Easton credits famed record producer Christopher Neil as the primary reason why “For Your Eyes Only” remains such a beloved song 40 years after the film’s release.
“It’s a beautiful song, but it became a hit record because of Chris Neil,” Easton says. “When you listen to the song, it’s the sonic elements that stand out more than my performance. And I’m not just being humble, I really believe that. For example, the movie has all of these underwater elements, and when you listen to the song, you hear swirling waters and the sonar ping from a submarine at the very beginning. It opens with a dramatic, mysterious sound. So Chris was very conscious that this had to sound like a real James Bond theme. He didn’t want to just record a Sheena Easton record and put it in the movie. He really wanted it to reflect the film itself, so when you heard the song and saw the movie, you would forever associate the two.”
In addition to performing the song, Easton also made history by being the only musical artist thus far to appear on screen singing a Bond theme during the opening credits. As the story goes, legendary Bond title designer Maurice Binder was so dazzled by Easton after meeting her, he personally requested that she make an appearance in the opening credit sequence.
“I didn’t have a lot of warm, cozy fireplace chats with Maurice Binder,” Easton recalls. “He very much knew what he wanted, and he had created those opening titles for years, so there was no messing around. He was there to get it done, and he was very technical about it. I remember the cameras were on dollies and tracks, and I was trying to stand as still as possible while giving an emotive performance, and at one point Maurice went, ‘forget it, we’re going to clamp you.’ So they literally put a clamp behind my neck on a metal pole, so I couldn’t move at all. And yet I was supposed to look like I was one of the naked nymphs coming out of the water!”
In the leadup to the film’s release, Easton found herself on a whirlwind promotional tour with James Bond himself, Sir Roger Moore. Though their encounters were brief, Easton was nevertheless struck by the star’s elegance and charm.
“My lasting impression was that he didn’t disappoint,” she says. “I was this young thing, and Roger Moore was this amazing, glamorous movie star with all the suave and polish that you would expect. He knew how to carry himself, and he knew how to play the part on and off screen. I’m not saying he stayed in character, I’m just saying he kept the dignity and the charm you’d expect. You could instantly see why he was cast as James Bond, because he kind of had that in his bones already.”
The interview has a lot of James Bond details so make a point to check it out. The latest Bond film is NO TIME TO DIE and it is scheduled to be released on September 30th. Hopefully it will be. The film has been repeatedly postponed.
Before I forget, there was no SUPERMAN & LOIS episode this week. I cored last week's episode earlier this week and noted I'd do this week's episode. A reader in Japan e-mailed about that. I will continue to review it but turns out that we didn't get an episode this week. So is the show not airing yet in Japan? Are you able to stream the US website for THE CW in Japan because they post the videos there?
Nick also e-mailed and wanted to know if I had the same problem he does: the commercials are loud. Yes, I do. That's why I don't like watching THE CW unless I'm on cable or over the air viewing. It was that way on HULU PLUS and it's that way on YOUTUBE LIVE TV and that way at THE CW website. Say I have a fan on in the room, I have to pump the volume up to 60 something or 75 something on the TV during the show and then, BOOM!, commercial is blasting. I don't know what the deal is. I've only ever had that problem with streaming and only with streaming THE CW.
Now here's Jimmy Dore.
Joy Reid is a homophobic idiot who should have been fired from MSNBC when her homophobic writings turned up/were discovered. When she then claimed it wasn't her -- it was her -- and that the FBI was investigating -- two big lies -- she should have been ried.
She's trash. She has no ethics. But, that's MSNBC, right?
She's hideous, the MSNBC is an idiot.
Florida's had a disaster. Niles Niemuth (WSWS) puts it into perspective:
Search and rescue operations continued for a second day Friday after the collapse early Thursday morning of a portion of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida. According to the latest reports, four residents are dead and a dozen have been injured, but the toll is expected to rise substantially, with 159 residents still unaccounted for.
