I just cannot. I was looking for something fine to write about and saw the bad news. Ronnie Spector has passed away.
Ronnie was the lead singer of the Ronettes.
She sang lead on so many 60s classic songs. "Be My Baby" springs to mind, of course. And, in the 80s, she would sing the chorus from that on Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight."
My favorite was "Walking In The Rain."
Here she is performing the song live in 1973.
Ronnie was like Tina Turner in that her dream became her nightmare.
The Ronettes recorded for Phil Spector. He would eventually marry her. And then he would work to destroy her career and her confidence. That, for him, was how you made a happy marriage. Is it any real surprise that he ended up in prison for murdering a woman? No, not at all.
Ronnie was a rock and roll legend.
Her success on the charts was only really in the 60s but she made her mark and she was a legend.
“I’m in total shock! Did not see this one coming. Please give me time to process my thoughts to give Ronnie the proper tribute she deserves. She and I shared so much together.” — Darlene Love, via Facebook.
“I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don’t know what to say. I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend. This just breaks my heart. Ronnie’s music and spirit will live forever.” — Brian Wilson, via Twitter.
“It was an honor to produce her and encourage her to get back on stage where she remained for the next 45 years. Her record with the E Street Band helped sustain us at a very precarious time (thanks to Steve Popovich). Condolences to her husband and family.” — Stevie Van Zandt, via Twitter.
"Our dear friend Ronnie Spector, has passed. She was the sweetest person you could ever know. And her mark on rock and roll is indelible.” — Joan Jett, via Twitter.
“Rest In Peace Ronnie Spector such a special time in music. What a beautiful song The Ronettes — ‘Be My Baby.’” — Dave Davies, via Twitter.
Dave Davies was a member of the British rock band The Kinks. Susanna Hoffs, songwriter Diane Warren and others are also quoted in the article.
“We weren’t afraid to be hot. That was our gimmick,” Spector said in her memoir. “When we saw The Shirelles walk on stage with their wide party dresses, we went in the opposite direction and squeezed our bodies into the tightest skirts we could find. Then we’d get out on stage and hike them up to show our legs even more.”
Spector, born Veronica Bennett, and her multiracial bandmates grew up in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan. They began singing and dancing in clubs as Ronnie and the Relatives, becoming noteworthy for their liberal use of eyeliner and mascara.
“The louder they applauded, the more mascara we put on the next time,” she wrote in her memoir. “We didn’t have a hit record to grab their attention, so we had to make an impression with our style. None of it was planned out; we just took the look we were born with and extended it.”
In March 1963, Estelle Bennett managed to arrange an audition in front of Phil Spector, known for his big, brass-and-drum style dubbed the “wall of sound.” They were signed to Philles Records in 1963. After being signed, they sang backup for other acts until Spector had the group record “Be My Baby” and “Baby I Love You.”
The group’s debut album, “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica,” was released in 1964. Five of its 12 tracks had made it to the U.S. Billboard charts.
"Walking In The Rain"? She poured the emotion on. Opera singers have not achieved as much as Ms. Spector did in that song. I was a big fan and I am very sad that she has passed away.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Wednesday, January 12, 2022. The people of Iraq suffer and the corporate press ignores it, Julian Assange suffers and the corporate press ignores it.
Starting with the ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. As the world watches, US President Joe Biden -- who voted for the illegal war and then tried to lie about it in 2019 and 20202 -- continues to persecute Julian Assange for revealing truths about the Iraq War and about the murder of civilians. This will be Joe's legacy and he needs to grasp it, the world needs to make him grasp it.
In 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks – in partnership with numerous mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel – published a curated cache of 250,000 diplomatic cables revealing the corruption and destruction of the Bush-era and early Obama-era wars, into which Australia so subserviently followed.
Without Assange’s work, numerous war crimes, mass surveillance schemes and unreported civilian casualties would have gone uncovered. In one year, he generated more consequential journalistic scoops confronting Western centres of power than the rest of the world’s news organisations combined.
Some of the information published by Assange has since become the subject of criminal investigations into the CIA and U.S. authorities before the International Criminal Court, which, as lawyers for Assange testified during his extradition hearing, is further evidence that the U.S. case against him is politically motivated.
