allegations and they were “withdrawn and dismissed with prejudice after arraignment.”

Kelley was sentenced to 12 months of confinement and ultimately removed from the military with a bad-conduct discharge and a reduction of rank.

The Air Force acknowledged Monday that it didn’t enter Kelley’s criminal history into the federal database used to conduct background checks on citizens looking to purchase a firearm. Authorities recovered a Ruger AR-556 rifle at the church and two handguns from Kelley’s vehicle. They say all three were purchased by Kelley.

His wife, Tessa Kelley, filed for divorce in 2012, the same year as the court-martial. In paperwork associated with the divorce, Tessa Kelley said she was working at Taco Bell for $7.50 an hour while Devin Kelley was in detention.

The divorce was finalized in October 2012.

Kelley’s discharge was complete in 2014, Stefanek said. That February, sheriff’s deputies arrived at his family’s home in New Braunfels just after 10 p.m. one night to investigate a potential domestic violence case.

Citing a sheriff’s office report, Comal County spokesman Paul Anthony said a friend of Kelley’s girlfriend told authorities she received a text message from the girlfriend that indicated “her boyfriend was abusing her.” The report identifies the girlfriend as Danielle Shields and says Shields reported that “her arms were red.” It includes no additional details about what caused them to be red.

Shields said Kelley had “told her to pack a bag,” according to the report.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, people at the home said there was a “misunderstanding,” according to the report. It doesn’t make clear who spoke to deputies. No arrests were made.

Kelley married Shields two months later.

Kelley registered to vote in Colorado in 2014, with an address traced to a mobile home park in Colorado Springs, home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and other Air Force installations. But in August of that year, he was charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty. One neighbour told a deputy that Kelley chased a dog, jumped on top of it and struck the dog with a closed fist several times, according to an incident report released Monday. Another neighbour says Kelley grabbed the young husky, threw it into the air, then onto the ground and dragged it to his camper.

According to local court records, he was given a deferred probationary sentence and ordered to pay $368 in restitution. A protection order was also issued against him in 2015 on behalf of the local Humane Society, according to court records.

He apparently moved back to Texas and sought work as a security guard, obtaining a state private security license in June and getting a job at the Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. But he was fired after less than six weeks, the water park said in a statement.

He then was hired as a security guard at the Summit Vacation Resort, also in New Braunfels. A manager there, Claudia Varjabedian, told the AP that Kelley “seemed like a nice guy” and didn’t cause her any problems.

A motive for the mass shooting remains unclear, but Kelley appears to have targeted a church that was long attended by his wife’s family.

Leading up to the shooting, authorities say, Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles (48 kilometres ) southeast of San Antonio. Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said there was a domestic situation going on within the family.

According to online records, Danielle Kelley’s mother has an address in Sutherland Springs and a Facebook account linked to her lists several members of the church as friends, including the pastor’s wife.

A resume posted online linked to an email address associated with Danielle Kelley identifies her as a teacher at the church from 2009 to 2013. Among the responsibilities it listed at the church were to “teach the children about GOD” and “be a positive influence in their life.”

The dead inside the church ranged from 18 months to 77 years old. About 20 other people were wounded, 10 of whom were still hospitalized Monday in critical condition.

___

Bajak and Merchant reported from Houston. Associated Press reporters Jim Anderson in Denver, Douglass K. Daniel in Washington, Reese Dunklin and Jamie Stengle in Dallas, and Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contributed along with AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York.

Frank Bajak, Nomaan Merchant And Paul J. Weber, The Associated Press

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/church-gunman-court-martialed-discharged-090646952.html

 

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Creepy, crazy and weird’: Former classmates say Texas gunman was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his atheism’ online before killing 26 in the state’s worst ever mass shooting

  • Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, shot dead 26 people and injured 24 others in Texas
  • Walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas and opened fire 
  • He was wearing black, tactical gear and carrying a military style assault rifle
  • Kelley was shot by local Stephen Willeford, 55, and died after a car chase
  • Former classmates have described him as an ‘outcast’, ‘creepy’ and ‘weird’
  • Another said he talked ‘about how people who believe in God were stupid’
  • LinkedIn reveals Kelley was an Air Force veteran and ex-Bible studies teacher
  • He was court martialed in 2014 for two counts of assault on his spouse and child
  • He was living in New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, and was married 
  • Did you know Devin Patrick Kelley? Please contact Jenny Stanton by emailing jenny.stanton@mailonline.com 
Devin Patrick Kelley (pictured) walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in full combat gear, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources

The Texas church shooter who shot dead 26 people and injured 24 others was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his atheism’ online.

Former classmates say Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, who stormed First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas and opened fire on Sunday, was ‘creepy’, ‘crazy’ and ‘weird’.

Patrick Boyce, who attended New Braunfels High School with the killer, told DailyMail.com: ‘He had a kid or two, fairly normal, but kinda quiet and lately seemed depressed.

‘He was the first atheist I met. He went Air Force after high school, got discharged but I don’t know why.

‘I was just shocked [to hear the news]. Still haven’t quite processed how he could have done that.’

Nina Rose Nava, who went to school with the gunman, wrote on Facebook: ‘In (sic) in complete shock! I legit just deleted him off my fb cause I couldn’t stand his post.

‘He was always talking about how people who believe in God we’re stupid and trying to preach his atheism’

Christopher Leo Longoria replied: ‘I removed him off FB for those same reasons! He was being super nagtive (sic) all the timd (sic).’

Kelley, (pictured in a yearbook photo)

Kelley (pictured recently)

Kelley, (pictured in a yearbook photo, left, and recently, right) 26, of New Braunfels, shot dead 26 people and injured 24 others

Devin Patrick Kelley is pictured here in a New Braunfels High School 2009 yearbook photo

Devin Patrick Kelley is pictured here in a New Braunfels High School 2009 yearbook photo

The shooting happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs (pictured), where around 50 people usually attend service

Michael Goff added: ‘He was weird but never that damn weird, always posting his atheist sh** like Nina wrote, but damn he always posted pics of him and his baby – crazy.’

Nava added to DailyMail.com: ‘I went to school with him. We had a few conversations here and there. It’s not something I expected from him.

‘He was an outcast but not a loner. He was popular among other outcast. I haven’t spoke to him since high school.’

Another former classmate, who asked to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com: ‘I grew up going to school with him… Always creeped me out and was different.’

She said she moved away from the area while she was in junior high and lost touch with a lot of people.

Kelley, who was married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: 'She's a bad b***h'

Kelley, who was married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: ‘She’s a bad b***h’

Investigators work at the scene of a deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday 

Investigators work at the scene of a deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday

However, Kelley recently commented on one of her Facebook posts.

‘I said I just want to move back to Texas,’ she said. ‘And he said something along the lines of “Texas isn’t any better”. Pretty much said he didn’t like Texas.

Former classmates say Devin Patrick Kelley as 'creepy', 'crazy' and 'weird'

‘I think he had one kid, she/he is still a baby. He was married but I don’t know to who. It’s crazy to think I grew up with him. Same town. Same school. Same classes.

‘He was different in school and creeped me out but never would I have thought he would do such a horrific thing.’

A former friend wrote on Facebook: ‘It’s scary to know this psychopath has been in my house. I can’t believe I was friends with this guy and I literally would stay the night at his place when we were kids.’

He added: ‘I ended up distancing myself from him in high school after he got in an argument with me in school and he tried punching me several times. Dude was crazy man.’

Cord Eubank Brown wrote on social media: ‘I cannot believe this. I went to high school with this maniac.

‘There were people I knew who stayed away from this guy for many reasons, which all make sense now. He just requested me on facebook recently.’

Annabelle Pomeroy was killed in the tragic shooting Sunday morning

She 'was one very beautiful, special child,' the pastor said. His wife, Sherri Pomeroy, said her husband was out of town at the time of the shooting. Pictured: Annabelle

Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, dressed in black, tactical gear with a ballistics belt and an assault rifle, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources.

Kelley of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, was shot by Stephen Willeford, 55, before he climbed in an SUV to flee the scene, a local resident told DailyMail.com.

Another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who had witnessed the confrontation refused to let the shooter get away. Both he and Willeford, a local plumber, jumped in his truck and gave chase.

In a Facebook post, Langendorff’s girlfriend Summer Caddel described how the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!’

As they approached a sharp curve in the road, near the 307 and 539, Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road.

Kelley was already dead when they found him. It’s unclear if he committed suicide or died from his pursuers’ gunshots.

Cops discovered multiple weapons and possible explosives in his vehicle.

San Antonio police also raided Kelley’s home on Sunday evening, with K9 and bomb squad units.

Kelley, who was married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: ‘She’s a bad b***h.’

He reportedly purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle in April last year from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio, according to CNN.

When he filled out the background check paperwork, he checked a box that indicated he didn’t have a past criminal history, an official told said, adding that he listed an address in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Texas Sheriff Joe Tackitt said that the shooter was not known to law enforcement.

A LinkedIn account which appears to be Kelley’s states that he joined the US Air Force after graduating New Braunfels High School in 2009.

An Air Force official said the gunman was court-martialed in 2012 and discharged two years later.

Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Kelley was court-martialed on one count of assault on his spouse and another count of assault on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge, 12 months’ confinement and a reduction in rank.

Vigil held after dozens are killed in a church shooting in Texas

Sunday school teacher Karla Holcolmbe and her husband Bryan also died in the rampage, their family confirmed. A local resident says their pregnant daughter-in-law was also killed

Sunday school teacher Karla Holcolmbe and her husband Bryan also died in the rampage, their family confirmed. A local resident says their pregnant daughter-in-law was also killed

Mother-of-four, Joann Ward, is said to have died in the wake of the shooting, according to her family

Six-year-old Brooke was shot and died according to family

Sisters six-year-old Brooke (left) and eight-year-old Emily Garza (pictured, right, sitting on the right, next to her sister Rihanna) were killed in the shooting according to her family. Nine-year-old Rihanna (sitting next to Emily) had her glasses shot off her face but survived

Stefanek also said Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge.

Kelley volunteered as a teacher for Bible studies at Kingsville First Baptist Church, according to his LinkedIn which shows him posing which a young child.

He was married to Danielle Shields, and they appear to have a child together. She was previously a teacher at the First Baptist Church.

Kelley lived at his parents’ home with his wife and child and neighbor Mark Moravitz told ABC News he would sometimes hear gunshots coming from near that house late at night.

The gunman’s mother-in-law, Michelle Shields, also appears to have been a parishioner at the church and was friends on social media with the pastor’s wife.

It is not clear whether they were at the church at the time of the shooting.

Local law enforcement say the gunman had a relatively clean criminal record, with just a traffic offenses in recent years.

The names of the victims are now emerging and include a mother-of-four and her two young daughters, a 14-year-old pastor’s daughter and Sunday’s stand-in preacher, his wife, and eight-months-pregnant daughter-in-law.

The first victim to be identified was Annabelle Pomeroy, whose father – First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy – had been out of town during the attack. The grieving dad told ABC he’s lost ‘one beautiful girl, and a ‘special child.’

Bryan Holcombe had been standing in for Frank Pomeroy when Kelley opened fire. Witnesses say he was the first victim to be struck by the shooter’s gunfire.

‘Bryan was filling in,’ the witness, who did not want to be named, told DailyMail.com. ‘He was walking up to the pulpit when he was shot in the back.’

He was killed, alongside his wife of 25 years, Sunday school teacher Karla Holcombe, as well as their eight-months-pregnant daughter-in-law Crystal, local residents reported.

‘The family is just devastated,’ the witness added.

The couple ran a canvas repair shop before retiring and had attended the church for 25 years.

Mother-of-four Joann Ward and three of her children were also shot. Family have since told the Dallas News that Joann and two of her daughters, six-year-old Brooke and eight-year-old Emily have died.

Ward’s six-year-old stepson Rylan, who was shot four times, is still in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery. The mom’s eldest daughter Rihanna, nine, had the glasses shot off her face but escaped injury by hiding under a pew as shots rang out.

The shooting took place at the church, which is located about 30 miles from San Antonio.  Sutherland Springs is a community of about 400 people

The victims ranged in age from five to 72, with two killed outside the church, 23 killed inside, and one person who died after medical transport, officials said.

And 34-year-old Amanda Mosel told MySA that her 13-year-old goddaughter was killed during the shooting. She said she was sad she skipped church this morning, but she normally attends that sermon. ‘It’s a small, tight-knit church,’ she said.

Many of the dead remained inside the small rural church Sunday evening, as crime scene investigators worked to reconstruct the scene.

Authorities declined to officially name any of the deceased victims on Sunday evening, as they worked to secure the crime scene and notify victims’ families.

‘We don’t know names of any of the victims at this time because we’re still trying to work the crime scene,’ said Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.

Residents of the community gathered for an emotional candlelight vigil on Sunday night as the names of the victims began to emerge.

Pictured: The two heroic locals who exchanged gunfire with shooter

Two heroic locals have been praised for stopping the worst mass shooting in Texas which left at least 27 dead.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was leaving First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs after he opened fire on parishioners during mass when Stephen Willeford, 55, confronted him.

Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Willeford, a keen biker, had ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect.’

A local resident told DailyMail.com that Willeford, who attends a different church, was first alerted to the shooting when his daughter called him saying there was a man in body armor gunning down church goers.

Stephen Willeford
Johnnie Langendorff

Stephen Willeford, 55, (left) and Johnnie Langendorff (right) have been praised as heroes after they were able to stop Texas gunman Devin Kelley’s rampage

He grabbed his gun and bravely headed down to confront the killer.

The local said that while Willeford has no military experience, he is an excellent shot, and when he came face to face with Kelley, he didn’t hesitate; he shot in between Kelley’s body armor, hitting him in his side.

The 26-year-old had dropped his Ruger assault rifle and climbed in an SUV to flee the scene.

He said that Kelley had taken a hostage in the passenger seat as he fled.

But another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who had witnessed the confrontation refused to let the shooter get away. Both he and Willeford, a local plumber, jumped in his truck and gave chase.

In a Facebook post, Langendorff’s girlfriend Summer Caddel described how the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!’

Langendorff told KSAT 12 that he’d been speeding at 95mph, while on the phone to dispatch, while Willeford kept his rifle trained on the gunman’s car.

As they approached a sharp curve in the road, near the 307 and 539, he said Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road.

‘That’s when I put the truck in park,’ he said. ‘The other gentleman jumped out, and had his rifle on him. He didn’t move after that.’

Texas man describes chasing after the Sutherland Springs gunman

The local, who is familiar with the heroes, said that Willeford made sure the passenger Kelley had taken hostage was on the ground out of the way when they approached the car.

But he claims that Kelley was already dead when they found him, having succumb to blood loss from the gunshot wound he suffered at the church.

Martin confirmed that police had found Kelley dead, saying that: ‘We are not sure if it was self inflicted or if he was shot by a local resident.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5053013/Devin-Kelley-outcast-preached-atheism.html#ixzz4xhEviDcy

 

rump says Texas church shooting caused by ‘mental health problem’ not guns

  • When asked whether U.S. gun control measures could have been the key to the Texas shooting, Trump replied, “Mental health is your problem here”
  • Trump — who has received political support from the National Rifle Association — has consistently been against implementing more rigorous domestic gun control laws
  • “Fortunately … somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction,” Trump said at the press conference

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, not pictured, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2017.

Trump: Texas shooting is a ‘mental health problem,’ not about guns  

President Donald Trump said Monday he believed the Texas church shooting was caused by a “mental health problem,” and not because of a problem with domestic gun laws.

When asked whether U.S. gun control measures could have been the key to the Texas shooting, Trump replied, “Mental health is your problem here.”

“This isn’t a guns situation,” he said, before adding, “This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”

At least 26 people were killed and about 20 others were wounded after a gunman opened fire during a Sunday service at a Texas church. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72-years-old.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan, alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump described the shooter as “a very deranged individual.”

US President Donald Trump (C) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not seen) hold a joint press conference after holding an inter-delegation meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan on November 6, 2017.

Kiyoshi Ota | Pool/Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (C) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not seen) hold a joint press conference after holding an inter-delegation meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan on November 6, 2017.

Trump — who has received political support from the National Rifle Association — has consistently been against implementing more rigorous domestic gun control laws. Indeed, in February Trump quietly signed a bill into law that rolled back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy a gun.

“Fortunately … somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction,” Trump said at the press conference.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was identified by authorities as the gunman who killed more than two dozen people in a hail of gunfire at a rural Texas church. Law enforcement officials identified Kelley, who was killed following the incident at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, hours after news of the shooting first broke. The church’s pastor and his wife lost their teenage daughter in the massacre, according to a report by the Associated Press.

— CNBC’s Everett Rosenfeld, Javier E. David, and Terri Cullen contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/06/trump-says-texas-church-shooting-caused-by-mental-health-problem-not-guns.html

 

Sharpshooting plumber fired shot that took down Texas church gunman

‘Hero’ neighbor got his rifle, shot at Texas church gunman

 

 

 

Stephen Willeford managed to shoot Devin Kelley before jumping in another man’s truck and chasing him down, the Daily Mail reported.

Kelley blew himself away after wiping out in his SUV, according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.

Texas Department of Public Safety chief Freeman Martin said Willeford “grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect” after Kelley left the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where he opened fire with an assault rifle and killed 26 people.

An area resident told the paper that Willeford, an avid biker who attends another church, learned about the shooting when his daughter called to say a man clad in body armor was shooting worshipers.

The local said that although Willeford has no military background, he didn’t hesitate when he came face to face with the suspect — and managed to squeeze off a round that struck the gunman, who had dropped his Ruger AR-15 variant.

Willeford jumped into a truck driven by another local, Johnnie Langendorff, who witnessed the confrontation, and the pair gave chase.

Langendorff later told reporters about the dramatic pursuit.

“I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community,” he said.

“The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted.”

He said he didn’t know who the heroic citizen was at the time.

“He was just a member of the community, and whenever he came to my vehicle in distress with his weapon, he explained very quickly what happened and he got in the truck and I knew it was just time [to go],” he said, KSAT reported.

“So we were doing about 95 mph, going around traffic and everything,” he added.