The residents of the beachfront building, located just north of Miami Beach, include retirees, middle class families and vacation renters. Depending on how many people were in bed and how many survivors can be pulled from the rubble, the Champlain Towers disaster will rank as one of the deadliest residential building collapses in American history. The incident once again exposes the decrepit state of infrastructure in the United States and raises questions about how such a building could fall down in the wealthiest country in the world.
Among the missing is Edgar Gonzalez, whose wife Angela and 16-year-old daughter Devon survived a fall from the ninth to the fifth floors and are in the hospital with significant injuries. Luis Andres Bermudez and his mother Ana Ortiz, who lived together on the seventh floor, have also been reported missing. According to CBS Miami, a family member reported that Bermudez suffers from muscular dystrophy and would be unable to yell for help.
Constructed in 1981, the 12-story, 136-unit condominium was undergoing electrical and structural inspections in accordance with Miami-Dade County requirements stipulating that commercial and multi-family buildings be recertified every 40 years, when it suddenly and catastrophically imploded, bringing 55 units down to the ground.
“There’s no reason for this building to go down like that,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told NBC’s "Today" show, “unless someone literally pulls out the supports from underneath, or they get washed out, or there’s a sinkhole or something like that, because it just went down.”
Now for Chase Rice.
That's Rice doing his latest hit "Drinkin' Beer. Talkin' God. Amen." live. Kat's "Kat's Korner: Chase Rice serves up a masterpiece" noted the album entitled THE ALBUM. It's great and you should give it a listen.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, June 25, 2021. US House Rep Ted Lieu has become a study in the abuse of power, an American who was stationed with the US military in Kurdistan is sentenced for revealing secrets, the United Nations meets with the mother of an Iraqi activist who was assassinated, and much more.
Starting with the shameful. US House Rep Ted Lieu Tweeted the following nonsense:
At issue is critical race theory which is a hypothesis that some believe and others do not. Some academic trends resonate with the public, some don't. Whatever your stance on critical race theory, it really doesn't have anything to do with hating America -- whether you are pro crt or anti-crt.
It really is shameful for a sitting member of Congress to pull that crap. When this site started, it was Republicans that we had to call out for saying crap like that. Sadly, this nonsense has drifted over. And Ted was one of the hysterics who pimped lies of Russiagate. So if he's got the time to question whether this or that American hates the country, he's certainly got the time to issue one apology after another for every false claim he repeatedly pimped regarding Russiagate.
A sitting member of the US Congress using his voice to condemn a citizen? I don't think that's appropriate.
But Ted's been so inappropriate for so long -- and there are far worse than him -- that it goes to how Congress is degrading the public discourse.
As for criticizing the military -- positively or negatively -- that's not just a right of the press, it's a right of every American. Maybe Ted needs to study up on American history before weighing in? Or better yet, maybe he needs to stop challenging someone's love of their country and stop using his post as a member of Congress to do so. That is a gross abuse of power and if we had a functioning Congress, there would be an ethical review of his Tweet.
I'm sick of the nonsense. I'm sick of this abuse of power.
And, Ted, you were in Congress when the below happened.
Where was your angry Tweet then, brave Ted?
Thug Recep Erdogen sicks his bodyguards on American citizens on US soil -- with at least nine having to be hospitalized and where were you ,Teddy?
You do realize the significant number of Kurdish-Americans in Los Angeles, don't you? Or are you too stupid to grasp demographics?
You didn't stand up for the country or for the American citizens and you weren't even smart enough to cover your own butt by standing up for your constituents so maybe just stop calling into question the commitment others have to their country?
Where's Ted's Tweet about Mariam Taha Thompson? It's funny who he slams as unAmerican -- and sad that he thinks he can sit in judgment on that issue.
We noted Thompson back on March 27th:
Mariam Taha Thompson. A US government employee who made money on the side via Iraq. Jerry Dunleavy (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:
A female linguist who worked for the Pentagon in Iraq pleaded guilty to handing over classified information about on-the-ground human sources who were assisting the United States to a Hezbollah-tied foreign national with whom she was romantically linked, the Justice Department announced on Friday.
Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, was charged last May in federal court with “transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national," who she believed would provide the information to Lebanese-based Hezbollah, a foreign terrorist organization tied to Iran. Court records show Thompson signed an extensive statement of facts in late January admitting to the covert plot, and she pleaded guilty on Friday. Thompson faces a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment.
During a Friday plea hearing, the Justice Department said Thompson “admitted that, beginning in 2017, she started communicating with her unindicted co-conspirator using a video-chat feature on a secure text and voice messaging application” and that she “developed a romantic interest in her co-conspirator.” Thompson “learned that the unindicted co-conspirator had a family member who was in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior, and that the unindicted co-conspirator claimed to have received a ring from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanese Hizballah," the agency said.
Thompson began communicating with the man, whom she never met in person, in 2017 after being connected via social media by a family member, and she ultimately developed a romantic interest in him, prosecutors said.
After a January 2020 US strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, the Lebanese man — who is not named in court papers — asked Thompson to provide “them” with information about the human assets that had helped the US target Soleimani. Hezbollah is backed by Iran and one of Israel’s main regional adversaries.
Investigators say Thompson accessed dozens of files about human sources, including their names, photographs, background information and operational cables that described the information they had gathered. She held top secret securing clearance, but did not need to access much of the information she shared as part of her job.
The US Justice Dept issued the following:
Defense Department Linguist Pleads Guilty to Transmitting Highly Sensitive Classified National Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government
WASHINGTON – A Minnesota woman pleaded guilty today to one count of delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government.
According to court documents, Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, worked as a contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility where she was entrusted with a top secret government security clearance. Thompson pleaded guilty to transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national who she believed would provide the information to Lebanese Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
“Thompson jeopardized the lives of members of the U.S. military as well as other individuals supporting the United States in a combat zone when she passed classified information to a person she knew was connected to Lebanese Hizballah, a foreign terrorist organization which intended to use the information to hurt this country,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department's National Security Division. “To describe this conduct is to condemn it. She will now be held to account for this disgraceful personal and professional betrayal of country and colleagues.”
“The United States entrusted the defendant with highly-sensitive classified information regarding one of its most critical tools — human intelligence in an active combat zone,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “The defendant’s complete betrayal of that trust placed the lives of American men and women on the battlefield, and their allies, in grave danger. Thompson’s arrest and prosecution demonstrate that those who intentionally compromise classified information that is entrusted to them will face swift and dire consequences.”
“It’s astounding that an American working for the U.S. military overseas would abandon her country in favor of terrorists,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. for the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “The FBI and its partners placed a high priority on this case because the defendant provided classified defense information to a foreign terrorist organization, information that put members of the U.S. military in harm’s way.”
“Today’s plea is an example of the FBI’s work and commitment to protecting the United States and our national defense information,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono for the FBI Washington Field Office. “Holding a top secret government security clearance bears a responsibility and commitment to our nation, and betrayal of that trust will not be tolerated. The FBI is charged with safeguarding our nation’s information and will work diligently, along with our partners, to protect intelligence and national security information and relentlessly pursue those who choose to betray their country."
During today’s plea hearing, Thompson admitted that, beginning in 2017, she started communicating with her unindicted co-conspirator using a video-chat feature on a secure text and voice messaging application. Over time, Thompson developed a romantic interest in her co-conspirator. Thompson learned that the unindicted co-conspirator had a family member who was in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior, and that the unindicted co-conspirator claimed to have received a ring from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanese Hizballah.
In December 2019, while Thompson was assigned to a special operations task force facility in Iraq, the United States launched a series of airstrikes in Iraq targeting Kata’ib Hizballah, an Iranian-backed foreign terrorist organization. These airstrikes culminated in a Jan. 3, 2020, strike that resulted in the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani, as well as the founder of Kata’ib Hizballah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Following Suleimani’s death, the unindicted co-conspirator started asking Thompson to provide “them” with information about the human assets who had helped the United States to target Suleimani. Thompson admitted that she understood “them” to be Lebanese Hizballah, including an unnamed high-ranking military commander.