Further, irrefutable illustrations of the significance of the “content” of Assange’s work can be found in comparisons between it and the lies and deceptions fed to the Australian population by this country’s press in the Iraq War years. Consider, as just one example of many, WikiLeaks’ publishing of the detainee assessment briefs and manual for Guantanamo Bay, where children as young as 15 were held, in contrast with the vapid first-hand account of the illegal prison presented by one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s top foreign correspondents, Leigh Sales.
In 2007, Sales wrote of her second visit to Gitmo:
'At the same time, my own eyes and ears led me to believe that Guantanamo wasn’t as barbaric as it was made out to be either. None of the detainees came running to the wire, begging for help to get out.'
One Guantanamo Bay prisoner has recently waived his right to appear in court on numerous occasions because he suffered “rectal damage” while in custody of the CIA that makes it too painful for him to sit.
Is the corporate lapdog media in the US not covering those sort of items? No, they're too busy pretending Joe Biden is cognisant and knows what's going on around him. There is no improvement for Joe. He is on the downhill slide -- that's physically, that's mentally and that's a historical figure.
This is how you make change for Julian. This is how you end the persecution. You hold Joe Biden responsible for what is being done to Julian by the US government because Joe is the head of the US government. We keep saying it because it's reality.
Underlings can hide behind Joe made them do it. Joe can't.
Does Joe -- in those rare lucid moments -- care what others think about him and how history will see him?
Of course he does. If he didn't, he wouldn't lie so much. He lies about big stuff and he lies about small stuff. He needs to grasp that he can't lie his way out of this one, that he world will not let him.
He needs to grasp that even Tulsi Gabbard still wants to whore whatever is left of her reputation for him, she's a known liar. She's the liar who covered for him in the debates when he was being held accountable for the Iraq War. When he was going around insisting to people that he turned against the war and did so almost immediately and blah blah blah. Tulsi carried his testes for him -- like a good little whore -- while pretending she was anti-war. She went after Kamala.
I remember the men of the left -- men because women seemed wise to Tulsi -- braying like jackals and insisting she'd destroyed Kamala. Kamala's the Vice President. She may yet destroy herself but Tulsi didn't destroy her. More to the point, when Tulsi pulled her garbage of excusing War Criminal Joe Biden, there were people against the Iraq War on that stage and running for the nomination. All Tulsie did was run interference for Joe which was her plan throughout the debates. Kamala goes after Joe? Don't worry, they'll dispatch Tulsi to go after her in the next debate.
Tulsi servied her purpose -- like a good whore -- and then she faded away.
Joe lied and he lied because he knows what he is, he knows the monstter that he is. But he doesn't want the world to see that. So he rewrites how he imprisoned African-Americans, he rewrites his support for the war, he pretends he didn't shame others who spoke out against the illegal war, he pretends did a lot for women (are we counting paying for abortions?), he rewirtes everything, papers over everything with lies.
Again from WIKILEAKS:
Joe needs to grasp that the world knows who's going after Julian Assange and that the world will hold him accountable for it throughout history.
That's how you get the US government to back off.
That went up yesterday afternoon. We noted it last night. An e-mail asked if that's why I said what I did in yesterday's snapshot. Nope. The video wasn't up. And we'd been saying that for weeks and weeks. I was also asked if I'd link to the article Danny mentions in the video above? Glad to. Whenever it gets posted. That's not an insult. Please. THIRD has its own problems getting its new stuff up each week in a timely fashion and we're not suffering a death the way BLACK AGENDA REPORT is with Glen Ford. At some point, hopefully later today, the article Danny says posted will post. If it does, we'll note in tomorrow's snapshot (but at present, January 5th is the date on the most recent article at BLACK AGENDA REPORT).
It's most likely over for Joe and even he is dimly aware of that. Ronald Reagan was 73 years old when he was sworn in for his second term as president. If Joe were re-elected, he'd be 81 when he was sworn in. He's too feeble and frail to be president right now. He's a menace to the people. His crying jags at the White House? The press is ignoring them. But for how much longer? How long before they have to start reporting on what's really going on?
