Happy Thursday, dear friends. This week was reflective for me. Sadly, 34 years ago John Lennon was shot and killed in front of his home, in New York City. I was 16 at the time.
The next day, we had a field trip into the city to see a museum exhibition. Our teacher let us go at 11:30am, telling us to find our way back to the railroad on our own. A small group of us had planned to trek around Times Square, to see the bright lights and seediness of the area, which was still a den of iniquity back in 1979.
We found ourselves drifting though, over to the Dakota, where John Lennon had lived with his family, and we mingled into the massive group of mourners holding a candle light vigil. We were so young, with our whole lives ahead of us, and for many, this was our first solid experience of senseless death.
That day was gone in a flash, and life fast forwarded at light speed. I think back to that day and the city I visited, and it no longer exists. What does continue to exist is the beautiful songs that John shared with us. He wrote Imagine in 1971, and the words are a clarion call for peace and unity, as fresh today as they were then. So in honor of John, who left us far before his time, I share this beautiful song with you all.
Today we share some dark revelations in the US related to CIA interrogations of terror suspects that require our light. We jump all over the place from there.
US braced for turmoil in the wake of congressional study on torture.
When President Obama took office in 2009, he ended the CIA program that interrogated terror suspects which was put in place by the Bush administration. This extensive program was launched in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in an effort to protect the US from future terrorist attacks.
The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee details excessively harsh treatment of many detainees. It also goes on to say that the information gathered during these types of interrogations did not lead to credible evidence, and in no way helped to keep the US safe. It also revealed that the interrogation procedures were outsourced to a psychology firm that was paid $81Million to develop the program, as the US did not have enough interrogators on staff at the time to be effective.
Officials have warned all US installations to be on high-alert, fearing repercussions and outrage as details of the report become known across the globe.
As many in the US power structure seek to deflect blame from themselves related to this shocking report, the former Polish President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, has decided to come clean. After years of denying that the CIA was given permission to establish an interrogation facility in Poland, Mr. Kwasniewki finally admitted that this was indeed the case.
He added that he did not know about the procedures used at the detention center. The European Court on Human Rights ruled in July that Poland had allowed torture by the CIA to occur in their country during 2002 and 2003.
Human rights denied to chimpanzee in US animal-rights test case.
The Nonhuman Rights Project brought suit, in New York state, against the caretaker of a chimpanzee named Tommy. Tommy is a former entertainment chimp and he is 40 years old. He was given to Patrick Lavery about 10 years ago.
The group argued that chimpanzees should be given human status, because they are so similar to humans and deserve the right to freedom. The appeals court judge denied their argument. He said that chimpanzees cannot have human rights, because they cannot exercise any legal requirements that go into being human.
While the project members were unhappy with the outcome, they will continue to appeal the case. Animal rights groups, working for the benefit of many different species, will certainly look to the final outcome of this case to set precedence for their own efforts.
Sony websites hacked due to the release of a comedy movie about North Korean’s leader.
Sony Pictures was recently hacked by a group called Guardians of Peace. This group illegally accessed their computer systems, and then began sharing sensitive company files, along with the personal information of Sony executives, online.
The hacker group told Sony, this week, that they would stop the attack if the company did not release a certain movie. The group believes this movie is about terrorism, which could cause a war.
Sony will premiere a comedy movie, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen called “The Interview,” on December 25, 2014. In the movie, Franco and Rogen go to North Korea and try to kill the country’s leader Kim Jong Un. There was much criticism from North Korea about the comedy farce when it was announced.
Four different batches of links to proprietary business information and personnel data have been shared on the internet. The FBI is involved in the case and Sony is cooperating with them.
A little girl brings a subway station to life with her bright spirit.
Many New York City street performers set up shop in the subway system during the cold winter months. I always found it nice to listen to live music on the way home from work.
This video captures an adorable dance party, started by a little girl in response to some live music. Her joy and freedom are certainly infectious.
That’s the news for today. Have a spectacular day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!