After receiving this request for information in early January 2020, Thompson began accessing dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the U.S. government. Thompson used several techniques to pass this information on to the unindicted co-conspirator, who told her that his contacts were pleased with the information, and that the Lebanese Hizballah military commander wanted to meet Thompson when she came to Lebanon.
When she was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 27, 2020, Thompson had used her access to classified national defense information to provide her co-conspirator with the identities of at least eight clandestine human assets; at least 10 U.S. targets; and multiple tactics, techniques and procedures. Thompson intended and had reason to believe that this classified national defense information would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of Lebanese Hizballah.
Thompson faces a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only. The sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Today’s guilty plea was the result of the significant cooperation between law enforcement, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the successful resolution of this investigation led by the FBI Washington Field Office.
National Security Division Trial Attorneys Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Jennifer Levy of the Counterterrorism Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia John Cummings are prosecuting the case.
Thompson's back in the news cycle. ALJAZEERA notes:
A Pentagon translator has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for passing the names of United States informants in Iraq to a person linked to Lebanon’s powerful Shia movement Hezbollah.
Mariam Thompson, 62, admitted transmitting the classified information to a Lebanese national in the belief that it was being passed on to the group – designated a “terrorist organisation” by Washington.
The US Justice Dept issued the following:
Defense Department Linguist Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Transmitting Highly Sensitive Classified National Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government
Mariam Taha Thompson, 62, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was sentenced today to 23 years in prison for delivering classified national defense information to aid a foreign government. As part of her March 26 guilty plea, Thompson admitted that she believed that the classified national defense information that she was passing to a Lebanese national would be provided to Lebanese Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
“Thompson’s sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “That Thompson passed our nation’s sensitive secrets to someone whom she knew had ties to Lebanese Hezbollah made her betrayal all the more serious. Thompson’s sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk.”
“The defendant’s decision to aid a foreign terrorist organization was a betrayal that endangered the lives of the very American men and women on the battlefield who had served beside her for more than a decade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “Let today’s sentence serve notice that there are serious consequences for anyone who betrays this country by compromising national defense information.”
“This case should serve as a clear reminder to all of those entrusted with national defense information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic; it is criminal,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler, Jr. of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division. “By knowingly distributing classified information that would be passed onto a designated foreign terrorist organization, Mariam Thompson put our national defense in danger. The men and women of the FBI will continue to work tirelessly to defeat hostile intelligence activities targeting the United States and to hold those who assist our adversaries accountable.”
“Thompson was entrusted with highly sensitive information, and she chose to betray her country by providing classified defense information to a foreign terrorist organization,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Today’s significant sentencing shows the dedicated work of the FBI, the U.S. Intelligence Community and our global partners to work swiftly and diligently to safeguard our national security information and hold accountable those who break our nation’s trust."
According to court documents, Thompson worked as a contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility where she was entrusted with a Top-Secret government security clearance. Thompson admitted that, beginning in 2017, she started communicating with her unindicted co-conspirator using a video-chat feature on a secure text and voice messaging application. Over time, Thompson developed a romantic interest in her co-conspirator. Thompson learned that the unindicted co-conspirator had a family member who was in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior and that the unindicted co-conspirator claimed to have received a ring from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanese Hezbollah.
In December 2019, while Thompson was assigned to a Special Operations Task Force facility in Iraq, the United States launched a series of airstrikes in Iraq targeting Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed foreign terrorist organization. These airstrikes culminated in a Jan. 3, 2020, strike that resulted in the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani, as well as the founder of Kata’ib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Following Suleimani’s death, the unindicted co-conspirator began asking Thompson to provide “them” with information about the human assets who had helped the United States to target Suleimani. Thompson admitted that she understood “them” to be Lebanese Hezbollah, including an unnamed high-ranking military commander.