Julian needs to be free and that needs to be made clear by the world. The world also needs to make clear that we are holding Joe Biden responsible for the continued persecution and for any additional suffering. That will be Joe's historical legacy and we will ensure that it's seen with the same disgust as when other despots persecute journalists and whistle-blowers.
Julian will die if this persecution does not end. Joe needs to grasp that the blood will be on his hands and that it will be how he is remembered.
Turning to Iraq, let's drop back to "2021: The Madness of the Partisan Left (The Year of Silencing Speech):"
Which brings us to the third big story of Iraq.
No, not the October 10th election. That's been misreported by the US media to a large degree, yes, but it is there go-to subject when they feel they have to cover Iraq.
Far more important? The protests. They have been woefully under-reported in the media. Most Americans don't know that Iraq's current prime minister (hopefully, outgoing prime minister) only holds that spot because protesters drove the previous one of out office.
These protests throughout Iraq in 2021 have been under-reported and ignored.
December saw two resignations. Most Americans have no idea. The governor of Dhi Qar, Ahmed al-Khafaji resigned right before Christmas due to protest. And, at the same time, the governor of Najaf, Louai al-Yasseri, resigned -- also due to protests.
When these protests aren't covered, I guess it's easier for the media to pretend that the ongoing Iraq War is a success. After all, if the US truly 'liberated' the Iraqi people, all would be fine and dandy and Iraqis would have no reason to take to the streets.
But all is not well and that's why Iraqis are making their voices heard -- heard on the streets, heard via social media and heard via the Arabic press. Sadly, the US press really doesn't pay attention to what's actually going on in Iraq. It's so much easier to just write 500 words or so of nothing while tossing around the term "king-maker."
Dhi Qar Gov. Ahmed Ghani al-Khafaji and his counterpart in Najaf, Louay al-Yasiri, have resigned against the backdrop of the popular protests in December 2021 amid many political objections raised by opposition parties to the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Kadhimi accepted Khafaji’s resignation on Dec. 23, 2021, and Yasiri’s on Jan. 4. Yasiri stated in his resignation letter, “I am offering to [resign from my] position, to be replaced by my deputy,” explaining that he was not subjected to pressure from the leader of the Sadr movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, or Kadhimi. Meanwhile, Khafaji stated that his resignation “serves the public interest and aims to provide security and stability and preserve the interests of the citizens of Dhi Qar.”
During the past few weeks, citizens took to the streets of Najaf calling for Yasiri’s dismissal due to poor service conditions. Shiite leader Sadr promised to work to dismiss Yasiri and stressed during his visit to Najaf on Dec. 22, 2021, that there was no need to protest and demand his resignation, explaining that there are political and legal means to dismiss him, adding, “Enough noise, enough riot.”
In Dhi Qar, Khafaji resigned after protests calling for better living conditions and job opportunities turned into violent confrontations with security forces, causing injuries among protesters. As a result, Kadhimi ordered a special investigation committee to uncover the circumstances of the incident.
Although several governors have resigned or been dismissed by Kadhimi over the past months, the political atmosphere has made the recent resignations a subject for political debate as some Shiite parties fear that the Sadr movement will control the local administration in these provinces, especially since the movement is making similar demands to dismiss the governors of Babil and Diwaniyah.
They're in the streets and will be back in the streets. They also may be in the Parliament.
Who is the prime minister of Iraq? Hopefully, he is the outgoing one but he is Mustafa al-Kahdimi. When did he become prime minister? In May of 2020. Why? Because the protesters forced out Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
And is anyone going to comment on how Mustafa did not bring change?
Or how about the rest of the corrupt system that the protesters were against? That included the Speaker of Parliament and it included the President of Iraq.
Despite -- or maybe because of -- his personal history with corruption, Mohammed al-Halbusi was given a second term Sunday as Speaker of Parliament.
Barham Salih wants a second term as president. Even though he belongs to the losing political party n the KRG, he believes he has the right to be president.
What about the rights of the Iraqi people?
And when does the press start championing them? Ffity years from now when they can pretend the US government had nothing to do with the multitutde of horrors plauging the country?
The people of Iraq took to the streets to decry corruption. They're not seeing any changes.
The following sites updated (Stan posted twice yesterday so let me note the first one since it won't show up below "Weekend box office"):