“Eventually he came to kind of a slowdown and after that, we got within just a few feet of him and he got off the road … He just lost control and that’s whenever I put the vehicle in park … The other gentleman jumped out and had his rifle drawn on him and he didn’t move after that,” he said.

Langendorff’s girlfriend, Summer Caddel, said Kelley died a few feet away from Langendorff.

The local man said Kelley was already dead when they found him.

“He was bleeding pretty bad,” the resident told the news outlet of Kelley while he was driving. “He didn’t live much longer than that.”

Martin confirmed that police had found Kelley dead.

“We are not sure if it was self-inflicted or if he was shot by a local resident,” the police official said.

http://nypost.com/2017/11/06/sharpshooting-plumber-fired-shot-that-took-down-texas-church-gunman/

 

Violence followed Texas church gunman after high school

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — Wherever Devin Patrick Kelley went after graduating from high school, a trail of violence followed.

In New Mexico, Kelley was kicked out of the Air Force following a court-martial two years after he enlisted for abusing his wife and reportedly hitting her child hard enough to fracture his skull. In Colorado, he was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after someone saw him punch a dog several times. And in Texas, sheriff’s deputies were called to his parents’ house after his girlfriend told a friend he was abusing her.

Authorities say Kelley opened fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others.

According to their investigation, Kelley entered the small church during worship services dressed in black tactical gear and carrying an assault rifle. He fired it as he walked down the center aisle, shooting people who had no way to escape.

Authorities have said the suspect’s mother-in-law attended the church and she’d gotten threatening texts from him. Kelley’s parents and other relatives did not return numerous messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. But according to military officials and authorities in three states, the 26-year-old Kelley had a history of threatening loved ones with violence.

A native of the San Antonio suburb of New Braunfels, Kelley graduated from high school in 2009, according to a district spokeswoman. He enlisted in the Air Force the following year and was assigned to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, with the responsibility of moving passengers, cargo and personal property in military transportation. He got married for the first time in 2011.

But according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, Kelley faced a court-martial in 2012 on allegations that he abused his wife and a child. According to court-martial documents the Air Force released Monday, Kelley was accused of choking his wife, pulling her hair and kicking her. He also hit the child on the head and body, according to the documents. The Air Force’s former chief prosecutor, Don Christensen, told The New York Times that Kelley fractured the child’s skull.

Kelley was sentenced to 12 months of confinement and ultimately removed from the military with a bad-conduct discharge and a reduction of rank.

The Air Force acknowledged Monday that it didn’t enter Kelley’s criminal history into the federal database used to conduct background checks on citizens looking to purchase a firearm. Authorities recovered a Ruger AR-556 rifle at the church and two handguns from Kelley’s vehicle. They say all three were purchased by Kelley.

His wife, Tessa Kelley, filed for divorce in 2012, the same year as the court-martial. In paperwork associated with the divorce, Tessa Kelley said she was working at Taco Bell for $7.50 an hour while Devin Kelley was in detention.

The divorce was finalized in October 2012.

Kelley’s discharge was complete in 2014, Stefanek said. That February, sheriff’s deputies arrived at his family’s home in New Braunfels just after 10 p.m. one night to investigate a potential domestic violence case.

Citing a sheriff’s office report, Comal County spokesman Paul Anthony said a friend of Kelley’s girlfriend told authorities she received a text message from the girlfriend that indicated “her boyfriend was abusing her.” The report identifies the girlfriend as Danielle Shields and says Shields reported that “her arms were red.” It includes no additional details about what caused them to be red.

Shields said Kelley had “told her to pack a bag,” according to the report.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, people at the home said there was a “misunderstanding,” according to the report. It doesn’t make clear who spoke to deputies. No arrests were made.

Kelley married Shields two months later.

Kelley registered to vote in Colorado in 2014, with an address traced to a mobile home park in Colorado Springs, home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and other Air Force installations. But in August of that year, he was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. One neighbor told a deputy that Kelley chased a dog, jumped on top of it and struck the dog with a closed fist several times, according to an incident report released Monday. Another neighbor says Kelley grabbed the young husky, threw it into the air, then onto the ground and dragged it to his camper.

According to local court records, he was given a deferred probationary sentence and ordered to pay $368 in restitution. A protection order was issued against him in January 2015, The Denver Post reported.

He apparently moved back to Texas and sought work as a security guard, obtaining a state private security license in June and getting a job at the Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. But he was fired after less than six weeks, the water park said in a statement.

He then was hired as a security guard at the Summit Vacation Resort, also in New Braunfels. A manager there, Claudia Varjabedian, told the AP that Kelley “seemed like a nice guy” and didn’t cause her any problems.

A motive for the mass shooting remains unclear, but Kelley appears to have targeted a church that was long attended by his wife’s family.

Leading up to the shooting, authorities say, Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio. Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said there was a domestic situation going on within the family.

According to online records, Danielle Kelley’s mother has an address in Sutherland Springs and a Facebook account linked to her lists several members of the church as friends, including the pastor’s wife.

A resume posted online linked to an email address associated with Danielle Kelley identifies her as a teacher at the church from 2009 to 2013. Among the responsibilities it listed at the church were to “teach the children about GOD” and “be a positive influence in their life.”

The dead inside the church ranged from 18 months to 77 years old. About 20 other people were wounded, 10 of whom were still hospitalized Monday in critical condition.

___

Bajak and Merchant reported from Houston. Associated Press reporters Jim Anderson in Denver, Douglass K. Daniel in Washington, Reese Dunklin and Jamie Stengle in Dallas, and Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contributed along with AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York.

https://apnews.com/02c834a1095045d8add78d6bc16e8923/Texas-resort-manager-says-church-gunman-was-security-guard

The Thirteen Stories You’ll Read After Every Mass Shooting

gettyimages870692276
A candlelight vigil in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday.

Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

1. Inaccurate initial reports are corrected as accounts converge and death tolls rise. Breaking reports of multiple shooters, for instance, almost never turn out to be true. In the case of the Oct. 31 vehicle attack in lower Manhattan that happened to take place near a school, an event that wasn’t a mass shooting at all was initially described as one. Eventually, though, law enforcement officials release confirmed details, including gradually increasing official death counts.

2. Details about the shooter trickle out. The profile that’s discovered is almost always one of a socially isolated male whose background involves domestic violence.

3. There’s controversy over whether the incident constitutes “terrorism” and whether the “terrorism” label is racially reductive. Here’s a discussion of the issue in the New Yorker.

4. Conservatives say they are “sending thoughts and prayers” to the victims and are subsequently criticized by liberals for prioritizing prayer over public policy as a response to gun violence. House Speaker Paul Ryan launched Sunday’s version of this mini-cycle.

5. Elected Democrats make emotional cases for passing gun control laws.Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who represented the House district that included Sandy Hook Elementary, is one such figure who’s made a point of being willing to immediately “politicize” mass shootings by advocating for legislative action in their aftermath.

6. The city/town where the shooting took place holds a vigil as heartbreaking details about the victims are reported. Here, for example, is a gut-wrenching Washington Post story about two strangers who met at the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas before shots broke out.

7. Reporters and law-enforcement officials find out where and how the shooter got his weapons. The details of these cases typically invite further scrutiny of gun-control measures. The Trace, for example, found that Sunday’s Texas shooter should have been prohibited from buying a gun because he convicted by court martial of domestic violence while serving in the military—but that his conviction was never entered into the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.

8. Gun manufacturers’ stocks rise in price. The idea is that sales spike after shootings, making gun manufacturers a more appealing investment, because of buyers’ fears of impending gun control legislation. However, recent reporting indicates that sales are slow under our current president, who often disparages the idea of gun control. (Which therefore suggests we might also stop seeing stock-price surges.)

9. It’s observed that countries which are otherwise comparable to the United States have much lower rates of gun violence. Here are some very striking illustrations of the phenomenon in Vox.

10. Experts explain why new gun control legislation never passes Congress even though polls find that the public generally supports it. The version of the explanation that the Atlantic wrote in 2012 still seems to hold true: That gun-rights supporters, though outnumbered, are well-organized single-issue voters who will punish/reward candidates for their stances on gun issues in a way that gun-control supporters don’t.

11. The idea that better mental health treatment could help limit mass violence is considered. As another Atlantic piece points out, though, the anecdotal/common-sense notion that mass killers must suffer from diagnosable mental illness is not necessarily borne out by the data. An examination of the issues in Slate, meanwhile, echoes that caveat but also suggests that the mental health community could help address mass violence by developing a deeper understanding of anger and promoting methods for its management.

12. The notion that a “good guy with a gun” can help prevent shootings is raised. In the case of the Sunday Texas shooting this concept was cited by Donald Trump, who alluded to the efforts of a man named Stephen Willeford to confront shooter Devin Patrick Kelley. (Willeford, however, was only able to intervene after 26 victims had already been fatally wounded.)

13. Someone points out that mass shootings have begun to seem numbingly repetitive and that there’s no reason to believe another one won’t happen again soonAnd here we are.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/11/06/thirteen_stories_you_see_after_every_mass_shooting.html

Photo

Law enforcement officials set up a cordon after a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tex., on Sunday.CreditMohammad Khursheed/Reuters

About 70 years ago, Beulah Wilson and her husband, Jonah, set out to find a new place to call home outside San Antonio. They searched for seven years, looking for a safe area with good schools and friendly neighbors, before they found the perfect community: Sutherland Springs.

When they arrived, the area’s most promising days in south-central Texas had come and gone. The Great Depression had ended the wintertime flow of wealthy northern tourists who came to bathe in the sulfur springs on the Cibolo Creek. A 52-room luxury hotel had been deserted.

But Ms. Wilson saw something special in Sutherland Springs.

“Everybody knew everybody,” Ms. Wilson, 88, said on Sunday evening. “You didn’t keep your doors locked or your cars locked, unless you lived on the main street. We had no crime here.”

But everything in Sutherland Springs changed around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday, when a 26-year-old man wearing all black and a ballistic vest opened fire with a military-style rifle at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. The gunman, identified by law enforcement officials as Devin Patrick Kelley, killed 26 people and injured about 20 more.

There are few landmarks to welcome visitors to Sutherland Springs, an unincorporated area of about 360 people that is 30 miles east of San Antonio on Highway 87. There is a yellow blinking light where the highway intersects Farm Road 539, the main street in the area, as well as a post office, a Dollar General and a couple of convenience stores.

Photo

People gathered at a community center in Sutherland Springs on Sunday night. CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

Residents have petitioned to turn the blinking light into a traffic light, hoping to cut down on deadly accidents. Joseph Silva, 49, who lives about five miles northeast of Sutherland Springs, called it “a one-blinking-light town.”

“There is a gas station and a post office,” he said. “That’s about all there really is.”

Sutherland Springs took its name from Dr. John Sutherland Jr., a settler who opened a post office and a stop for stagecoaches in his home in 1851. The area attracted agriculture business and trade but transformed in the late 1800s into a tourist destination.

The area gained a stop on the railroad coming out of San Antonio, which brought visitors from that city and the north who sought relaxation in the sulfur springs and the 52-room Hotel Sutherland. But the travel destination did not survive long after the turn of the century, and few buildings remain from that period.

Since 1926, First Baptist Church has served as a mainstay in Sutherland Springs. It opened as a small wooden building just west of Highway 87 and grew over the years, adding new wings and a fellowship hall.

Almost everyone in the area has some connection to the church, Ms. Wilson said. Her family attended the church for years. Her children were baptized there. Family members were married there. And she knew at least several people killed at the church on Sunday.

“This hurts everybody,” Ms. Wilson said.

 

Sutherland Springs, Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sutherland Springs, Texas
Unincorporated community
Historic building in Sutherland Springs

Historic building in Sutherland Springs

Map of Texas

Map of Texas
Sutherland Springs

Show map of TexasShow map of the USShow all

Coordinates: 29°16′24″N 98°03′24″WCoordinates29°16′24″N 98°03′24″W
Country United States
State Texas
County Wilson
Established 1854
Founded by John Sutherland
Elevation[1] 469 ft (143 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 362
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
ZIP code 78161
Website Handbook of Texas

Sutherland Springs is an unincorporated community located on the old Spanish land grant of Manuel Tarin in northern Wilson County, Texas, United States. It is on U.S. Highway 87 at the intersection of Farm Road 539, about 21 miles (34 km) east of downtown San Antonio. Old Sutherland Springs occupies a portion of the South bank of the Cibolo Creek, with New Sutherland Springs (which is mostly in ruins) on the north bank of the Cibolo Creek. According to the Handbook of Texas, the population was 362 in 2000.[2]

History

Texas Historical Commision marker, Linne Oil Field

Sutherland Springs was platted in 1854, and named after John Sutherland Jr., a pioneer citizen.[2] A post office has been in operation at Sutherland Springs since 1851.[3]

On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed at least 26 people and injured 24 at the First Baptist Church. Kelley died afterwards. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.[4]

Bibliography

  • “The Good Old Days a history of LaVernia,” published by members of the Civic Government class at LaVernia High School for the 1936-37 academic school year.
  • “Wilson County Centennial 1860-1960,” published by the Wilson County Library; official centennial program handed out by the local community for the “100-year celebration” of the county’s establishment.

References

  1. Jump up^ “Sutherland Springs”Geographic Names Information SystemUnited States Geological Survey.
  2. Jump up to:a b McCaslin, Richard. “Sutherland Springs, TX”tshaonline.orgTexas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  3. Jump up^ “Post Offices”. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  4. Jump up^ “Texas church shooting leaves many dead”. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 5, 2017 – via bbc.co.uk.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutherland_Springs,_Texas

Bob Dylan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan plays a guitar and sings into a microphone.

Dylan at Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, in June 2010
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman
May 24, 1941 (age 76)
Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.
Residence Malibu, California, U.S.
Other names
  • Elston Gunnn
  • Blind Boy Grunt
  • Bob Landy
  • Robert Milkwood Thomas
  • Tedham Porterhouse
  • Lucky Wilbury
  • Boo Wilbury
  • Jack Frost
  • Sergei Petrov
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • artist
  • writer
Years active 1959–present[1]
Home town Hibbing, Minnesota, U.S.
Spouse(s) Sara Dylan
(m.1965div.1977)
Carolyn Dennis
(m.1986div.1992)
Children 6, including Jesse and Jakob Dylan
Awards Nobel Prize in Literature(2016)
(For others, see List)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • harmonica
Labels
Associated acts
Website bobdylan.com

Bob Dylan (/ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author and painter, who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became a reluctant “voice of a generation”[2] with songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’“, which became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. Leaving behind his initial base in the American folk music revival, his six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone“, recorded in 1965, enlarged the range of popular music.

Dylan’s lyrics incorporate a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the performances of Little Richard and the songwriting of Woody GuthrieRobert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning more than 50 years, has explored the traditions in American song—from folkblues, and country to gospelrock and roll, and rockabilly to EnglishScottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and the Great American Songbook. Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his songwriting is considered his greatest contribution. Since 1994, Dylan has also published seven books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries.

As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has also received numerous awards including eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of FameMinnesota Music Hall of FameNashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.[3]

Life and career

Origins and musical beginnings

The Zimmerman family home in Hibbing, Minnesota

Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham])[4][5] in St. Mary’s Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota,[6][7] and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Range west of Lake Superior. He has a younger brother, David. Dylan’s paternal grandparents, Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa, in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine), to the United States following the anti-Semitic pogroms of 1905.[8] His maternal grandparents, Ben and Florence Stone, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902.[8] In his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan wrote that his paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kirghiz and her family originated from Kağızman district of Kars Province in northeastern Turkey.[9]

Dylan’s father, Abram Zimmerman – an electric-appliance shop owner – and mother, Beatrice “Beatty” Stone, were part of a small, close-knit Jewish community. They lived in Duluth until Robert was six, when his father had polioand the family returned to his mother’s hometown, Hibbing, where they lived for the rest of Robert’s childhood. In his early years he listened to the radio—first to blues and country stations from Shreveport, Louisiana, and later, when he was a teenager, to rock and roll.[10][11]

He formed several bands while attending Hibbing High School. In the Golden Chords, he performed covers of songs by Little Richard[12] and Elvis Presley.[13] Their performance of Danny & the Juniors‘ “Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay” at their high school talent show was so loud that the principal cut the microphone.[14] On January 31, 1959, three days before his death, Buddy Holly performed at the Duluth Armory.[15] Seventeen year old Zimmerman was in the audience; in his Nobel Prize lecture, Dylan remembered: “He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills.”[16]

In 1959, his high school yearbook carried the caption “Robert Zimmerman: to join ‘Little Richard‘.”[12][17] The same year, as Elston Gunnn, he performed two dates with Bobby Vee, playing piano and clapping.[18][19][20] In September 1959, Zimmerman moved to Minneapolis and enrolled at the University of Minnesota.[21] His focus on rock and roll gave way to American folk music. In 1985, he said:

The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough… There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms… but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.[22]

Living at the Jewish-centric fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu house Zimmerman began to perform at the Ten O’Clock Scholar, a coffeehouse a few blocks from campus, and became involved in the Dinkytownfolk music circuit.[23][24]

During his Dinkytown days, Zimmerman began introducing himself as “Bob Dylan”.[25][a 1] In his memoir, he said he hit upon using this less common variant for Dillon – a surname he had considered adopting – when he unexpectedly saw some poems by Dylan Thomas.[26] Explaining his change of name in a 2004 interview, Dylan remarked, “You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”[27]

1960s

Relocation to New York and record deal

In May 1960, Dylan dropped out of college at the end of his first year. In January 1961, he traveled to New York City, to perform there and visit his musical idol Woody Guthrie,[28] who was seriously ill with Huntington’s disease in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.[29]Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan and influenced his early performances. Describing Guthrie’s impact, he wrote: “The songs themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them… [He] was the true voice of the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie’s greatest disciple.”[30] As well as visiting Guthrie in hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie’s protégé Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Much of Guthrie’s repertoire was channeled through Elliott, and Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles: Volume One.[31]

From February 1961, Dylan played at clubs around Greenwich Village, befriending and picking up material from folk singers there, including Dave Van RonkFred NeilOdetta, the New Lost City Ramblers and Irish musicians the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.[32]New York Times critic Robert Shelton first noted Dylan in a review of Izzy Young‘s production for WRVR of a live twelve-hour Hootenanny on July 29, 1961: “Among the newer promising talents deserving mention are a 20-year-old latter-day Guthrie disciple named Bob Dylan, with a curiously arresting mumbling, country-steeped manner”. This was Dylan’s first live radio performance.[33] In September, Shelton boosted Dylan’s career further with a very enthusiastic review of his performance at Gerde’s Folk City.[34] The same month Dylan played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester‘s third album. This brought his talents to the attention of the album’s producer, John Hammond,[35] who signed Dylan to Columbia Records.[36]

The performances on his first Columbia album, Bob Dylan, released March 19, 1962,[37] consisted of familiar folk, blues and gospel with two original compositions. The album sold only 5,000 in its first year, just enough to break even.[38] Within Columbia Records, some referred to the singer as “Hammond’s Folly”[39] and suggested dropping his contract, but Hammond defended Dylan and was supported by Johnny Cash.[38] In March 1962, Dylan contributed harmonica and back-up vocals to the album Three Kings and the Queen, accompanying Victoria Spivey and Big Joe Williams on a recording for Spivey Records.[40] While working for Columbia, Dylan recorded under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt[41] for Broadside, a folk magazine and record label.[42] Dylan used the pseudonym Bob Landy to record as a piano player on The Blues Project, a 1964 anthology album by Elektra Records.[41] As Tedham Porterhouse, Dylan played harmonica on Ramblin’ Jack Elliott‘s 1964 album Jack Elliott.[41]

Dylan is seated, singing and playing guitar. Seated to his right is a woman gazing upwards and singing with him.

Dylan with Joan Baez during the civil rights “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom“, August 28, 1963

Dylan with his guitar onstage, laughing and looking downwards.

Bob Dylan in November 1963

Dylan made two important career moves in August 1962: he legally changed his name to Robert Dylan,[44] and he signed a management contract with Albert Grossman.[45] (In June 1961, Dylan had signed an agreement with Roy Silver. In 1962, Grossman paid Silver $10,000 to become sole manager.)[46] Grossman remained Dylan’s manager until 1970, and was notable for his sometimes confrontational personality and for protective loyalty.[47] Dylan said, “He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure … you could smell him coming.”[24] Tensions between Grossman and John Hammond led to Hammond’s being replaced as producer of Dylan’s second album by the young African-American jazz producer, Tom Wilson.[48]

Dylan made his first trip to the United Kingdom from December 1962 to January 1963.[49] He had been invited by TV director Philip Saville to appear in a drama, Madhouse on Castle Street, which Saville was directing for BBC Television.[50] At the end of the play, Dylan performed “Blowin’ in the Wind”, one of its first public performances.[50] The film recording of Madhouse on Castle Street was destroyed by the BBC in 1968.[50] While in London, Dylan performed at London folk clubs, including the TroubadourLes Cousins, and Bunjies.[49] He also learned material from UK performers, including Martin Carthy.[50]

By the time of Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in May 1963, he had begun to make his name as a singer and a songwriter. Many songs on this album were labeled protest songs, inspired partly by Guthrie and influenced by Pete Seeger‘s passion for topical songs.[51] “Oxford Town”, for example, was an account of James Meredith‘s ordeal as the first black student to risk enrollment at the University of Mississippi.[52]

The first song on the Freewheelin album, “Blowin’ in the Wind“, partly derived its melody from the traditional slave song, “No More Auction Block”,[53] while its lyrics questioned the social and political status quo. The song was widely recorded by other artists and became a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary.[54] Another Freewheelin’ song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” was based on the folk ballad “Lord Randall“. With veiled references to an impending apocalypse, the song gained more resonance when the Cuban Missile Crisis developed a few weeks after Dylan began performing it.[55][a 2] Like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” marked a new direction in songwriting, blending a stream-of-consciousnessimagist lyrical attack with traditional folk form.[56]

Dylan’s topical songs enhanced his early reputation, and he came to be seen as more than just a songwriter. Janet Maslin wrote of Freewheelin: “These were the songs that established [Dylan] as the voice of his generation—someone who implicitly understood how concerned young Americans felt about nuclear disarmament and the growing Civil Rights Movement: his mixture of moral authority and nonconformity was perhaps the most timely of his attributes.”[57][a 3]Freewheelin also included love songs and surreal talking blues. Humor was an important part of Dylan’s persona,[58] and the range of material on the album impressed listeners, including the BeatlesGeorge Harrison said of the album, “We just played it, just wore it out. The content of the song lyrics and just the attitude—it was incredibly original and wonderful.”[59]

The rough edge of Dylan’s singing was unsettling to some but an attraction to others. Joyce Carol Oates wrote: “When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying.”[60] Many early songs reached the public through more palatable versions by other performers, such as Joan Baez, who became Dylan’s advocate as well as his lover.[61] Baez was influential in bringing Dylan to prominence by recording several of his early songs and inviting him on stage during her concerts.[62][63] “It didn’t take long before people got it, that he was pretty damned special,” says Baez.[64]

Others who had hits with Dylan’s songs in the early 1960s included the ByrdsSonny & Cherthe HolliesPeter, Paul and Marythe AssociationManfred Mann and the Turtles. Most attempted a pop feel and rhythm, while Dylan and Baez performed them mostly as sparse folk songs. The covers became so ubiquitous that CBS promoted him with the slogan “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan.”[65]

Mixed-Up Confusion“, recorded during the Freewheelin’ sessions with a backing band, was released as a single and then quickly withdrawn. In contrast to the mostly solo acoustic performances on the album, the single showed a willingness to experiment with a rockabilly sound. Cameron Crowe described it as “a fascinating look at a folk artist with his mind wandering towards Elvis Presley and Sun Records.”[66]

Protest and Another Side

In May 1963, Dylan’s political profile rose when he walked out of The Ed Sullivan Show. During rehearsals, Dylan had been told by CBS television’s head of program practices that “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” was potentially libelous to the John Birch Society. Rather than comply with censorship, Dylan refused to appear.[67]

By this time, Dylan and Baez were prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.[68] Dylan’s third album, The Times They Are a-Changin’, reflected a more politicized and cynical Dylan.[69] The songs often took as their subject matter contemporary stories, with “Only a Pawn in Their Game” addressing the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers; and the Brechtian “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” the death of black hotel barmaid Hattie Carroll, at the hands of young white socialite William Zantzinger.[70] On a more general theme, “Ballad of Hollis Brown” and “North Country Blues” addressed despair engendered by the breakdown of farming and mining communities. This political material was accompanied by two personal love songs, “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “One Too Many Mornings“.[71] During the Nashville Skyline sessions in 1969, Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded a duet of the song which has not been released.[72][73]

By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk and protest movements.[74] Accepting the “Tom Paine Award” from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, an intoxicated Dylan questioned the role of the committee, characterized the members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself and of every man in Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.[75]

A spotlight shines on Dylan as he performs onstage.

Bobby Dylan, as the college yearbook lists him: St. Lawrence University, upstate New York, November 1963

Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded on a single evening in June 1964,[77] had a lighter mood. The humorous Dylan reemerged on “I Shall Be Free No. 10” and “Motorpsycho Nightmare”. “Spanish Harlem Incident” and “To Ramona” are passionate love songs, while “Black Crow Blues” and “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)” suggest the rock and roll soon to dominate Dylan’s music. “It Ain’t Me Babe“, on the surface a song about spurned love, has been described as a rejection of the role of political spokesman thrust upon him.[78] His newest direction was signaled by two lengthy songs: the impressionistic “Chimes of Freedom“, which sets social commentary against a metaphorical landscape in a style characterized by Allen Ginsberg as “chains of flashing images,”[79] and “My Back Pages“, which attacks the simplistic and arch seriousness of his own earlier topical songs and seems to predict the backlash he was about to encounter from his former champions as he took a new direction.[80]

In the latter half of 1964 and 1965, Dylan moved from folk songwriter to folk-rock pop-music star. His jeans and work shirts were replaced by a Carnaby Street wardrobe, sunglasses day or night, and pointed “Beatle boots“. A London reporter wrote: “Hair that would set the teeth of a comb on edge. A loud shirt that would dim the neon lights of Leicester Square. He looks like an undernourished cockatoo.”[81] Dylan began to spar with interviewers. Appearing on the Les Crane television show and asked about a movie he planned, he told Crane it would be a cowboy horror movie. Asked if he played the cowboy, Dylan replied, “No, I play my mother.”[82]

Going electric

Bob Dylan making an impromptu guest appearance with the Byrds at Ciro‘s nightclub, March 26, 1965

Dylan’s late March 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home was another leap,[83] featuring his first recordings with electric instruments. The first single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues“, owed much to Chuck Berry‘s “Too Much Monkey Business“;[84] its free association lyrics described as harkening back to the energy of beat poetry and as a forerunner of rap and hip-hop.[85] The song was provided with an early video, which opened D. A. Pennebaker‘s cinéma vérité presentation of Dylan’s 1965 tour of Great Britain, Dont Look Back.[86] Instead of miming, Dylan illustrated the lyrics by throwing cue cards containing key words from the song on the ground. Pennebaker said the sequence was Dylan’s idea, and it has been imitated in music videos and advertisements.[87]

The second side of Bringing It All Back Home contained four long songs on which Dylan accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica.[88] “Mr. Tambourine Man” became one of his best known songs when the Byrds recorded an electric version that reached number one in the US and UK .[89][90] “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” were two of Dylan’s most important compositions.[88][91]

In 1965, headlining the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan performed his first electric set since high school with a pickup group featuring Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on organ.[92] Dylan had appeared at Newport in 1963 and 1964, but in 1965 met with cheering and booing and left the stage after three songs. One version has it that the boos were from folk fans whom Dylan had alienated by appearing, unexpectedly, with an electric guitar. Murray Lerner, who filmed the performance, said: “I absolutely think that they were booing Dylan going electric.”[93] An alternative account claims audience members were upset by poor sound and a short set. This account is supported by Kooper and one of the directors of the festival, who reports his recording proves the only boos were in reaction to the MC’s announcement that there was only enough time for a short set.[94][95]

Nevertheless, Dylan’s performance provoked a hostile response from the folk music establishment.[96][97] In the September issue of Sing Out!Ewan MacColl wrote: “Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside disciplines formulated over time …’But what of Bobby Dylan?’ scream the outraged teenagers … Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel.”[98] On July 29, four days after Newport, Dylan was back in the studio in New York, recording “Positively 4th Street“. The lyrics contained images of vengeance and paranoia,[99] and it has been interpreted as Dylan’s put-down of former friends from the folk community—friends he had known in clubs along West 4th Street.[100]

Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde

In July 1965, the single “Like a Rolling Stone” peaked at two in the U.S. and at four in the UK charts. At over six minutes, the song altered what a pop single could convey. Bruce Springsteen, in his speech for Dylan’s inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that on first hearing the single, “that snare shot sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind”.[102] In 2004 and in 2011, Rolling Stone listed it as number one of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[101][103] The song opened Dylan’s next album, Highway 61 Revisited, named after the road that led from Dylan’s Minnesota to the musical hotbed of New Orleans.[104] The songs were in the same vein as the hit single, flavored by Mike Bloomfield‘s blues guitar and Al Kooper‘s organ riffs. “Desolation Row“, backed by acoustic guitar and understated bass,[105] offers the sole exception, with Dylan alluding to figures in Western culture in a song described by Andy Gill as “an 11-minute epic of entropy, which takes the form of a Fellini-esque parade of grotesques and oddities featuring a huge cast of celebrated characters, some historical (EinsteinNero), some biblical (Noah, Cain and Abel), some fictional (Ophelia, Romeo, Cinderella), some literary (T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound), and some who fit into none of the above categories, notably Dr. Filth and his dubious nurse.”[106]

In support of the album, Dylan was booked for two U.S. concerts with Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks from his studio crew and Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, former members of Ronnie Hawkins‘s backing band the Hawks.[107] On August 28 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the group was heckled by an audience still annoyed by Dylan’s electric sound. The band’s reception on September 3 at the Hollywood Bowl was more favorable.[108]

From September 24, 1965, in Austin, Texas, Dylan toured the U.S. and Canada for six months, backed by the five musicians from the Hawks who became known as the Band.[109] While Dylan and the Hawks met increasingly receptive audiences, their studio efforts floundered. Producer Bob Johnston persuaded Dylan to record in Nashville in February 1966, and surrounded him with top-notch session men. At Dylan’s insistence, Robertson and Kooper came from New York City to play on the sessions.[110] The Nashville sessions produced the double album Blonde on Blonde (1966), featuring what Dylan called “that thin wild mercury sound”.[111] Kooper described it as “taking two cultures and smashing them together with a huge explosion”: the musical world of Nashville and the world of the “quintessential New York hipster” Bob Dylan.[112]

On November 22, 1965, Dylan secretly married 25-year-old former model Sara Lownds.[113] Robertson writes in his memoir about receiving a phone call that morning to accompany the couple to the court, and then later to a reception hosted by Al Grossman at the Algonquin Hotel. Some of Dylan’s friends, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, say that, immediately after the event, Dylan denied he was married.[113] Journalist Nora Ephron made the news public in the New York Post in February 1966 with the headline “Hush! Bob Dylan is wed.”[114]

Dylan toured Australia and Europe in April and May 1966. Each show was split in two. Dylan performed solo during the first half, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. In the second, backed by the Hawks, he played electrically amplified music. This contrast provoked many fans, who jeered and slow handclapped.[115] The tour culminated in a raucous confrontation between Dylan and his audience at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in England on May 17, 1966.[116] A recording of this concert was released in 1998: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966. At the climax of the evening, a member of the audience, angered by Dylan’s electric backing, shouted: “Judas!” to which Dylan responded, “I don’t believe you … You’re a liar!” Dylan turned to his band and said, “Play it fucking loud!”[117] as they launched into the final song of the night—”Like a Rolling Stone”.

During his 1966 tour, Dylan was described as exhausted and acting “as if on a death trip”.[118]D. A. Pennebaker, the film maker accompanying the tour, described Dylan as “taking a lot of amphetamine and who-knows-what-else.”[119] In a 1969 interview with Jann Wenner, Dylan said, “I was on the road for almost five years. It wore me down. I was on drugs, a lot of things … just to keep going, you know?”[120] In 2011, BBC Radio 4 reported that, in an interview that Robert Shelton taped in 1966, Dylan said he had kicked heroin in New York City: “I got very, very strung out for a while … I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.”[121] Some journalists questioned the validity of this confession, pointing out that Dylan had “been telling journalists wild lies about his past since the earliest days of his career.”[122][123]

Motorcycle accident and reclusion

After his tour, Dylan returned to New York, but the pressures increased. ABC Television had paid an advance for a TV show.[124] His publisher, Macmillan, was demanding a manuscript of the poem/novel Tarantula. Manager Albert Grossman had scheduled a concert tour for the latter part of the year.

On July 29, 1966, Dylan crashed his 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, New York, and was thrown to the ground. Though the extent of his injuries was never disclosed, Dylan said that he broke several vertebrae in his neck.[125] Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the accident since no ambulance was called to the scene and Dylan was not hospitalized.[125][126] Dylan’s biographers have written that the crash offered Dylan the chance to escape the pressures around him.[125][127] Dylan confirmed this interpretation in his autobiography: “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race.”[128] Dylan withdrew from public and, apart from a few appearances, did not tour again for almost eight years.[126][129]

Once Dylan was well enough to resume creative work, he began to edit D. A. Pennebaker‘s film of his 1966 tour. A rough cut was shown to ABC Television and rejected as incomprehensible to a mainstream audience.[130] The film was subsequently titled Eat the Document on bootleg copies, and it has been screened at a handful of film festivals.[131][132] In 1967 he began recording with the Hawks at his home and in the basement of the Hawks’ nearby house, “Big Pink”.[133] These songs, initially demos for other artists to record, provided hits for Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity (“This Wheel’s on Fire“), The Byrds (“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere“, “Nothing Was Delivered”), and Manfred Mann (“Mighty Quinn“). Columbia released selections in 1975 as The Basement Tapes. Over the years, more songs recorded by Dylan and his band in 1967 appeared on bootleg recordings, culminating in a five-CD set titled The Genuine Basement Tapes, containing 107 songs and alternative takes.[134] In the coming months, the Hawks recorded the album Music from Big Pinkusing songs they worked on in their basement in Woodstock, and renamed themselves the Band,[135] beginning a long recording and performing career of their own.