After receiving this request for information in early January 2020, Thompson began accessing dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the U.S. government. Thompson used several techniques to pass this information on to the unindicted co-conspirator, who told her that his contacts were pleased with the information and that the Lebanese Hezbollah military commander wanted to meet Thompson when she came to Lebanon.
When she was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 27, 2020, Thompson had used her access to classified national defense information to provide her co-conspirator with the identities of at least eight clandestine human assets; at least 10 U.S. targets; and multiple tactics, techniques and procedures. Thompson intended and had reason to believe that this classified national defense information would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of Lebanese Hezbollah.
Today’s sentencing was the result of the significant cooperation between law enforcement, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the successful resolution of this investigation led by the FBI Washington Field Office.
National Security Division Trial Attorneys Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Jennifer Levy of the Counterterrorism Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cummings for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case.
Back in May, Salam Adel Algaim Tweeted:
Ihab was one of the many activists assassinated in Iraq -- assassinated by an arm of the Iraqi government since the government made militias part of the national military.
Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim (WASHINGTON POST) reported:
That moment did not last: Iraq’s human rights commission says it has registered 81 assassination attempts against anti- government activists and journalists since the protests began. At least 34 have been killed, almost a third of them after the appointment of a new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who came to power vowing justice for the slain activists.
Mounting threats are now being made against their friends and associates. Disillusionment and fear have forced many into exile. “They came to my father two weeks ago and told him my name was on their list” said one photographer, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of concern for his family’s safety in Baghdad.
Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights' Ali al-Bayati told Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL), “Such ongoing killings are considered terrorist acts as they target the country’s national security, as well as impact the credibility of the coming elections. The state must end impunity by taking real steps to refer to security officials whose responsibility is to end the violence through investigation."
Sunday, we noted Ihab's mother was still fighting for justice:
The United Nations ignored her on Sunday. Yesterday, they visited with her. KURDISTAN 24 reports:
The head of the United Nations mission in Iraq, Jennine Hennis-Plasschaert on Thursday visited the mother of a murdered civil society activist in Karbala, offering her condolences and outlining the international organization’s efforts for ensuring accountability in Iraq.
Ihab Al-Wazni was assassinated in early May in front of his home in the southern city by two unidentified gunmen, allegedly for his prominent role in protests against corruption and foreign meddling in Iraq.
The activist’s murder is part of a series of killings targeting people who actively participated in protests that began in October 2019. More than 500 people have been killed and 7,000 injured since the start of the demonstrations as the result of excessive force by the security forces as well as militias.
Samira Al Wazni has been protesting for days outside a Karbala court building demanding accountability for the murder of her son, who has been a figurehead in the ongoing youth uprising against corruption, nepotism, unemployment and the rule of militias in Iraq. Ms Al Wazni has continued her protests despite threats against her life.
Many in Iraq showed support for Ms Al Wazni after a video was shared online this week showing her approach a UN vehicle whose occupants refused to speak to her before it drove off.
UN Special Representative to Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert visited Ms Al Wazni on Thursday, expressing her heartfelt condolences. She “explained the UN’s efforts to promote accountability for the attacks targeting civic and political activists,” the UN’s office in Iraq said.
And THE NEW ARAB notes:
While reporters were at the house, Al-Wazni’s relatives pressed Hennis-Plasschaert on the UN’s role in Iraq’s security.
"We just want to live in a safe country… do something," one man pleaded off camera.
"The mother, like any mother, and brothers deserve the truth and nothing but the truth. So the United Nations will always be with the people searching for the truth," Hennis-Plasschaert said.
The UNAMI chief also met with the Governor of Karbala, and the two discussed "the need to ensure accountability for crimes against civic and political activists".
No one has been charged with Al-Wazni’s murder. Qasem Muslih, a commander from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), was arrested in connection with the murder in May but was released two weeks later.
In this week's podcast by THE ECONOMIST, they address the topic of the miliitas and how some Iraqis believe that they will control the country.
The following sites updated: