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Some Direction Home: Bob Dylan Revisited

In honor of Bob Dylan’s 67th birthday, below is a piece I published four years ago:

There’s a legend in my family that we are kin to Uncle Dave Macon. We are for certain distant cousins to the Macons of Wilson County – and Uncle Dave lived in the next county over. My parents met him once, driving to his farm one afternoon when they were

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Outer Darkness: The Gulag Cancer Grows, State Terror Intensifies

The United States government is holding some 27,000 human beings in secret prisons around the world. The overwhelming majority of them are being held indefinitely, without charges, without rights, cut off from the outside world, and subject to “harsh interrogation techniques” (to use the prim locution for “torture” used by the Bush Administration and universally adopted by the American media).

Many of these captives are stuffed into holding pens in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, which is still in operations despite the momentary torture-photo scandal of 2004 — and

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Out-Foxing Fox: Times Totes Water for War Crime Spin

We have often noted here the special role that New York Times reporter Michael Gordon plays in the national media. For years, he has served as a key conduit for government propaganda aimed at fomenting military aggression, then justifying it once it has begun. In many ways, he has probably been a far more effective tool of the militarists than the Fox News network.

The latter, of course, pumps the toxic, bloodstained sewage of Bush Regime spin directly into the public discourse 24 hours a day. But Fox is

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Anglosphere Blues: The Hellish Stink of the ‘Special Relationship’

George Monbiot and Vincent Bugliosi deliver themselves of some hard truths about the degenerate governments of Great Britain and the United States. Monbiot sheds no tears for the dying husk of the “New Labour” project, which has produced Britain’s “most right-wing government since the Second World War,” headed by “a cabinet of war criminals.” Stateside, Bugliosi, the famed prosecutor, calls for George W. Bush to be tried for murder – and, once convicted, to be shown the same kind of “mercy” he bestowed when signing 152 death warrants as governor of

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Sex Tape Fever: A Sad Commentary on Something or Other

Here’s a brief look at an interesting phenomenon. A few weeks ago, despairing of the media’s malign neglect of America’s third “regime change” operation – the brutal proxy war in Somalia – I resorted to a not-so-subtle strategem. In order to draw more attention to the horrific suffering caused by the Bush-backed war of aggression in Somalia, I put this headline on a post about yet another outrage there: “Britney Spears Sex Tape Bares All.” It was mostly a joke: “That finally got your attention, didn’t it?”  I thought

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Progressive Vision Failure: The Real Scandal of Bush’s Knesset Speech

There has been much throwing about of brains in the “progressosphere” about George W. Bush’s shocking and unseemly injection of – gasp! – partisanship into his address to the Israeli Knesset the other day.  Evidently this was the first time in American history that a president has ever indulged in such un-statesmanlike behavior while gadding about in foreign parts. And what exactly did Bush do, what was this act of unprecedented moral and political depravity? Brace yourself: he made a remark that could be construed as an implied criticism of Barack Obama.
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Life and Life Only: A Few Quick Takes

As usual, Scott Ritter talks good sense — in this case about the coming war with Iran, and the specious casus belli that the Bush-Cheney gang seem to have finally settled on: Iran’s alleged “sanctuaries” for training and arming Iraqi insurgents. Ritter demolishes this argument, just as he crushed the lies in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. His truth-telling was of no avail then — and it will likely be of no avail now. But go read the whole thing anyway.


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Outside Agitators: Another Missile Attack Aimed at Peace Talks

They cry peace, peace, but there is no peace — not when American missiles are around to derail any talks that might hamper the profitable operations of the Washington war machine.

On Wednesday, missiles from an American drone destroyed a house in the Pakistani village of Damadola, killing at least 15 people, with women and children reportedly among the dead. The ostensible target was a gathering of Taliban fighters, who control the surrounding area in this border region with Afghanistan.


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Falling Cedars: Fomenting War in Lebanon — and Beyond

What’s going on in Lebanon? Nothing you haven’t seen before — in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine and other places where “the United States is basically instigating and funding civil wars.”

So says Professor As’ad AbuKhalil — better known perhaps as the “Angry Arab,” for his indispensable website of the same name. AbuKhalil was born and raised in Lebanon and has an intimate knowledge of troubled land’s warring factions there — and their external backers. Needless to say, the American media’s framing of the current flare-up

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Another Note

To divert from atrocity and anguish and political folly for a moment: over at the MySpace page, there are four new songs up, with more to come. These are demos, self-produced, rough-sketch possibilities for the second album, which, if all goes well, might be recorded this summer with Nick Kulukundis, the extraordinary producer, arranger and musician. There are also two songs from the first album with Nick, Wheel of Heaven (available through iTunes), still up on the page. Give ’em a listen if you take a notion.

*(Harmony vocals on “Only

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