In October and November 1967, Dylan returned to Nashville.[136] Back in the studio after 19 months, he was accompanied by Charlie McCoy on bass,[136]Kenny Buttrey on drums,[136] and Pete Drake on steel guitar.[136] The result was John Wesley Harding, a contemplative record of shorter songs, set in a landscape that drew on the American West and the Bible. The sparse structure and instrumentation, with lyrics that took the Judeo-Christian tradition seriously, departed from Dylan’s own work and from the psychedelic fervor of the 1960s.[137] It included “All Along the Watchtower“, with lyrics derived from the Book of Isaiah (21:5–9). The song was later recorded by Jimi Hendrix, whose version Dylan acknowledged as definitive.[22] Woody Guthrie died on October 3, 1967, and Dylan made his first live appearance in twenty months at a Guthrie memorial concert held at Carnegie Hall on January 20, 1968, where he was backed by the Band.[138]

Dylan’s next release, Nashville Skyline (1969), was mainstream country featuring Nashville musicians, a mellow-voiced Dylan, a duet with Johnny Cash, and the hit single “Lay Lady Lay“.[140]Variety wrote, “Dylan is definitely doing something that can be called singing. Somehow he has managed to add an octave to his range.”[141] During one recording session, Dylan and Cash recorded a series of duets but only their version of Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” was released on the album.[72][73]

In May 1969, Dylan appeared on the first episode of Johnny Cash’s television show and sang a duet with Cash of “Girl from the North Country“, with solos of “Living the Blues” and “I Threw It All Away“.[142] Dylan next traveled to England to top the bill at the Isle of Wight festival on August 31, 1969, after rejecting overtures to appear at the Woodstock Festival closer to his home.[143]

1970s

In the early 1970s, critics charged that Dylan’s output was varied and unpredictable. Rolling Stone writer Greil Marcus asked “What is this shit?” on first listening to Self Portrait, released in June 1970.[144][145] It was a double LP including few original songs, and was poorly received.[146] In October 1970, Dylan released New Morning, considered a return to form.[147] This album included “Day of the Locusts”, a song in which Dylan gave an account of receiving an honorary degree from Princeton University on June 9, 1970.[148] In November 1968, Dylan had co-written “I’d Have You Anytime” with George Harrison;[149] Harrison recorded “I’d Have You Anytime” and Dylan’s “If Not for You” for his 1970 solo triple album All Things Must Pass. Dylan’s surprise appearance at Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh attracted media coverage, reflecting that Dylan’s live appearances had become rare.[150]

Between March 16 and 19, 1971, Dylan reserved three days at Blue Rock, a small studio in Greenwich Village, to record with Leon Russell. These sessions resulted in “Watching the River Flow” and a new recording of “When I Paint My Masterpiece“.[151] On November 4, 1971, Dylan recorded “George Jackson“, which he released a week later. For many, the single was a surprising return to protest material, mourning the killing of Black PantherGeorge Jackson in San Quentin State Prison that year.[152] Dylan contributed piano and harmony to Steve Goodman‘s album, Somebody Else’s Troubles, under the pseudonym Robert Milkwood Thomas (referencing the play Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and his own previous name) in September 1972.[153]

In 1972, Dylan signed to Sam Peckinpah‘s film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, providing songs and backing music for the movie, and playing “Alias”, a member of Billy’s gang with some historical basis.[154] Despite the film’s failure at the box office, the song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” became one of Dylan’s most covered songs.[155][156]

Also in 1972, Dylan protested the move to deport John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis, by sending a letter to the U.S. Immigration Service, in part: “Hurray for John & Yoko. Let them stay and live here and breathe. The country’s got plenty of room and space. Let John and Yoko stay!”[157]

Return to touring

Dylan together with three musicians from The Band onstage. Dylan is third from left, wearing a black jacket and pants. He is singing and playing an electric guitar.

Bob Dylan and the Band touring in Chicago, 1974

Dylan began 1973 by signing with a new label, David Geffen‘s Asylum Records (and Island in the UK), when his contract with Columbia Records expired. On his next album, Planet Waves, he used the Band as backing group, while rehearsing for a tour. The album included two versions of “Forever Young”, which became one of his most popular songs.[158] As one critic described it, the song projected “something hymnal and heartfelt that spoke of the father in Dylan”,[159] and Dylan himself commented: “I wrote it thinking about one of my boys and not wanting to be too sentimental.”[22]

Columbia Records simultaneously released Dylan, a collection of studio outtakes (almost exclusively covers), widely interpreted as a churlish response to Dylan’s signing with a rival record label.[160] In January 1974, Dylan returned to touring after seven years; backed by the Band, he embarked on a North American tour of 40 concerts. A live double album, Before the Flood, was on Asylum Records. Soon, according to Clive Davis, Columbia Records sent word they “will spare nothing to bring Dylan back into the fold”.[161] Dylan had second thoughts about Asylum, miffed that while there had been millions of unfulfilled ticket requests for the 1974 tour, Geffen had sold only 700,000 copies of Planet Waves.[161] Dylan returned to Columbia Records, which reissued his two Asylum albums.

After the tour, Dylan and his wife became estranged. He filled a small red notebook with songs about relationships and ruptures, and recorded an album entitled Blood on the Tracks in September 1974.[162] Dylan delayed the release and re-recorded half the songs at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis with production assistance from his brother, David Zimmerman.[163]

Released in early 1975, Blood on the Tracks received mixed reviews. In the NMENick Kent described “the accompaniments [as] often so trashy they sound like mere practice takes.”[164] In Rolling StoneJon Landauwrote that “the record has been made with typical shoddiness.”[164] Over the years critics came to see it as one of Dylan’s greatest achievements. In Salon.com, Bill Wyman wrote: “Blood on the Tracks is his only flawless album and his best produced; the songs, each of them, are constructed in disciplined fashion. It is his kindest album and most dismayed, and seems in hindsight to have achieved a sublime balance between the logorrhea-plagued excesses of his mid-1960s output and the self-consciously simple compositions of his post-accident years.”[165] Novelist Rick Moody called it “the truest, most honest account of a love affair from tip to stern ever put down on magnetic tape.”[166]

Dylan, wearing a hat and leather coat, plays guitar and sings, seated. Crouched next to him is a bearded man, listening to him with head bent.

Bob Dylan with Allen Ginsberg on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975. Photo: Elsa Dorfman

In the middle of that year, Dylan wrote a ballad championing boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, imprisoned for a triple murder in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966. After visiting Carter in jail, Dylan wrote “Hurricane“, presenting the case for Carter’s innocence. Despite its length—over eight minutes—the song was released as a single, peaking at 33 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and performed at every 1975 date of Dylan’s next tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue.[a 4][167] The tour featured about one hundred performers and supporters from the Greenwich Village folk scene, including T-Bone Burnett, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Joni Mitchell,[168][169]David MansfieldRoger McGuinnMick Ronson, Joan Baez, and Scarlet Rivera, whom Dylan discovered walking down the street, her violin case on her back.[170]Allen Ginsbergaccompanied the troupe, staging scenes for the film Dylan was shooting. Sam Shepard was hired to write the screenplay, but ended up accompanying the tour as informal chronicler.[171]

Running through late 1975 and again through early 1976, the tour encompassed the release of the album Desire, with many of Dylan’s new songs featuring a travelogue-like narrative style, showing the influence of his new collaborator, playwright Jacques Levy.[172][173] The 1976 half of the tour was documented by a TV concert special, Hard Rain, and the LP Hard Rain; no concert album from the better-received and better-known opening half of the tour was released until 2002’s Live 1975.[174]

Dylan performing in the Feyenoord Football Club Stadium, Rotterdam, June 23, 1978

The 1975 tour with the Revue provided the backdrop to Dylan’s nearly four-hour film Renaldo and Clara, a sprawling narrative mixed with concert footage and reminiscences. Released in 1978, the movie received poor, sometimes scathing, reviews.[175][176] Later in that year, a two-hour edit, dominated by the concert performances, was more widely released.[177]

In November 1976, Dylan appeared at the Band’s “farewell” concert, with Eric ClaptonJoni MitchellMuddy WatersVan Morrison and Neil YoungMartin Scorsese‘s cinematic chronicle, The Last Waltz, in 1978 included about half of Dylan’s set.[178] In 1976, Dylan wrote and duetted on “Sign Language” for Eric Clapton‘s No Reason To Cry.[179]

In 1978, Dylan embarked on a year-long world tour, performing 114 shows in Japan, the Far East, Europe and the US, to a total audience of two million. Dylan assembled an eight-piece band and three backing singers. Concerts in Tokyo in February and March were released as the live double album, Bob Dylan At Budokan.[180] Reviews were mixed. Robert Christgau awarded the album a C+ rating, giving the album a derisory review,[181] while Janet Maslin defended it in Rolling Stone, writing: “These latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals.”[182] When Dylan brought the tour to the U.S. in September 1978, the press described the look and sound as a ‘Las Vegas Tour’.[183] The 1978 tour grossed more than $20 million, and Dylan told the Los Angeles Times that he had debts because “I had a couple of bad years. I put a lot of money into the movie, built a big house  … and it costs a lot to get divorced in California.”[180]

In April and May 1978, Dylan took the same band and vocalists into Rundown Studios in Santa Monica, California, to record an album of new material: Street-Legal.[184] It was described by Michael Gray as, “after Blood On The Tracks, arguably Dylan’s best record of the 1970s: a crucial album documenting a crucial period in Dylan’s own life”.[185] However, it had poor sound and mixing (attributed to Dylan’s studio practices), muddying the instrumental detail until a remastered CD release in 1999 restored some of the songs’ strengths.[186]

Christian period

In the late 1970s, Dylan converted to Evangelical Christianity,[187][188] undertaking a three month discipleship course run by the Association of Vineyard Churches;[189][190] and released two albums of contemporary gospel musicSlow Train Coming (1979) featured the guitar accompaniment of Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) and was produced by veteran R&B producer Jerry Wexler. Wexler said that Dylan had tried to evangelize him during the recording. He replied: “Bob, you’re dealing with a 62-year-old Jewish atheist. Let’s just make an album.”[191] Dylan won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song “Gotta Serve Somebody“. His second Christian-themed album, Saved (1980), received mixed reviews, described by Michael Gray as “the nearest thing to a follow-up album Dylan has ever made, Slow Train Coming II and inferior”[192] When touring in late 1979 and early 1980, Dylan would not play his older, secular works, and he delivered declarations of his faith from the stage, such as:

Years ago they … said I was a prophet. I used to say, “No I’m not a prophet” they say “Yes you are, you’re a prophet.” I said, “No it’s not me.” They used to say “You sure are a prophet.” They used to convince me I was a prophet. Now I come out and say Jesus Christ is the answer. They say, “Bob Dylan’s no prophet.” They just can’t handle it.[193]

Dylan’s Christianity was unpopular with some fans and musicians.[194] Shortly before his murderJohn Lennon recorded “Serve Yourself” in response to Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody”.[195] By 1981, Stephen Holden wrote in the New York Times that “neither age (he’s now 40) nor his much-publicized conversion to born-again Christianity has altered his essentially iconoclastic temperament.”[196]

1980s

Dylan, onstage and with eyes closed, plays a chord on an electric guitar.

Dylan in Toronto April 18, 1980

In late 1980, Dylan briefly played concerts billed as “A Musical Retrospective”, restoring popular 1960s songs to the repertoire. Shot of Love, recorded early the next year, featured his first secular compositions in more than two years, mixed with Christian songs. “Every Grain of Sand” reminded some of William Blake‘s verses.[197]

In the 1980s, reception of Dylan’s recordings varied, from the well-regarded Infidels in 1983 to the panned Down in the Groove in 1988. Michael Gray condemned Dylan’s 1980s albums for carelessness in the studio and for failing to release his best songs.[198] As an example of the latter, the Infidels recording sessions, which again employed Knopfler on lead guitar and also as the album’s producer, resulted in several notable songs that Dylan left off the album. Best regarded of these were “Blind Willie McTell“, a tribute to the dead blues musician and an evocation of African American history,[199] “Foot of Pride” and “Lord Protect My Child“. These three songs were released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.[200]

Between July 1984 and March 1985, Dylan recorded Empire Burlesque.[201]Arthur Baker, who had remixed hits for Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper, was asked to engineer and mix the album. Baker said he felt he was hired to make Dylan’s album sound “a little bit more contemporary”.[201]

In 1985 Dylan sang on USA for Africa‘s famine relief single “We Are the World“. He also joined Artists United Against Apartheid providing vocals for their single “Sun City“.[202] On July 13, 1985, he appeared at the climax at the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia. Backed by Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, he performed a ragged version of “Hollis Brown”, his ballad of rural poverty, and then said to the worldwide audience exceeding one billion people: “I hope that some of the money … maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe … one or two million, maybe … and use it to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks.”[203] His remarks were widely criticized as inappropriate, but they did inspire Willie Nelson to organize a series of events, Farm Aid, to benefit debt-ridden American farmers.[204]

In April 1986, Dylan made a foray into rap music when he added vocals to the opening verse of “Street Rock”, featured on Kurtis Blow‘s album Kingdom Blow.[205] Dylan’s next studio album, Knocked Out Loaded, in July 1986 contained three covers (by Little Junior ParkerKris Kristofferson and the gospel hymn “Precious Memories“), plus three collaborations with (Tom PettySam Shepard and Carole Bayer Sager), and two solo compositions by Dylan. One reviewer commented that “the record follows too many detours to be consistently compelling, and some of those detours wind down roads that are indisputably dead ends. By 1986, such uneven records weren’t entirely unexpected by Dylan, but that didn’t make them any less frustrating.”[206] It was the first Dylan album since Freewheelin’(1963) to fail to make the Top 50.[207] Since then, some critics have called the 11-minute epic that Dylan co-wrote with Sam Shepard, “Brownsville Girl“, a work of genius.[208]

In 1986 and 1987, Dylan toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, sharing vocals with Petty on several songs each night. Dylan also toured with the Grateful Dead in 1987, resulting in a live album Dylan & The Dead. This received negative reviews: Allmusic said, “Quite possibly the worst album by either Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead.”[209] Dylan then initiated what came to be called the Never Ending Tour on June 7, 1988, performing with a back-up band featuring guitarist G. E. Smith. Dylan continued to tour with a small, evolving band for the next 20 years.[210]

Dylan plays his guitar and sings into a microphone onstage.

Dylan in Barcelona, Spain, 1984

In 1987, Dylan starred in Richard Marquand‘s movie Hearts of Fire, in which he played Billy Parker, a washed-up rock star turned chicken farmer whose teenage lover (Fiona) leaves him for a jaded English synth-pop sensation played by Rupert Everett.[211] Dylan also contributed two original songs to the soundtrack—”Night After Night”, and “I Had a Dream About You, Baby”, as well as a cover of John Hiatt‘s “The Usual”. The film was a critical and commercial flop.[212]Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1988, with Bruce Springsteen’s introduction declaring, “Bob freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. He showed us that just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual.”[213]

The album Down in the Groove in May 1988 sold even more unsuccessfully than his previous studio album.[214] Michael Gray wrote: “The very title undercuts any idea that inspired work may lie within. Here was a further devaluing of the notion of a new Bob Dylan album as something significant.”[215] The critical and commercial disappointment of that album was swiftly followed by the success of the Traveling Wilburys. Dylan co-founded the band with George HarrisonJeff LynneRoy Orbison, and Tom Petty, and in late 1988 their multi-platinum Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 reached three on the US album chart,[214] featuring songs that were described as Dylan’s most accessible compositions in years.[216]Despite Orbison’s death in December 1988, the remaining four recorded a second album in May 1990 with the title Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.[217]

Dylan finished the decade on a critical high note with Oh Mercy produced by Daniel Lanois. Michael Gray wrote that the album was: “Attentively written, vocally distinctive, musically warm, and uncompromisingly professional, this cohesive whole is the nearest thing to a great Bob Dylan album in the 1980s.”[215][218] The track “Most of the Time”, a lost love composition, was later prominently featured in the film High Fidelity, while “What Was It You Wanted?” has been interpreted both as a catechism and a wry comment on the expectations of critics and fans.[219] The religious imagery of “Ring Them Bells” struck some critics as a re-affirmation of faith.[220]

1990s

Dylan’s 1990s began with Under the Red Sky (1990), an about-face from the serious Oh Mercy. The album contained several apparently simple songs, including “Under the Red Sky” and “Wiggle Wiggle”. The album was dedicated to “Gabby Goo Goo”, a nickname for the daughter of Dylan and Carolyn Dennis, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, who was four.[221]Sidemen on the album included George Harrison, Slash from Guns N’ RosesDavid CrosbyBruce HornsbyStevie Ray Vaughan, and Elton John. Despite the line-up, the record received bad reviews and sold poorly.[222]

In 1991, Dylan received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from American actor Jack Nicholson.[223] The event coincided with the start of the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and Dylan performed “Masters of War“. Dylan then made a short speech, saying “My daddy once said to me, he said, ‘Son, it is possible for you to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you. If that happens, God will believe in your ability to mend your own ways.'”[223][224] This sentiment was subsequently revealed to be a quote from 19th-century German Jewish intellectual, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.[225]

Over the next few years Dylan returned to his roots with two albums covering folk and blues numbers: Good as I Been to You (1992) and World Gone Wrong (1993), featuring interpretations and acoustic guitar work. Many critics and fans commented on the quiet beauty of the song “Lone Pilgrim”,[226] written by a 19th-century teacher. In November 1994 Dylan recorded two live shows for MTV Unplugged. He said his wish to perform traditional songs was overruled by Sony executives who insisted on hits.[227] The album from it, MTV Unplugged, included “John Brown”, an unreleased 1962 song of how enthusiasm for war ends in mutilation and disillusionment.[228]

Dylan and members of his band perform onstage. Dylan, wearing a red shirt and black pants, plays an electric guitar and sings.

Dylan performs during the 1996 Lida Festival in Stockholm

Dylan’s longtime road managerVictor Maymudes has claimed that the singer quit drinking alcohol in 1994.[229] Maymudes felt that Dylan sobering up made him “more introverted and a little less social.”[229]

With a collection of songs reportedly written while snowed in on his Minnesota ranch,[230] Dylan booked recording time with Daniel Lanois at Miami’s Criteria Studios in January 1997. The subsequent recording sessions were, by some accounts, fraught with musical tension.[231] Before the album’s release Dylan was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart infection, pericarditis, brought on by histoplasmosis. His scheduled European tour was cancelled, but Dylan made a speedy recovery and left the hospital saying, “I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.”[232] He was back on the road by mid-year, and performed before Pope John Paul II at the World Eucharistic Conference in Bologna, Italy. The Pope treated the audience of 200,000 people to a homily based on Dylan’s lyric “Blowin’ in the Wind”.[233]

In September Dylan released the new Lanois-produced album, Time Out of Mind. With its bitter assessment of love and morbid ruminations, Dylan’s first collection of original songs in seven years was highly acclaimed. One critic wrote: “the songs themselves are uniformly powerful, adding up to Dylan’s best overall collection in years.”[234] This collection of complex songs won him his first solo “Album of the Year” Grammy Award.[235]

In December 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton presented Dylan with a Kennedy Center Honor in the East Room of the White House, paying this tribute: “He probably had more impact on people of my generation than any other creative artist. His voice and lyrics haven’t always been easy on the ear, but throughout his career Bob Dylan has never aimed to please. He’s disturbed the peace and discomforted the powerful.”[236]

In 1999, Dylan embarked on a North American tour with Paul Simon, where each alternated as headline act with a “middle” section where they performed together, starting on the first of June and ending September 18. The collaboration was generally well-received.

2000s

Dylan commenced the 2000s by winning the Polar Music Prize in May 2000 and his first Oscar; his song “Things Have Changed“, written for the film Wonder Boys, won an Academy Award in March 2001.[238] The Oscar, by some reports a facsimile, tours with him, presiding over shows perched atop an amplifier.[239]

“Love and Theft” was released on September 11, 2001. Recorded with his touring band, Dylan produced the album himself under the pseudonym Jack Frost.[240] The album was critically well received and earned nominations for several Grammy awards.[241] Critics noted that Dylan was widening his musical palette to include rockabilly, Western swing, jazz, and even lounge ballads.[242]“Love and Theft” generated controversy when The Wall Street Journal pointed out similarities between the album’s lyrics and Japanese author Junichi Saga’s book Confessions of a Yakuza.[243][244]

In 2003, Dylan revisited the evangelical songs from his Christian period and participated in the CD project Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan. That year Dylan also released the film Masked & Anonymous, which he co-wrote with director Larry Charles under the alias Sergei Petrov.[245] Dylan played the central character in the film, Jack Fate, alongside a cast that included Jeff BridgesPenélope Cruz and John Goodman. The film polarised critics: many dismissed it as an “incoherent mess”;[246][247] a few treated it as a serious work of art.[248][249]

In October 2004, Dylan published the first part of his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One. Confounding expectations,[250] Dylan devoted three chapters to his first year in New York City in 1961–1962, virtually ignoring the mid-1960s when his fame was at its height. He also devoted chapters to the albums New Morning (1970) and Oh Mercy (1989). The book reached number two on The New York Times’ Hardcover Non-Fiction best seller list in December 2004 and was nominated for a National Book Award.[251]

No Direction HomeMartin Scorsese‘s acclaimed film biography of Dylan,[252] was first broadcast on September 26–27, 2005, on BBC Two in the UK and PBS in the US.[253] The documentary focuses on the period from Dylan’s arrival in New York in 1961 to his motorcycle crash in 1966, featuring interviews with Suze RotoloLiam ClancyJoan BaezAllen GinsbergPete SeegerMavis Staples, and Dylan himself. The film received a Peabody Award in April 2006[254] and a Columbia-duPont Award in January 2007.[255] The accompanying soundtrack featured unreleased songs from Dylan’s early career.[256]

Dylan earned yet another distinction in a 2007 study of US legal opinions and briefs that found his lyrics were quoted by judges and lawyers more than those of any other songwriter, 186 times versus 74 by the Beatles, who were second. Among those quoting Dylan were US Supreme CourtChief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, both conservatives. The most widely cited lines included “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” from “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose” from “Like a Rolling Stone“.[257][258]

Modern Times

May 3, 2006, was the premiere of Dylan’s radio presenting career, hosting a weekly radio program, Theme Time Radio Hour, for XM Satellite Radio, with song selections revolving around a chosen theme.[259][260] Dylan played classic and obscure records from the 1930s to the present day, including contemporary artists as diverse as BlurPrinceL.L. Cool J and the Streets. The show was praised by fans and critics as “great radio,” as Dylan told stories and made eclectic references with his sardonic humor, while achieving a thematic beauty with his musical choices.[261][262] In April 2009, Dylan broadcast the 100th show in his radio series; the theme was “Goodbye” and the final record played was Woody Guthrie’s “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh”. This led to speculation that Dylan’s radio excursion had ended.[263]

Dylan together with five members of his band onstage. Dylan, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, is second from right.

Dylan, the Spectrum, 2007

On August 29, 2006, Dylan released his Modern Times album. Despite some coarsening of Dylan’s voice (a critic for The Guardian characterised his singing on the album as “a catarrhal death rattle”[264]) most reviewers praised the album, and many described it as the final installment of a successful trilogy, embracing Time Out of Mind and “Love and Theft”.[265]Modern Times entered the U.S. charts at number one, making it Dylan’s first album to reach that position since 1976’s Desire.[266]The New York Times published an article exploring similarities between some of Dylan’s lyrics in Modern Times and the work of the Civil War poet Henry Timrod.[267]

Nominated for three Grammy Awards, Modern Times won Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album and Bob Dylan also won Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for “Someday Baby”. Modern Times was named Album of the Year, 2006, by Rolling Stone magazine,[268] and by Uncut in the UK.[269] On the same day that Modern Times was released the iTunes Music Store released Bob Dylan: The Collection, a digital box set containing all of his albums (773 tracks in total), along with 42 rare and unreleased tracks.[270]

In August 2007, the award-winning film biography of Dylan I’m Not There, written and directed by Todd Haynes, was released—bearing the tagline “inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan”.[271][272] The movie used six different actors to represent different aspects of Dylan’s life: Christian BaleCate BlanchettMarcus Carl FranklinRichard GereHeath Ledger and Ben Whishaw.[272][273] Dylan’s previously unreleased 1967 recording from which the film takes its name[274] was released for the first time on the film’s original soundtrack; all other tracks are covers of Dylan songs, specially recorded for the movie by a diverse range of artists, including Sonic YouthEddie VedderMason JenningsStephen MalkmusJeff TweedyKaren OWillie NelsonCat PowerRichie Havens, and Tom Verlaine.[275]

Dylan, dressed in a black western outfit with red highlights, stands onstage and plays the keyboards. He gazes to the left of the photo. Behind him is a guitar player, dressed in black.

Bob Dylan performs at Air Canada Centre, Toronto, November 7, 2006

On October 1, 2007, Columbia Records released the triple CD retrospective album Dylan, anthologising his entire career under the Dylan 07 logo.[276] As part of this campaign, Mark Ronson produced a re-mix of Dylan’s 1966 tune “Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine“, which was released as a maxi-single. This was the first time Dylan had sanctioned a re-mix of one of his classic recordings.[277]

The sophistication of the Dylan 07 marketing campaign was a reminder that Dylan’s commercial profile had risen considerably since the 1990s. This first became evident in 2004, when Dylan appeared in a TV advertisement for Victoria’s Secret lingerie.[278] Three years later, in October 2007, he participated in a multi-media campaign for the 2008 Cadillac Escalade.[279][280] Then, in 2009, he gave the highest profile endorsement of his career, appearing with rapper will.i.am in a Pepsi ad that debuted during the telecast of Super Bowl XLIII.[281] The ad, broadcast to a record audience of 98 million viewers, opened with Dylan singing the first verse of “Forever Young” followed by will.i.am doing a hip hop version of the song’s third and final verse.[282]

In October 2008, Columbia released The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 – Tell Tale Signs as both a two-CD set and a three-CD version with a 150-page hardcover book. The set contains live performances and outtakes from selected studio albums from Oh Mercy to Modern Times, as well as soundtrack contributions and collaborations with David Bromberg and Ralph Stanley.[283] The pricing of the album—the two-CD set went on sale for $18.99 and the three-CD version for $129.99—led to complaints about “rip-off packaging” from some fans and commentators.[284][285] The release was widely acclaimed by critics.[286] The abundance of alternative takes and unreleased material suggested to one reviewer that this volume of old outtakes “feels like a new Bob Dylan record, not only for the astonishing freshness of the material, but also for the incredible sound quality and organic feeling of everything here.”[287]

Together Through Life and Christmas in the Heart

Bob Dylan released his album Together Through Life on April 28, 2009. In a conversation with music journalist Bill Flanagan, published on Dylan’s website, Dylan explained that the genesis of the record was when French film director Olivier Dahan asked him to supply a song for his new road movieMy Own Love Song; initially only intending to record a single track, “Life Is Hard,” “the record sort of took its own direction”.[288] Nine of the ten songs on the album are credited as co-written by Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter.[289]

The album received largely favorable reviews,[290] although several critics described it as a minor addition to Dylan’s canon of work. Andy Gill wrote in The Independent that the record “features Dylan in fairly relaxed, spontaneous mood, content to grab such grooves and sentiments as flit momentarily across his radar. So while it may not contain too many landmark tracks, it’s one of the most naturally enjoyable albums you’ll hear all year.”[291]

In its first week of release, the album reached number one in the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S.,[292] making Bob Dylan (67 years of age) the oldest artist to ever debut at number one on that chart.[292] It also reached number one on the UK album chart, 39 years after Dylan’s previous UK album chart topper New Morning. This meant that Dylan currently holds the record for the longest gap between solo number one albums in the UK chart.[293]

On October 13, 2009, Dylan released a Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart, comprising such Christmas standards as “Little Drummer Boy“, “Winter Wonderland” and “Here Comes Santa Claus“.[294] Dylan’s royalties from the sale of this album will benefit the charities Feeding America in the USA, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Programme.[295]

The album received generally favorable reviews.[296]The New Yorker commented that Dylan had welded a pre-rock musical sound to “some of his croakiest vocals in a while”, and speculated that Dylan’s intentions might be ironic: “Dylan has a long and highly publicized history with Christianity; to claim there’s not a wink in the childish optimism of ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ or ‘Winter Wonderland’ is to ignore a half-century of biting satire.”[297] In USA TodayEdna Gundersen pointed out that Dylan was “revisiting yuletide styles popularized by Nat King ColeMel Tormé, and the Ray Conniff Singers.” Gundersen concluded that Dylan “couldn’t sound more sentimental or sincere”.[298]

In an interview published in The Big Issue, journalist Bill Flanagan asked Dylan why he had performed the songs in a straightforward style, and Dylan responded: “There wasn’t any other way to play it. These songs are part of my life, just like folk songs. You have to play them straight too.”[299]

2010s

Tempest

On October 18, 2010, Dylan released Volume 9 of his Bootleg Series, The Witmark Demos. This comprised 47 demo recordings of songs taped between 1962 and 1964 for Dylan’s earliest music publishers: Leeds Music in 1962, and Witmark Music from 1962 to 1964. One reviewer described the set as “a hearty glimpse of young Bob Dylan changing the music business, and the world, one note at a time.”[300] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a Metascore of 86, indicating “universal acclaim”.[301] In the same week, Sony Legacy released Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, a box set that for the first time presented Dylan’s eight earliest albums, from Bob Dylan (1962) to John Wesley Harding (1967), in their original mono mix in the CD format. The CDs were housed in miniature facsimiles of the original album covers, replete with original liner notes. The set was accompanied by a booklet featuring an essay by music critic Greil Marcus.[302][303]

On April 12, 2011, Legacy Recordings released Bob Dylan in Concert – Brandeis University 1963, taped at Brandeis University on May 10, 1963, two weeks prior to the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The tape was discovered in the archive of music writer Ralph J. Gleason, and the recording carries liner notes by Michael Gray, who says it captures Dylan “from way back when Kennedy was President and the Beatles hadn’t yet reached America. It reveals him not at any Big Moment but giving a performance like his folk club sets of the period… This is the last live performance we have of Bob Dylan before he becomes a star.”[304]

The extent to which his work was studied at an academic level was demonstrated on Dylan’s 70th birthday on May 24, 2011, when three universities organized symposia on his work. The University of Mainz,[305] the University of Vienna,[306] and the University of Bristol[307] invited literary critics and cultural historians to give papers on aspects of Dylan’s work. Other events, including tribute bands, discussions and simple singalongs, took place around the world, as reported in The Guardian: “From Moscow to Madrid, Norway to Northampton and Malaysia to his home state of Minnesota, self-confessed ‘Bobcats’ will gather today to celebrate the 70th birthday of a giant of popular music.”[308]

Dylan and the Obamas at the White House, after a performance celebrating music from the civil rights movement(February 9, 2010)

On October 4, 2011, Dylan’s label, Egyptian Records, released an album of previously unheard Hank Williams songs, The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Dylan had helped to curate this project, in which songs unfinished when Williams died in 1953 were completed and recorded by a variety of artists, including Dylan himself, his son Jakob DylanLevon HelmNorah JonesJack White, and others.[309][310]

On May 29, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Dylan a Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House. At the ceremony, Obama praised Dylan’s voice for its “unique gravelly power that redefined not just what music sounded like but the message it carried and how it made people feel”.[311]

On September 11, 2012, Dylan released his 35th studio album, Tempest.[312] The album features a tribute to John Lennon, “Roll On John”, and the title track is a 14 minute song about the sinking of the Titanic.[313] Reviewing Tempest for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes gave the album five out of five stars, writing: “Lyrically, Dylan is at the top of his game, joking around, dropping wordplay and allegories that evade pat readings and quoting other folks’ words like a freestyle rapper on fire.” Hermes called Tempest “one of [Dylan’s] weirdest albums ever”, and opined, “It may also be the single darkest record in Dylan’s catalog.”[314] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a score of 83 out of 100, indicating “universal acclaim”.[315]

On August 27, 2013, Columbia Records released Volume 10 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series, Another Self Portrait (1969–1971).[316] The album contained 35 previously unreleased tracks, including alternate takes and demos from Dylan’s 1969–1971 recording sessions during the making of the Self Portrait and New Morning albums. The box set also included a live recording of Dylan’s performance with the Band at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969Another Self Portrait received favorable reviews, earning a score of 81 on the critical aggregator, Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.[317]AllMusic critic Thom Jurek wrote, “For fans, this is more than a curiosity, it’s an indispensable addition to the catalog.”[318]

On November 4, 2013, Columbia Records released Bob Dylan: Complete Album Collection: Vol. One, a boxed set containing all 35 of Dylan’s studio albums, six albums of live recordings, and a collection, entitled Sidetracks, of singles, songs from films and non-album material.[319] The box includes new album-by-album liner notes written by Clinton Heylin with an introduction by Bill Flanagan. On the same date, Columbia released a compilation, The Very Best of Bob Dylan, which is available in both single CD and double CD formats.[320] To publicize the 35 album box set, an innovative video of the song “Like a Rolling Stone” was released on Dylan’s website. The interactive video, created by director Vania Heymann, allowed viewers to switch between 16 simulated TV channels, all featuring characters who are lip-synching the lyrics of the 48-year-old song.[321][322]

On February 2, 2014, Dylan appeared in a commercial for the Chrysler 200 car which was screened during the 2014 Super Bowl American football game. At the end of the commercial, Dylan says: “So let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.” Dylan’s Super Bowl commercial generated controversy and op-ed pieces discussing the protectionist implications of his words, and whether the singer had “sold out” to corporate interests.[323][324][325][326][327]

In 2013 and 2014, auction house sales demonstrated the high cultural value attached to Dylan’s mid-1960s work, and the record prices that collectors were willing to pay for artefacts from this period. In December 2013, the Fender Stratocaster which Dylan had played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival fetched $965,000, the second highest price paid for a guitar.[328][329] In June 2014, Dylan’s hand-written lyrics of “Like a Rolling Stone“, his 1965 hit single, fetched $2 million dollars at auction, a record for a popular music manuscript.[330][331]

On October 28, 2014, Simon & Schuster published a massive 960 page, thirteen and a half pound edition of Dylan’s lyrics, The Lyrics: Since 1962. The book was edited by literary critic Christopher Ricks, Julie Nemrow and Lisa Nemrow, to offer variant versions of Dylan’s songs, sourced from out-takes and live performances. A limited edition of 50 books, signed by Dylan, was priced at $5,000. “It’s the biggest, most expensive book we’ve ever published, as far as I know,” said Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s president and publisher.[332][333]

On November 4, 2014, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings released The Basement Tapes Complete by Bob Dylan and the Band. These 138 tracks in a six-CD box form Volume 11 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series. The 1975 album, The Basement Tapes, contained some of the songs which Dylan and the Band recorded in their homes in Woodstock, New York, in 1967. Subsequently, over 100 recordings and alternate takes have circulated on bootleg records. The sleeve notes for the new box set are by Sid Griffin, American musician and author of Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes.[334][335]

Shadows in the NightFallen Angels and Triplicate

On February 3, 2015, Dylan released Shadows in the Night, featuring ten songs written between 1923 and 1963,[336][337] which have been described as part of the Great American Songbook.[338] All the songs on the album were recorded by Frank Sinatra but both critics and Dylan himself cautioned against seeing the record as a collection of “Sinatra covers”.[336][339] Dylan explained, “I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way. They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.”[340] In an interview, Dylan said he had been thinking about making this record since hearing Willie Nelson‘s 1978 album Stardust.[341]

Shadows In the Night received favorable reviews, scoring 82 on the critical aggregator Metacritic, which indicates “universal acclaim”.[342] Critics praised the restrained instrumental backings and Dylan’s singing, saying that the material had elicited his best vocal performances in recent years.[338][343] Bill Prince in GQ commented: “A performer who’s had to hear his influence in virtually every white pop recording made since he debuted his own self-titled album back in 1962 imagines himself into the songs of his pre-rock’n’roll early youth.”[339] In The Independent, Andy Gill wrote that the recordings “have a lingering, languid charm, which… help to liberate the material from the rusting manacles of big-band and cabaret mannerisms.”[344] The album debuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart in its first week of release.[345]

On October 5, 2015, IBM launched a marketing campaign for its Watson computer system which featured Dylan. Dylan is seen conversing with the computer which says it has read all his lyrics and reports: “My analysis shows that your major themes are that time passes and love fades.” Dylan replies: “That sounds about right.”[346]

On November 6, 2015, Sony Music released The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966. This work consists of previously unreleased material from the three albums Dylan recorded between January 1965 and March 1966: Bringing It All Back HomeHighway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. The records have been released in three formats: a 2-CD “Best Of” version, a 6-CD “Deluxe edition”, and an 18-CD “Collector’s Edition” in a limited edition of 5,000 units. On Dylan’s website the “Collector’s Edition” was described as containing “every single note recorded by Bob Dylan in the studio in 1965/1966”.[347][348] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded Cutting Edge a score of 99, indicating universal acclaim.[349]The Best of the Cutting Edge entered the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart at number one on November 18, based on its first-week sales.[350]

On March 2, 2016, it was announced that Dylan had sold an extensive archive of about 6,000 items to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa. It was reported that the sale price was “an estimated $15 million to $20 million”, and the archive comprises notebooks, drafts of Dylan lyrics, recordings, and correspondence.[351] Filmed material in the collection includes 30 hours of outtakes from the 1965 tour documentary Dont Look Back, 30 hours of footage shot on Dylan’s legendary 1966 electric tour, and 50 hours shot on the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue. The archive will be housed at Helmerich Center for American Research, a facility at the Gilcrease Museum.[352]

On May 20, Dylan released Fallen Angels, which was described as “a direct continuation of the work of ‘uncovering’ the Great Songbook that he began on last year’s Shadows In the Night.”[353] The album contained twelve songs by classic songwriters such as Harold ArlenSammy Cahn and Johnny Mercer, eleven of which had been recorded by Sinatra.[353] Jim Farber wrote in Entertainment Weekly: “Tellingly, [Dylan] delivers these songs of love lost and cherished not with a burning passion but with the wistfulness of experience. They’re memory songs now, intoned with a present sense of commitment. Released just four days ahead of his 75th birthday, they couldn’t be more age-appropriate.”[354] The album received a score of 79 on critical aggregator website Metacritic, denoting “generally favorable reviews”.[355]

On October 13, the Nobel Prize committee announced it had awarded Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.[3][356]

On November 11, 2016, Legacy Recordings released a 36-CD set, The 1966 Live Recordings, including every known recording of Bob Dylan’s 1966 concert tour. Legacy Recordings president Adam Block said: “While doing the archival research for The Cutting Edge 1965–1966, last year’s box set of Dylan’s mid-’60s studio sessions, we were continually struck by how great his 1966 live recordings really are.”[357] The recordings commence with the concert in White Plains New York on February 5, 1966, and end with the Royal Albert Hall concert in London on May 27.[358] The liner notes for the set are by Clinton Heylin, author of the book, Judas!: From Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall: A Historical View of Dylan’s Big Boo, a study of the 1966 tour.[359]The New York Times reported most of the concerts had “never been heard in any form”, and described the set as “a monumental addition to the corpus”.[360]

On March 31, 2017, Dylan released his triple album, Triplicate, comprising 30 new recordings of classic American songs, including “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld and “Stormy Weather” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Dylan’s 38th studio album was recorded in Hollywood’s Capitol Studios and features his touring band.[361] Dylan posted a long interview on his website to promote the album, and was asked if this material was an exercise in nostalgia. “Nostalgic? No I wouldn’t say that. It’s not taking a trip down memory lane or longing and yearning for the good old days or fond memories of what’s no more. A song like “Sentimental Journey” is not a way back when song, it doesn’t emulate the past, it’s attainable and down to earth, it’s in the here and now.”[362] The album was awarded a score of 84 on critical aggregator website Metacritic, signifying “universal acclaim”. Critics praised the thoroughness of Dylan’s exploration of the great American songbook, though, in the opinion of Uncut: “For all its easy charms, Triplicate labours its point to the brink of overkill. After five albums’ worth of croon toons, this feels like a fat full stop on a fascinating chapter.”[363]

Conor McPherson’s play Girl from the North Country, where dramatic action is broken up by 20 Dylan songs, opened in London’s The Old Vic on July 26, 2017. The project began when Dylan’s office approached McPherson and suggested creating a play using Dylan songs. The drama received favorable reviews.[364][365]

On November 3, Sony Music released The Bootleg Series Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979–1981, comprising 8 CDs and 1 DVD.[366]Trouble No More documents what Rolling Stone described as Dylan’s “Born Again Christian period of 1979 to 1981 – an intense, wildly controversial time that produced three albums and some of the most confrontational concerts of his long career.”[366] Reviewing the box set in The New York TimesJon Pareles wrote, “Decades later, what comes through these recordings above all is Mr. Dylan’s unmistakable fervor, his sense of mission. The studio albums are subdued, even tentative, compared with what the songs became on the road. Mr. Dylan’s voice is clear, cutting and ever improvisational; working the crowds, he was emphatic, committed, sometimes teasingly combative. And the band tears into the music.”[367]Trouble No More includes a DVD of a film directed by Jennifer Lebeau consisting of live footage of Dylan’s gospel performances interspersed with sermons delivered by actor Michael Shannon.[368]

Never Ending Tour

Bob Dylan performing at Finsbury Park, London, June 18, 2011

Bob Dylan performing at Finsbury Park, London, June 18, 2011

The Never Ending Tour commenced on June 7, 1988,[369] and Dylan has played roughly 100 dates a year for the entirety of the 1990s and 2000s—a heavier schedule than most performers who started out in the 1960s.[370]By May 2013, Dylan and his band had played more than 2,500 shows,[371][372] anchored by long-time bassist Tony Garnier, drummer George Recile, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, and guitarist Charlie Sexton.[373] To the dismay of some of his audience,[374] Dylan’s performances remain unpredictable as he alters his arrangements and changes his vocal approach night after night.[375] Critical opinion about Dylan’s shows remains divided. Critics such as Richard Williams and Andy Gill have argued that Dylan has found a successful way to present his rich legacy of material.[376][377] Others have criticized his live performances for mangling and spitting out “the greatest lyrics ever written so that they are effectively unrecognisable”, and giving so little to the audience that “it is difficult to understand what he is doing on stage at all.”[378]

Dylan’s performances in China in April 2011 generated controversy. Some criticised him for not making any explicit comment on the political situation in China, and for, allegedly, allowing the Chinese authorities to censor his set list.[379][380] Others defended Dylan’s performances, arguing that such criticism represented a misunderstanding of Dylan’s art, and that no evidence for the censorship of Dylan’s set list existed.[381][382] In response to these allegations, Dylan posted a statement on his website: “As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There’s no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous 3 months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play.”[383]

At the beginning of 2017, Dylan announced his forthcoming tour of Europe, commencing in Stockholm on April 1, and ending in Dublin on May 11.[384] In June and July, Dylan’s tour will continue across Canada and the US.[384]

Visual artist

The cover of Dylan’s album Self Portrait (1970) is a reproduction of a painting of a face by Dylan.[385] Another of his paintings is reproduced on the cover of the 1974 album Planet Waves. In 1994 Random House published Drawn Blank, a book of Dylan’s drawings.[386] In 2007, the first public exhibition of Dylan’s paintings, The Drawn Blank Series, opened at the Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz, Germany;[387] it showcased more than 200 watercolors and gouaches made from the original drawings. The exhibition coincided with the publication of Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series, which includes 170 reproductions from the series.[387][388] From September 2010 until April 2011, the National Gallery of Denmark exhibited 40 large-scale acrylic paintings by Dylan, The Brazil Series.[389]

In July 2011, a leading contemporary art gallery, Gagosian Gallery, announced their representation of Dylan’s paintings.[390] An exhibition of Dylan’s art, The Asia Series, opened at the Gagosian Madison Avenue Gallery on September 20, displaying Dylan’s paintings of scenes in China and the Far East.[391]The New York Times reported that “some fans and Dylanologists have raised questions about whether some of these paintings are based on the singer’s own experiences and observations, or on photographs that are widely available and were not taken by Mr. Dylan.” The Times pointed to close resemblances between Dylan’s paintings and historic photos of Japan and China, and photos taken by Dmitri Kessel and Henri Cartier-Bresson.[392] The Magnum photo agency confirmed that Dylan had licensed the reproduction rights of these photographs.[393]

Dylan’s second show at the Gagosian Gallery, Revisionist Art, opened in November 2012. The show consisted of thirty paintings, transforming and satirizing popular magazines, including Playboy and Babytalk.[394][395] In February 2013, Dylan exhibited the New Orleans Series of paintings at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.[396] In August 2013, Britain’s National Portrait Gallery in London hosted Dylan’s first major UK exhibition, Face Value, featuring twelve pastel portraits.[397]

In November 2013, the Halcyon Gallery in London mounted Mood Swings, an exhibition in which Dylan displayed seven wrought iron gates he had made. In a statement released by the gallery, Dylan said, “I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country, where you could breathe it and smell it every day. Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”[398][399]

In November 2016, the Halcyon Gallery featured a collection of drawings, watercolors and acrylic works by Dylan. The exhibition, The Beaten Path, depicted American landscapes and urban scenes, inspired by Dylan’s travels across the USA.[400] The show was well reviewed by Vanity Fair, the Telegraph, and Asia Times Online, and is scheduled to tour in 2017.[401][402][403]

Since 1994, Dylan has published seven books of paintings and drawings.[404]

Discography

Bibliography

Dylan has published Tarantula, a work of prose poetryChronicles: Volume One, the first part of his memoirs, several books of the lyrics of his songs, and seven books of his art. He has been the subject of many biographies and critical studies.

Personal life

Romantic relationships

Suze Rotolo

Dylan’s first serious relationship was with artist Suze Rotolo, a daughter of American Communist Party radicals. According to Dylan, “She was the most erotic thing I’d ever seen… The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves. We started talking and my head started to spin.”[405] Rotolo was photographed arm-in-arm with Dylan on the cover of his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Critics have connected Rotolo to some of Dylan’s early love songs, including “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right“. The relationship ended in 1964.[406] In 2008, Rotolo published a memoir about her life in Greenwich Village and relationship with Dylan in the 1960s, A Freewheelin’ Time.[407]

Joan Baez

When Joan Baez first met Dylan in April 1961, she had already released her first album and was acclaimed as the “Queen of Folk”.[408] On hearing Dylan perform his song “With God on Our Side,” Baez later said, “I never thought anything so powerful could come out of that little toad”.[409] In July 1963, Baez invited Dylan to join her on stage at the Newport Folk Festival, setting the scene for similar duets over the next two years.[410] By the time of Dylan’s 1965 tour of the U.K, their romantic relationship had begun to fizzle out, as captured in D. A. Pennebaker’s documentary film Dont Look Back.[410] Baez later toured with Dylan as a performer on his Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975–76, and sang four songs with Dylan on the live album of the tour, Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue. Baez appeared with Dylan in the one-hour TV special Hard Rain, filmed at Fort CollinsColorado, in May 1976. Baez also starred as ‘The Woman In White’ in the film Renaldo and Clara (1978), directed by Dylan and filmed during the Rolling Thunder Revue. Dylan and Baez toured together again in 1984 with Carlos Santana.[410]

Baez recalled her relationship with Dylan in Martin Scorsese‘s documentary film No Direction Home (2005). Baez wrote about Dylan in two autobiographies—admiringly in Daybreak (1968), and less admiringly in And A Voice to Sing With (1987). Baez’s relationship with Dylan is the subject of her song “Diamonds & Rust“, which has been described as “an acute portrait” of Dylan.[410]

Sara Dylan

Dylan married Sara Lownds, who had worked as a model and a secretary to Drew Associates, on November 22, 1965.[411] Their first child, Jesse Byron Dylan, was born on January 6, 1966, and they had three more children: Anna Lea (born July 11, 1967), Samuel Isaac Abram (born July 30, 1968), and Jakob Luke (born December 9, 1969). Dylan also adopted Sara’s daughter from a prior marriage, Maria Lownds (later Dylan, born October 21, 1961). Sara Dylan played the role of Clara in Dylan’s film Renaldo and Clara (1978). Bob and Sara Dylan were divorced on June 29, 1977.[411]

Maria married musician Peter Himmelman in 1988.[412] In the 1990s, Jakob became well known as the lead singer of the band the Wallflowers; Jesse is a film director and a successful businessman.

Carolyn Dennis

Dylan married his backup singer Carolyn Dennis (often professionally known as Carol Dennis) on June 4, 1986. Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, their daughter had been born on January 31, 1986.[413] The couple divorced in October 1992. Their marriage and child remained a closely guarded secret until the publication of Howard Sounes‘ biography, Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, in 2001.[414]

Home

When not touring, Dylan is believed to live primarily in Point Dume, a promontory on the coast of Malibu, California, though he also owns property around the world.[415][416]

Religious beliefs

Growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota, Dylan and his family were part of the area’s small but close-knit Jewish community, and in May 1954 Dylan had his Bar Mitzvah.[417] Around the time of his 30th birthday, in 1971, Dylan visited Israel, and also met Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the New York-based Jewish Defense League.[418]Time magazine quoted him saying about Kahane, “He’s a really sincere guy. He’s really put it all together.”[419] Subsequently, Dylan downplayed the extent of his contact with Kahane.[420]

Dylan performing onstage with an electric guitar.

Dylan performs in Ahoy Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 4, 1984

During the late 1970s, Dylan converted to Christianity. In November 1978, guided by his friend Mary Alice Artes, Dylan made contact with the Vineyard School of Discipleship.[188] Vineyard Pastor Kenn Gulliksen has recalled: “Larry Myers and Paul Emond went over to Bob’s house and ministered to him. He responded by saying, ‘Yes he did in fact want Christ in his life.’ And he prayed that day and received the Lord.”[421][422] From January to March 1979, Dylan attended the Vineyard Bible study classes in Reseda, California.[188][423]

By 1984, Dylan was distancing himself from the “born again” label. He told Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone magazine: “I’ve never said I’m born again. That’s just a media term. I don’t think I’ve been an agnostic. I’ve always thought there’s a superior power, that this is not the real world and that there’s a world to come.” In response to Loder’s asking whether he belonged to any church or synagogue, Dylan laughingly replied, “Not really. Uh, the Church of the Poison Mind.”[424]In 1997, he told David Gates of Newsweek:

Here’s the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else. Songs like “Let Me Rest on a Peaceful Mountain” or “I Saw the Light“—that’s my religion. I don’t adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I’ve learned more from the songs than I’ve learned from any of this kind of entity. The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs.[425]

In an interview published in The New York Times on September 28, 1997, journalist Jon Pareles reported that “Dylan says he now subscribes to no organized religion.”[426]

Dylan has supported the Chabad Lubavitch movement,[427] and has privately participated in Jewish religious events, including the Bar Mitzvahs of his sons and attending Hadar Hatorah, a Chabad Lubavitchyeshiva. In September 1989 and September 1991, he appeared on the Chabad telethon.[428] On Yom Kippur in 2007 he attended Congregation Beth Tefillah, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was called to the Torah for the sixth aliyah.[429]

Dylan has continued to perform songs from his gospel albums in concert, occasionally covering traditional religious songs. He has also made passing references to his religious faith—such as in a 2004 interview with 60 Minutes, when he told Ed Bradley that “the only person you have to think twice about lying to is either yourself or to God.” He also explained his constant touring schedule as part of a bargain he made a long time ago with the “chief commander—in this earth and in the world we can’t see.”[27]

In a 2009 interview with Bill Flanagan promoting Dylan’s Christmas LP, Christmas in the Heart, Flanagan commented on the “heroic performance” Dylan gave of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and that he “delivered the song like a true believer”. Dylan replied: “Well, I am a true believer.”[299]

Accolades

President Obama presents Dylan with a Medal of Freedom, May 2012

File:Sara Danius announces the Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 03.webm

Sara Danius announces the Nobel Prize in Literature 2016.

Dylan has won many awards throughout his career including the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, twelve Grammy Awards, one Academy Award and one Golden Globe Award. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of FameNashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In May 2000, Dylan received the Polar Music Prize from Sweden’s King Carl XVI.[430]

In June 2007, Dylan received the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category.[431] Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2012.[432][433] In February 2015, Dylan accepted the MusiCares Person of the Yearaward from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, in recognition of his philanthropic and artistic contributions to society.[434] In November 2013, Dylan received the accolade of Légion d’Honneur from the French education minister Aurélie Filippetti.[435]

Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize committee announced on October 13, 2016, that it would be awarding Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.[3][436]The New York Times reported: “Mr. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901.”[356]

On October 21, a member of the Swedish Academy, writer Per Wästberg, termed Dylan “rude and arrogant” for ignoring the Nobel Committee’s attempts to contact him.[437] Academy permanent secretary Sara Danius answered, “The Swedish Academy has never held a view on a prizewinner’s decision in this context, neither will it now.”[438]

After two weeks of speculation about Dylan’s silence concerning the Nobel Prize,[439] he said in an interview with Edna Gundersen that getting the award was: “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”[440]

On November 17, the Swedish Academy announced that Dylan would not travel to Stockholm for the Nobel Prize Ceremony due to “pre-existing commitments”.[441] At the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm on December 10, 2016, Dylan’s banquet speech was given by Azita Raji, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. The speech stated: “From an early age, I’ve been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: KiplingShawThomas MannPearl BuckAlbert CamusHemingway. These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.”[442]Patti Smith accepted Dylan’s Nobel with a “transcendent performance” of his song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” to orchestral accompaniment.[443]

On April 2, 2017, the Academy secretary Danius said: “Earlier today the Swedish Academy met with Bob Dylan for a private ceremony [with no media present] in Stockholm, during which Dylan received his gold medal and diploma. Twelve members of the Academy were present. Spirits were high. Champagne was had. Quite a bit of time was spent looking closely at the gold medal, in particular the beautifully crafted back, an image of a young man sitting under a laurel tree who listens to the Muse. Taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, the inscription reads: Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes, loosely translated as ”And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.”[444]

On June 5, 2017, Dylan’s Nobel Lecture was posted on the Nobel prize website. The New York Times pointed out that, in order to collect the prize’s 8 million Swedish krona ($900,000), the Swedish Academy’s rules stipulate the laureate “must deliver a lecture within six months of the official ceremony, which would have made Mr. Dylan’s deadline June 10.”[445] Academy secretary Danius commented: “The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.”[446] In his essay, Dylan writes about the impact that three important books made on him: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and Homer’s The Odyssey. He concludes: “Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, ‘Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story’.”[16]Alan Pasqua provided the uncredited piano accompaniment for the recorded speech.[447]

Legacy

Recognition and influence

Dylan has been described as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, musically and culturally. He was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century where he was called “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation”.[448] In 2008, The Pulitzer Prize jury awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”[449] President Barack Obama said of Dylan in 2012, “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music.”[311] For 20 years, academics lobbied the Swedish Academy to give Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature,[450][451][452][453] which awarded it to him in 2016,[356] making Dylan the first musician to be awarded the Literature Prize.[356]Horace Engdahl, a member of the Nobel Committee, described Dylan’s place in literary history:

…a singer worthy of a place beside the Greek bards, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards.[454]

Rolling Stone has ranked Dylan at number one in its 2015 list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time,[455] and listed “Like A Rolling Stone” as the “Greatest Song of all Time” in their 2011 list.[456] In 2008, it was estimated that Dylan had sold about 120 million albums worldwide.[457]

I loved him because he wrote some beautiful stuff. I used to love his so-called protest things. But I like the sound of him. I didn’t have to listen to his words. He used to come with his acetate and say, “Listen to this, John. Did you hear the words?” And I said, “That doesn’t matter, just the sound is what counts. The overall thing.” You didn’t have to hear what Bob Dylan’s saying, you just have to hear the way he says it, like the medium is the message…I respected him, I respected him a lot.

John Lennon, 1970[458]

Initially modeling his writing style on the songs of Woody Guthrie,[459] the blues of Robert Johnson,[460] and what he termed the “architectural forms” of Hank Williams songs,[461] Dylan added increasingly sophisticated lyrical techniques to the folk music of the early 1960s, infusing it “with the intellectualism of classic literature and poetry”.[462]Paul Simon suggested that Dylan’s early compositions virtually took over the folk genre: “[Dylan’s] early songs were very rich … with strong melodies. ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ has a really strong melody. He so enlarged himself through the folk background that he incorporated it for a while. He defined the genre for a while.”[463]

When Dylan made his move from acoustic folk and blues music to a rock backing, the mix became more complex. For many critics, his greatest achievement was the cultural synthesis exemplified by his mid-1960s trilogy of albums—Bringing It All Back HomeHighway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. In Mike Marqusee‘s words:

Between late 1964 and the middle of 1966, Dylan created a body of work that remains unique. Drawing on folk, blues, country, R&B, rock’n’roll, gospel, British beat, symbolistmodernist and Beat poetrysurrealism and Dada, advertising jargon and social commentary, Fellini and Mad magazine, he forged a coherent and original artistic voice and vision. The beauty of these albums retains the power to shock and console.”[464]

Dylan’s lyrics began to receive detailed scrutiny from academics and poets as early as 1998, when Stanford University sponsored the first international academic conference on Bob Dylan to be held in the United States.[465] In 2004, Richard F. Thomas, Classics professor at Harvard University, created a freshman seminar titled “Dylan” “to put the artist in context of not just popular culture of the last half-century, but the tradition of classical poets like Virgil and Homer.”[466] William Arctander O’Brien, literary scholar and professor of Germanand Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, memorialized the significance of Dylan’s contribution to world literature when he created a full academic course in 2009 devoted to Dylan, which analyzed and celebrated the “historical, political, economic, aesthetic, and cultural significance of Dylan’s work.”[467]

Literary critic Christopher Ricks published Dylan’s Visions of Sin, a 500-page analysis of Dylan’s work,[468] and has said: “I’d not have written a book about Dylan, to stand alongside my books on Milton and KeatsTennyson and T.S. Eliot, if I didn’t think Dylan a genius of and with language.[469] Former British poet laureateAndrew Motion suggested his lyrics should be studied in schools.[470] The critical consensus that Dylan’s song writing was his outstanding creative achievement was articulated by Encyclopædia Britannica where his entry stated: “Hailed as the Shakespeare of his generation, Dylan… set the standard for lyric writing.”[471]

Dylan’s voice also received critical attention. New York Times critic Robert Shelton described his early vocal style as “a rusty voice suggesting Guthrie’s old performances, etched in gravel like Dave Van Ronk‘s.”[472]David Bowie, in his tribute, “Song for Bob Dylan“, described Dylan’s singing as “a voice like sand and glue”. His voice continued to develop as he began to work with rock’n’roll backing bands; critic Michael Gray described the sound of Dylan’s vocal work on “Like a Rolling Stone” as “at once young and jeeringly cynical”.[473] As Dylan’s voice aged during the 1980s, for some critics, it became more expressive. Christophe Lebold writes in the journal Oral Tradition, “Dylan’s more recent broken voice enables him to present a world view at the sonic surface of the songs—this voice carries us across the landscape of a broken, fallen world. The anatomy of a broken world in “Everything is Broken” (on the album Oh Mercy) is but an example of how the thematic concern with all things broken is grounded in a concrete sonic reality.”[474]

Dylan is considered a seminal influence on many musical genres. As Edna Gundersen stated in USA Today: “Dylan’s musical DNA has informed nearly every simple twist of pop since 1962.”[475] Punk musician Joe Strummer praised Dylan for having “laid down the template for lyric, tune, seriousness, spirituality, depth of rock music.”[476] Other major musicians who acknowledged Dylan’s importance include Johnny Cash,[477]Jerry Garcia,[478]John Lennon,[479]Paul McCartney,[480]Pete Townshend,[481]Neil Young,[482]Bruce Springsteen,[101]David Bowie,[483]Bryan Ferry,[484]Nick Cave,[485][486]Patti Smith,[487]Syd Barrett,[488]Joni Mitchell,[489]Tom Waits[490] and Leonard Cohen.[491] Dylan significantly contributed to the initial success of both the Byrds and the Band: the Byrds achieved chart success with their version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and the subsequent album, while the Band were Dylan’s backing band on his 1966 tour, recorded The Basement Tapes with him in 1967,[492] and featured three previously unreleased Dylan songs on their debut album.[493]

Some critics have dissented from the view of Dylan as a visionary figure in popular music. In his book Awopbopaloobop AlopbamboomNik Cohn objected: “I can’t take the vision of Dylan as seer, as teenage messiah, as everything else he’s been worshipped as. The way I see him, he’s a minor talent with a major gift for self-hype.”[494] Australian critic Jack Marx credited Dylan with changing the persona of the rock star: “What cannot be disputed is that Dylan invented the arrogant, faux-cerebral posturing that has been the dominant style in rock since, with everyone from Mick Jagger to Eminem educating themselves from the Dylan handbook.”[495]

Fellow musicians have also presented dissenting views. Joni Mitchell described Dylan as a “plagiarist” and his voice as “fake” in a 2010 interview in the Los Angeles Times, despite the fact that Mitchell had toured with Dylan in the past, and both artists have covered each others songs.[496][497] Mitchell’s comment led to discussions of Dylan’s use of other people’s material, both supporting and criticizing him.[498] Talking to Mikal Gilmore in Rolling Stone in 2012, Dylan responded to the allegation of plagiarism, including his use of Henry Timrod‘s verse in his album Modern Times,[267] by saying that it was “part of the tradition”.[499][a 5]

If Dylan’s work in the 1960s was seen as bringing intellectual ambition to popular music,[464] critics in the 21st century described him as a figure who had greatly expanded the folk culture from which he initially emerged. Following the release of Todd Haynes’ Dylan biopic I’m Not ThereJ. Hoberman wrote in his 2007 Village Voice review:

Elvis might never have been born, but someone else would surely have brought the world rock ‘n’ roll. No such logic accounts for Bob Dylan. No iron law of history demanded that a would-be Elvis from Hibbing, Minnesota, would swerve through the Greenwich Village folk revival to become the world’s first and greatest rock ‘n’ roll beatnik bard and then—having achieved fame and adoration beyond reckoning—vanish into a folk tradition of his own making.[500]

When Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, The New York Times commented: “In choosing a popular musician for the literary world’s highest honor, the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, dramatically redefined the boundaries of literature, setting off a debate about whether song lyrics have the same artistic value as poetry or novels.”[356] Responses varied from the sarcasm of Irvine Welsh, who described it as “an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies”,[501] to the enthusiasm of Salman Rushdie who tweeted: “From Orpheus to Faiz, song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition. Great choice.”[502]

Archives and tributes

Dylan’s archive, comprising notebooks, song drafts, business contracts, recordings and movie out-takes, are held at the Gilcrease Museum‘s Helmerich Center for American Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is also the home of the archives for Woody Guthrie.[351][503]While selections from the archive may be consulted at the Helmerich Center, the George Kaiser Family Foundation has announced a design competition for a major Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa’s Arts District.[504][505]

In 2005, 7th Avenue East in Hibbing, Minnesota, the street on which Dylan lived from ages 6 to 18, received the honorary name Bob Dylan Drive.[506][507][508] In the town Hibbing, a walk of fame-styled “star” is embedded in a sidewalk with the words Bob Dylan as well as a cursive-Z for Dylan’s nickname Zimmy in youth.[509] In 2006 a cultural pathway, Bob Dylan Way, was inaugurated in Duluth, Minnesota, the city where Dylan was born. The 1.8 mile path links “cultural and historically significant areas of downtown for the tourists”.[510][511]

In 2015, a massive Bob Dylan mural was unveiled in downtown Minneapolis, the city where Dylan attended university for a year. The mural was designed by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra.[512]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ According to Dylan biographer Robert Shelton, the singer first confided his change of name to his high school girlfriend, Echo Helstrom, in 1958, telling her that he had found a “great name, Bob Dillon”. Shelton surmises that Dillon had two sources: Marshal Matt Dillon was the hero of the TV western Gunsmoke; Dillon was also the name of one of Hibbing’s principal families. While Shelton was writing Dylan’s biography in the 1960s, Dylan told him, “Straighten out in your book that I did not take my name from Dylan Thomas. Dylan Thomas’s poetry is for people that aren’t really satisfied in their bed, for people who dig masculine romance.” At the University of Minnesota, the singer told a few friends that Dillon was his mother’s maiden name, which was untrue. He later told reporters that he had an uncle named Dillon. Shelton added that only when he reached New York in 1961 did the singer begin to spell his name “Dylan”, by which time he was acquainted with the life and work of Dylan Thomas. Shelton (2011), pp. 44–45.
  2. Jump up^ In a May 1963 interview with Studs Terkel, Dylan broadened the meaning of the song, saying “the pellets of poison flooding the waters” refers to “the lies people are told on their radios and in their newspapers”. Cott (2006), p. 8.
  3. Jump up^ The title “Spokesman of a Generation” was viewed by Dylan with disgust in later years. He came to feel it was a label the media had pinned on him, and in his autobiography, Chronicles, Dylan wrote: “The press never let up. Once in a while I would have to rise up and offer myself for an interview so they wouldn’t beat the door down. Later an article would hit the streets with the headline “Spokesman Denies That He’s A Spokesman”. I felt like a piece of meat that someone had thrown to the dogs.” Dylan (2004), p.119
  4. Jump up^ According to Shelton, Dylan named the tour Rolling Thunder and then “appeared pleased when someone told him to native Americans, rolling thunder means speaking the truth.” A Cherokeemedicine man named Rolling Thunder appeared on stage at Providence, RI, “stroking a feather in time to the music”. Shelton (2011), p. 310.
  5. Jump up^ Dylan told Gilmore: “As far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who’s been reading him lately? And who’s pushed him to the forefront?… And if you think it’s so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It’s an old thing—it’s part of the tradition.”

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan

 

 

 

 

 

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Image result for President trump nominates Powell for fed chairImage result for u.S. dollar purchasing power 1913 - 2016

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Story 1: President Trump Nominates Fed Governor Jerome Powell To Chair Federal Reserve Board of Governors — Expect Continuation of Interventionist Easy Monetary Policy — More Money Creation or Quantitative Easing When Economy Enters Next Recession in 2018-2019 — Videos

Trump makes his pitch for new Fed chair, tax reform

Trump Announces Fed Chair Pick: Jerome Powell – Full Event

Trump nominates Powell as new Fed chair

PETER SCHIFF – THE NEXT FINANCIAL CRISIS, US ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

End The Fed? … Libertarian Republicans? … #AskRonPaul

Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk 10/23/17: Trump’s Fed Picks? More of the Same!

Bill Gross on Fed Chair Candidates, Bonds, U.S. Deficit

Bill Gross on the Future of Asset Management and the Fed

Who is Jerome Powell?

Trump leaning toward Jerome Powell for Fed Chair: sources

The Economic Club of New York Event – Jerome Powell

Published on Jun 28, 2017
Thursday June 1, 2017 Jerome Powell Governor, Federal Reserve System

Powell Is a Force at the Federal Reserve, Says Wallace

KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Jerome H. Powell

Trump Said to Be Leaning Toward Powell for Fed Chair

Powell, Taylor Said to Be Leading Fed Chair Choices

Trump: Fed’s a very important position

Published on Oct 23, 2017
President Donald Trump on tech regulations, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, the outlook for U.S. economic growth and defense spending.

Alan Greenspan Is ‘Nervous’ Bond Prices Are Too High

Published on Aug 1, 2016
July 28 — Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman and founder of Greenspan Associates, discusses nervousness over bond prices and moving into currencies to counter negative interest rates, as well as dealing with uncertainties in the global economy. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.”

Greenspan: You Can’t Fix U.S. Economy Until You Fix Entitlements

Published on Dec 14, 2016
Dec.13 — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan discusses his outlook for productivity and U.S. economic growth. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Westin.

Who will be next Fed chair?

BVTV: The race to be next Fed chair

The Men Who Will Soon Run The Federal Reserve – What You Need To Know

A Powell, Taylor Fed Hawkish to Markets, Says Zentner

What John Taylor Would Bring to the Federal Reserve

Published on Oct 17, 2017
Oct.17 — David Riley, head of credit strategy at Bluebay Asset Management, and Ed Perks, chief investment officer at Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions, examine what John Taylor would offer as Federal Reserve Chairman. They speak on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”

Interview with Professor John Taylor

The Fed Should Raise Rates to Help the Economy – John Taylor

Published on Nov 13, 2015

 The Federal Reserve should return to conventional monetary policy as soon as possible as higher interest rates would be beneficial to the U.S. economy, said noted economist John Taylor of Stanford University. Taylor spoke with TheStreet during a conference called ‘Rethinking Monetary Policy,’ which was held at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. Thursday. ‘To me the rethinking in some sense is going back and seeing why things worked well when they did in the ‘80s and ’90s until this period,’ said Taylor. ‘Rethinking means adapting some of the things that we forgot.’ Taylor argues that unconventional Fed policy, which was enacted in response to the financial crisis, has in some ways been detrimental. ‘The world has suffered in a way from being off track, from these very unusual policies. And so fixing that, getting back to where I think the Fed wants to go, would be an improvement,’ explained Taylor. ‘Just globally speaking, it’s not been a very successful decade,’ he added. Taylor argues for a rules-based policy system for Central Banks, saying it would lead to less volatility in policy making. TheStreet’s Rhonda Schaffler reports.

John B. Taylor’s Keynote Address: Monetary Rules for a Post-Crisis World

Monetary Policy Based on the Taylor Rule

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: Opening Presentations

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: John Taylor’s Take

Debate on the “Neutral” Interest Rate: Audience Q&A

A Powell, Taylor Fed Hawkish to Markets, Says Zentner

5 Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity: John B. Taylor

n his new book, First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity, Stanford University professor of economics John B. Taylor, details the not-so-secret ingredients to rebuilding American’s economic future: predictable policy, rule of law, strong incentives, reliance on markets, and a clearly limited role for government. “America can be great again, economically speaking,” Taylor explains, “it’s just more recently where we’ve gone off track.” Taylor sat down with Reason Magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward to discuss his book, the principles that underlie America’s economic supremacy and what’s gone wrong over the past decade. Taylor is the Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George Shultz Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He was Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs from 2001 to 2005. His previous books include Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis.

John B. Taylor “How Government Interventions Caused the Financial Crisis.”

Author John B. Taylor discusses his book “Getting Off Track — How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis,” with Reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan.

Is the Fed Making the Crisis Worse? – John B. Taylor

Uncommon Knowledge with John B. Taylor

Economist Lee Says Taylor Can Be One of Best Fed Chairs

The Fed Should Raise Rates to Help the Economy – John Taylor

How to Think About the Federal Reserve – Peter Schiff

Exposing the Federal Reserve!

The Story of Your Enslavement

A War on Homelessness

The Owners of the Country

YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS – George Carlin

America is one big lie and you are a fool for believing in it.

Trump to Tap Jerome Powell as Next Fed Chairman

The president is expected to announce his decision Thursday

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell spoke in Washington on Oct. 3. He has been on the board of governors since 2012.
Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell spoke in Washington on Oct. 3. He has been on the board of governors since 2012. PHOTO:JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Powell would succeed Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the central bank’s first female leader, whose four-year term as Fed chief expires in early February.

In his five years at the Fed, Mr. Powell has been a reliable ally of Ms. Yellen and would likely continue the Fed’s current cautious approach to reversing the central bank’s crisis-era stimulus policies as the economy expands.

That would mean gradually raising short-term interest rates in quarter-percentage-point steps through 2020 while slowly shrinking the Fed’s $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities it purchased to lower long-term rates.

Mr. Powell’s nomination would mark the first time in nearly four decades that a new president hasn’t asked the serving Fed leader to stay on for another term, even though that person was nominated by a president of a different party. The last time a first-term president didn’t do that was in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter chose G. William Miller to succeed Arthur Burns.

The president spoke with Mr. Powell on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter who couldn’t describe what they discussed.

Mr. Trump had settled on Mr. Powell by Saturday, but people familiar with the process had cautioned that he could change his mind. The president plans to formally announce the decision Thursday before he leaves for a trip to Asia on Friday.

Reached by phone Wednesday, both Mr. Powell and Ms. Yellen declined to comment. A Fed spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Ms. Yellen was one of five finalists for the position, along with Stanford University economics professor John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Mr. Taylor and Mr. Warsh didn’t respond to requests seeking comment Wednesday. Mr. Cohn’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump said in a video last week that he had “somebody very specific in mind” for the job. “It will be a person who hopefully will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said in a video posted to Instagram, adding, “I think everybody will be very impressed.”

Fed officials began raising their benchmark federal-funds rate in December 2015 after holding it near zero for seven years following the financial crisis. They voted in June to lift rates to a range between 1% and 1.25% and in October started the process of slowly shrinking the Fed’s bond portfolio.

FED SPEECH ANALYZER

“The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years,” Mr. Powell said in June. If it continues growing as expected, “I would view it as appropriate to continue to gradually raise rates.”

Officials have penciled in one more rate increase this year. But they indicated in September such increases are likely to end at a lower point than they had previously projected—at a longer-run level of around 2.75%—considerably lower than where officials have stopped raising rates in the past.

Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July, “I’d like to see rates stay low.”

The Fed on Wednesday left short-term interest rates unchanged, but signaled it would consider lifting them before year’s end amid signs the economy is gaining momentum.

Mr. Powell has never dissented on a Fed monetary or regulatory policy vote and in speeches hasn’t deviated far from the board’s consensus.

Where he could lead a shift is on regulatory policy. He has advocated loosening some of the financial rules adopted by the Fed and other agencies since the crisis, a position that meshes with Mr. Trump’s deregulatory agenda. Mr. Powell has suggested softening the Volcker rule barring banks from using their own money to make risky bets and easing some bank stress tests.

He also has endorsed reviewing some of the supervisory duties imposed on banks’ boards of directors to prevent them from being burdened with “an ever-increasing checklist.”

“More regulation is not the best answer to every problem,” Mr. Powell said in a speech in early October.

How Fed Chairs Have Fared

A look at various Fed regimes, and how they used interest rates to manage inflation, growth and the economy

*Seasonally adjusted †Change from a year earlier in the price index for personal-consumption expenditures

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

“To some extent he offers Trump the best of both worlds. You get broadly speaking continuity of Yellen’s careful and relatively dovish approach to monetary policy but with somebody who is a card-carrying Republican and who is significantly more inclined to revisit some of the postcrisis regulations,” said Krishna Guha, vice chairman at Evercore ISI and a former New York Fed official.

Karen Petrou, managing partner of the financial-services consulting firm Federal Financial Analytics, said Mr. Powell’s recent remarks on regulation “were certainly much more flexible than [Ms. Yellen] has been.”

Mr. Powell, a lawyer, would be the first Fed leader in three decades without a Ph.D. in economics. Before joining the Fed board, Mr. Powell worked as an investment banker in New York City, as Treasury undersecretary for financial institutions in the George H.W. Bush administration, as a partner at the Carlyle Group and as a scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

That background could serve him well, said Aaron Klein, an economic studies fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Center on Regulation and Markets.

“The Federal Reserve’s mandate has grown significantly since the financial crisis,” he said. “With a broader mandate, one should expect broader and more diverse backgrounds of potential good fits for a chair.”

“He would represent continuity of the Fed system and culture but a break from the predominance of monetary policy as the core background of the chair,” Mr. Klein said.

The decision marks the culmination of an unusually public and drawn-out search for one of the top economic policy-making jobs in the world.

Mr. Trump upended the usually staid selection process by openly weighing the pros and cons of various candidates and asking lawmakers, businesspeople and media personalities for their input.

Mr. Trump polled GOP senators last month on their preferred choice at a lunch on Capitol Hill, and said he was still considering “two, and maybe three” people for the job.

Mr. Trump has other opportunities to reshape the central bank. Randal Quarles, his first nominee to the Fed’s powerful seven-member board of governors, took office in October. Three other seats remain open.

Nominations for all board positions, including chairman and vice chairman, are subject to Senate confirmation.

Mr. Powell should have little trouble winning Senate approval, but his views could clash with those of some Republican senators who have criticized him for supporting the Fed’s easy-money and postcrisis regulatory policies.

He won confirmation to the Fed with bipartisan support in the Senate twice before: to fill an unfinished governor’s term in 2012 and for a full term in 2014. Some Republicans have suggested he could face difficult questions from his own side of the aisle. “I think we should move in a different direction,” from current Fed policies, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said last month about the possibility of a Powell nomination.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com, Peter Nicholas at

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-tap-feds-jerome-powell-for-fed-chairman-1509568166

Taylor rule

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In economics, a Taylor rule is a reduced form approximation of the responsiveness of the nominal interest rate, as set by the central bank, to changes in inflationoutput, or other economic conditions. In particular, the rule describes how, for each one-percent increase in inflation, the central bank tends to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point. This aspect of the rule is often called the Taylor principle. Although such rules may serve as concise, descriptive proxies for central bank policy, and are not explicitly proscriptively considered by central banks when setting nominal rates.

The rule was first proposed by John B. Taylor,[1] and simultaneously by Dale W. Henderson and Warwick McKibbin in 1993.[2] It is intended to foster price stability by systematically reducing uncertainty and increasing the credibility of future actions by the central bank. It may also avoid the inefficiencies of time inconsistency from the exercise of discretionary policy.[3] The Taylor rule synthesized, and provided a compromise between, competing schools of economics thought in a language devoid of rhetorical passion.[4] Although many issues remain unresolved and views still differ about how the Taylor rule can best be applied in practice, research shows that the rule has advanced the practice of central banking.[5]

As an equation

According to Taylor’s original version of the rule, the nominal interest rate should respond to divergences of actual inflation rates from target inflation rates and of actual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from potential GDP:

{\displaystyle i_{t}=\pi _{t}+r_{t}^{*}+a_{\pi }(\pi _{t}-\pi _{t}^{*})+a_{y}(y_{t}-{\bar {y}}_{t}).}i_{t}=\pi _{t}+r_{t}^{*}+a_{\pi }(\pi _{t}-\pi _{t}^{*})+a_{y}(y_{t}-{\bar y}_{t}).

In this equation, {\displaystyle \,i_{t}\,}\,i_{t}\, is the target short-term nominal interest rate (e.g. the federal funds rate in the US, the Bank of England base rate in the UK), {\displaystyle \,\pi _{t}\,}\,\pi _{t}\, is the rate of inflation as measured by the GDP deflator{\displaystyle \pi _{t}^{*}}\pi _{t}^{*} is the desired rate of inflation, {\displaystyle r_{t}^{*}}r_{t}^{*} is the assumed equilibrium real interest rate, {\displaystyle \,y_{t}\,}\,y_{t}\, is the logarithm of real GDP, and {\displaystyle {\bar {y}}_{t}}{\bar y}_{t} is the logarithm of potential output, as determined by a linear trend.

In this equation, both {\displaystyle a_{\pi }}a_{{\pi }} and {\displaystyle a_{y}}a_{y} should be positive (as a rough rule of thumb, Taylor’s 1993 paper proposed setting {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}a_{{\pi }}=a_{y}=0.5).[6] That is, the rule “recommends” a relatively high interest rate (a “tight” monetary policy) when inflation is above its target or when output is above its full-employment level, in order to reduce inflationary pressure. It recommends a relatively low interest rate (“easy” monetary policy) in the opposite situation, to stimulate output. Sometimes monetary policy goals may conflict, as in the case of stagflation, when inflation is above its target while output is below full employment. In such a situation, a Taylor rule specifies the relative weights given to reducing inflation versus increasing output.

The Taylor principle

By specifying {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0}a_{{\pi }}>0, the Taylor rule says that an increase in inflation by one percentage point should prompt the central bank to raise the nominal interest rate by more than one percentage point (specifically, by {\displaystyle 1+a_{\pi }}1+a_{{\pi }}, the sum of the two coefficients on {\displaystyle \pi _{t}}\pi _{t} in the equation above). Since the real interest rate is (approximately) the nominal interest rate minus inflation, stipulating {\displaystyle a_{\pi }>0}a_{{\pi }}>0 implies that when inflation rises, the real interest rate should be increased. The idea that the real interest rate should be raised to cool the economy when inflation increases (requiring the nominal interest rate to increase more than inflation does) has sometimes been called the Taylor principle.[7]

Alternative versions of the rule

Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule

While the Taylor principle has proved very influential, there is more debate about the other terms that should enter into the rule. According to some simple New Keynesian macroeconomic models, insofar as the central bank keeps inflation stable, the degree of fluctuation in output will be optimized (Blanchard and Gali call this property the ‘divine coincidence‘). In this case, the central bank does not need to take fluctuations in the output gap into account when setting interest rates (that is, it may optimally set {\displaystyle a_{y}=0}a_{y}=0.) On the other hand, other economists have proposed including additional terms in the Taylor rule to take into account financial conditions: for example, the interest rate might be raised when stock prices, housing prices, or interest rate spreads increase.

• Taylor Rule 1993 – the original definition by John Taylor with {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}{\displaystyle a_{\pi }=a_{y}=0.5}

• Taylor Rule 1999 – adapted and updated by John Taylor in a new research paper: {\displaystyle a_{\pi }=0.5,a_{y}\geq 0}{\displaystyle a_{\pi }=0.5,a_{y}\geq 0}

Empirical relevance

Although the Federal Reserve does not explicitly follow the Taylor rule, many analysts have argued that the rule provides a fairly accurate summary of US monetary policy under Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan.[8][9] Similar observations have been made about central banks in other developed economies, both in countries like Canada and New Zealand that have officially adopted inflation targeting rules, and in others like Germany where the Bundesbank‘s policy did not officially target the inflation rate.[10][11] This observation has been cited by ClaridaGalí, and Gertler as a reason why inflation had remained under control and the economy had been relatively stable (the so-called ‘Great Moderation‘) in most developed countries from the 1980s through the 2000s.[8] However, according to Taylor, the rule was not followed in part of the 2000s, possibly leading to the housing bubble.[12][13] Certain research has determined that some households form their expectations about the future path of interest rates, inflation, and unemployment in a way that is consistent with Taylor-type rules.[14]

Criticisms

Athanasios Orphanides (2003) claims that the Taylor rule can misguide policy makers since they face real-time data. He shows that the Taylor rule matches the US funds rate less perfectly when accounting for these informational limitations and that an activist policy following the Taylor rule would have resulted in an inferior macroeconomic performance during the Great Inflation of the seventies.[15]

In 2015, financial manager Bill Gross said the Taylor rule “must now be discarded into the trash bin of history”, in light of tepid GDP growth in the years after 2009.[16] Gross believed low interest rates were not the cure for decreased growth, but the source of the problem.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (1993). “Discretion versus Policy Rules in Practice” (PDF). Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 195–214. (The rule is introduced on page 202.)
  2. Jump up^ Henderson, D. W.; McKibbin, W. (1993). “A Comparison of Some Basic Monetary Policy Regimes for Open Economies: Implications of Different Degrees of Instrument Adjustment and Wage Persistence”. Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy39: 221–318. doi:10.1016/0167-2231(93)90011-K.
  3. Jump up^ Taylor, John (2012). First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Economic Prosperity. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 126
  4. Jump up^ Kahn, George A.; Asso, Pier Francesco; Leeson, Robert (2007). “The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 07-11SSRN 1088466Freely accessible.
  5. Jump up^ Asso, Pier Francesco; Kahn, George A.; Leeson, Robert (2010). “The Taylor Rule and the Practice of Central Banking”. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Working Paper 10-05SSRN 1553978Freely accessible.
  6. Jump up^ Athanasios Orphanides (2008). “Taylor rules,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. v. 8, pp. 2000-2004, equation (7).Abstract.
  7. Jump up^ Davig, Troy; Leeper, Eric M. (2007). “Generalizing the Taylor Principle”. American Economic Review97 (3): 607–635. JSTOR 30035014doi:10.1257/aer.97.3.607.
  8. Jump up to:a b Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (2000). “Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Some Evidence”. Quarterly Journal of Economics115 (1): 147–180. JSTOR 2586937doi:10.1162/003355300554692.
  9. Jump up^ Lowenstein, Roger (2008-01-20). “The Education of Ben Bernanke”The New York Times.
  10. Jump up^ Bernanke, Ben; Mihov, Ilian (1997). “What Does the Bundesbank Target?”. European Economic Review41 (6): 1025–1053. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(96)00056-6.
  11. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Gertler, Mark; Galí, Jordi (1998). “Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence”. European Economic Review42 (6): 1033–1067. doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(98)00016-6.
  12. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2008). “The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong” (PDF).
  13. Jump up^ Taylor, John B. (2009). Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-4971-2.
  14. Jump up^ Carvalho, Carlos; Nechio, Fernanda (2013). “Do People Understand Monetary Policy?”. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2012-01SSRN 1984321Freely accessible.
  15. Jump up^ Orphanides, A. (2003). “The Quest for Prosperity without Inflation”. Journal of Monetary Economics50 (3): 633–663. doi:10.1016/S0304-3932(03)00028-X.
  16. Jump up^ Bill Gross (July 30, 2015). “Gross: Low rates are the problem, not the solution”CNBC. Retrieved July 30, 2015.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_rule

Real interest rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yields on inflation-indexed government bonds of selected countries and maturities.

The real interest rate is the rate of interest an investor, saver or lender receives (or expects to receive) after allowing for inflation. It can be described more formally by the Fisher equation, which states that the real interest rate is approximately the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate.

If, for example, an investor were able to lock in a 5% interest rate for the coming year and anticipated a 2% rise in prices, they would expect to earn a real interest rate of 3%.[1] The expected real interest rate is not a single number, as different investors have different expectations of future inflation. Since the inflation rate over the course of a loan is not known initially, volatility in inflation represents a risk to both the lender and the borrower.

In the case of contracts stated in terms of the nominal interest rate, the real interest rate is known only at the end of the period of the loan, based on the realized inflation rate; this is called the ex-post real interest rate. Since the introduction of inflation-indexed bondsex-ante real interest rates have become observable.[2]

Risks

In economics and finance, an individual who lends money for repayment at a later point in time expects to be compensated for the time value of money, or not having the use of that money while it is lent. In addition, they will want to be compensated for the risks of having less purchasing power when the loan is repaid. These risks are systematic risks, regulatory risks and inflation risks. The first includes the possibility that the borrower will default or be unable to pay on the originally agreed upon terms, or that collateral backing the loan will prove to be less valuable than estimated. The second includes taxation and changes in the law which would prevent the lender from collecting on a loan or having to pay more in taxes on the amount repaid than originally estimated. The third takes into account that the money repaid may not have as much buying power from the perspective of the lender as the money originally lent, that is inflation, and may include fluctuations in the value of the currencies involved.

Nominal interest rates include all three risk factors, plus the time value of the money itself.
Real interest rates include only the systematic and regulatory risks and are meant to measure the time value of money.

The “real interest rate” in an economy is often considered to be the rate of return on a risk free investment, such as US Treasury notes, minus an index of inflation, such as the rate of change of the CPI or GDP deflator.

Fisher equation

The relation between real and nominal interest rates and the expected inflation rate is given by the Fisher equation

{\displaystyle 1+i=(1+r)(1+\pi _{e})}1+i=(1+r)(1+\pi _{e})

where

i = nominal interest rate;
r = real interest rate;
{\displaystyle \pi _{e}}\pi _{e} = expected inflation rate.

For example, if somebody lends $1000 for a year at 10%, and receives $1100 back at the end of the year, this represents a 10% increase in her purchasing power if prices for the average goods and services that she buys are unchanged from what they were at the beginning of the year. However, if the prices of the food, clothing, housing, and other things that she wishes to purchase have increased 25% over this period, she has in fact suffered a real loss of about 15% in her purchasing power. (Notice that the approximation here is a bit rough; since 1.1/1.25 = 0.88 = 1 – 0.12, the actual loss of purchasing power is exactly 12%.

Variations in inflation

The inflation rate will not be known in advance. People often base their expectation of future inflation on an average of inflation rates in the past, but this gives rise to errors. The real interest rate ex-post may turn out to be quite different from the real interest rate (ex-ante real interest rate) that was expected in advance. Borrowers hope to repay in cheaper money in the future, while lenders hope to collect on more expensive money. When inflation and currency risks are underestimated by lenders, then they will suffer a net reduction in buying power.

The complexity increases for bonds issued for a long term, where the average inflation rate over the term of the loan may be subject to a great deal of uncertainty. In response to this, many governments have issued real return bonds, also known as inflation-indexed bonds, in which the principal value and coupon rises each year with the rate of inflation, with the result that the interest rate on the bond approximates a real interest rate. (E.g., the three-month indexation lag of TIPS can result in a divergence of as much as 0.042% from the real interest rate, according to research by Grishchenko and Huang.[3]) In the US, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are issued by the US Treasury.

The expected real interest rate can vary considerably from year to year. The real interest rate on short term loans is strongly influenced by the monetary policy of central banks. The real interest rate on longer term bonds tends to be more market driven, and in recent decades, with globalized financial markets, the real interest rates in the industrialized countries have become increasingly correlated. Real interest rates have been low by historical standards since 2000, due to a combination of factors, including relatively weak demand for loans by corporations, plus strong savings in newly industrializing countries in Asia. The latter has offset the large borrowing demands by the US Federal Government, which might otherwise have put more upward pressure on real interest rates.

Related is the concept of “risk return”, which is the rate of return minus the risks as measured against the safest (least-risky) investment available. Thus if a loan is made at 15% with an inflation rate of 5% and 10% in risks associated with default or problems repaying, then the “risk adjusted” rate of return on the investment is 0%.

Importance in economic theory

Effective federal funds rate and prescriptions from alternate versions of the Taylor Rule

The amount of physical investment—in particular the purchasing of new machines and other productive capacity—that firms engage in depends on the level of real interest rates, because such purchases typically must be financed by issuing new bonds. If real interest rates are high, the cost of borrowing may exceed the real physical return of some potentially purchased machines (in the form of output produced); in that case those machines will not be purchased. Lower real interest rates would make it profitable to borrow to finance the purchasing of a greater number of machines.

The real interest rate is used in various economic theories to explain such phenomena as the capital flightbusiness cycle and economic bubbles. When the real rate of interest is high, that is, demand for credit is high, then money will, all other things being equal, move from consumption to savings. Conversely, when the real rate of interest is low, demand will move from savings to investment and consumption. Different economic theories, beginning with the work of Knut Wicksell have had different explanations of the effect of rising and falling real interest rates. Thus, international capital moves to markets that offer higher real rates of interest from markets that offer low or negative real rates of interest triggering speculation in equities, estates and exchange rates.

Real federal funds rate

In setting monetary policy, the U.S. Federal Reserve (and other central banks) establish an interest rate at which they lend to banks. This is the federal funds rate. By setting this rate low, they can encourage borrowing and thus economic activity; or the reverse by raising the rate. Like any interest rate, there are a nominal and a real value defined as described above. Further, there is a concept called the “equilibrium real federal funds rate” (r*), alternatively called the “natural rate of interest” or the “neutral real rate”, which is the “level of the real federal funds rate, if allowed to prevail for several years, [that] would place economic activity at its potential and keep inflation low and stable.” There are various methods used to estimate this amount, using tools such as the Taylor Rule. It is possible for this rate to be negative.[4]

Negative real interest rates

The real interest rate solved from the Fisher equation is

{\displaystyle {\frac {1+i}{1+\pi }}-1=r}{\frac {1+i}{1+\pi }}-1=r

If there is a negative real interest