Friday, August 28, 2009


I haven't seen much on line lately about Javier Solana's supposed upcoming October retirement. I don't know if this is a "Farewell Tour" or "Big Things Are Just Beginning" one.

Quoting from the also interestingly named "EarthTimes" we read:

"Brussels - The European Union's top diplomat, Javier Solana, plans to tour the Middle East next week as part of international efforts to find a resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, officials in Brussels said Friday. Solana, whose official title is "EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy", is expected in Damascus on Sunday for meetings with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mouallem.

"On Monday, Solana travels to Israel for talks with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli government ministers.

"Those meetings will take place against the backdrop of a simmering row between Israel and Sweden, the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, over a recent Swedish tabloid report alleging that Israeli soldiers stole the organs of Palestinian children.

"Solana will then head to Ramallah, where he plans to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and officials from the EU's EUPOL mission, which is providing training and equipment to the local police force.

"The EU foreign policy chief will on Tuesday head to Beirut before evening talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak."

Stay tuned!



Anonymous said...

Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water?

Anonymous said...

HBO True Blood episode spears right-wing Christians with blood libels.


Constance Cumbey said...

Rich Peterson has some excellent information over at his blogspot ("Rich of Medford" on my links) which tells us that the Alliance of Civilizations is an EU initiative originally suggested by Javier Solana, not Islamic originated. I should think that there would be a little more interest in what Javier Solana is doing now -- not in nitpicking over condolences to the dead. At least, that's my perspective.

Constance Cumbey said...

More on the Solana trip. He arrives in Beirut Monday. Lebanese papers report this is part of A MAJOR PUSH for regional peace:

BEIRUT: The European Union’s foreign minister, Javier Solana, will arrive in Beirut on Monday as part of a tour of the region. A statement issued on Friday by the European Commission to Lebanon said that Solana will hold talks on Tuesday with President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minster Fouad Siniora, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and Fawzi Salloukh, the foreign minister. The statement said that Solana’s trip “takes place in the context of the major push by the international community” in the direction of a regional peace. Solana will visit Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories prior to Lebanon, which will be followed by a stop in Cairo. – The Daily Star


Anonymous said...

BBC article here from 2007 on "the puzzle of Solana's Power"

the70thweek said...

Good find Constance. Thanks for the heads up.

I would agree, whatever Solana is doing right now and over the next few months, should be watched very closely.


Constance Cumbey said...

I am watching the Kennedy funeral. The priest speaking just said something that struck me:

"Most of us have a strong suit and gaps . . ."

Kennedy was dead wrong on the abortion and homosexuality issues. HOWEVER, married to a disabled person, I cannot help but be grateful for his advocacy of accomodations for Americans with Disabilities, e.g. the wheelchair ramps and Family Leave acts.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy . . .


Anonymous said...


Ted Kennedy democrats weren't as extreme as the ones today. Obama and friends are out of control maniacs.

Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel works in the White House Office of Management and Budget as a health-policy advisor and he is a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. Dr. Emmanuel is one of the pillars of Obama's reform. However Dr. Emmanuel has stated repeatedly in public forums such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that doctors were driving up health-care costs because they value the Hippocratic Oath as "an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others."

Instead, Dr. Emmanuel raises the possibility of a new ethical system, the "Complete Lives System" that would ration care away from the elderly, away from infants, and away from human beings judged unable to rationally participate in society (such as those with dementia), in favor of those aged 15-44, who have the best chance "to live a complete life."

John Holdren is President Obama's Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Beck says he is another key player in Obama's health-care reform. But Holdren has a life-long obsession with population control and has written two books outlining a host of options to deal with what he sees as a global crisis of "human overpopulation."

"The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experience and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being."

Holdren co-authored a college textbook called "Ecoscience" in which he advanced the idea that forced abortion and sterilization of women is justifiable under the US Constitution, and that sterilizing agents could be added to the drinking water in order to curb the growth of human populations.

Cass Sunstein, Obama's appointed advisor to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, shares opinions in common with Dr. Emmanuel and John Holdren when it comes to health-care rationing and the dignity of the human person. If Sunstein's appointment is not rejected by the Senate, then Sunstein will oversee the OIRA, which creates government regulations for federal laws.

Sunstein advocates rationing based on "quality-adjusted life years" (QALY), meaning that the government would evaluate statistically whether a person's life is worth the cost of living.

Sunstein is a radical animal rights thinker, who believes that animals such as dolphins and whales should have legal representation. Sunstein counts Princeton philosopher Peter Singer among his closest friends. Singer believes that children under the age of seven do not have sufficient rationality to count as human beings, and for that reason parents could commit infanticide.

Sunstein has also stated a desire to regulate the internet in order to fight what he calls a "system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government."


Constance Cumbey said...


Brilliant post and critical information. Thanks!


Susanna said...


Hat tip to Drudge Report for this article.

Susanna said...


By JEFF ISRAELY Jeff Israely – Thu Aug 27, 1:55 pm ET

There was a poignant footnote to President Obama's historic July 10 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Behind closed doors in the papal library, Obama handed Benedict a letter that Senator Edward Kennedy had asked him to personally deliver to the pontiff. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs later told reporters that nobody - not even the President - knew the contents of the sealed missive. Obama himself asked Benedict to pray for Kennedy, and called the ailing Senator afterward to fill him in on his encounter with the 82-year-old Pope.

The letter, most likely already re-sealed and tucked away in the Vatican archives, was probably just a dying Catholic's request for a papal blessing. In the eyes of the traditionalist wing of the Church, however, Kennedy should have been asking the Pope for forgiveness. The Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported Kennedy's death, praising his work on civil rights and fighting poverty, but noted that his record was marred by his stance on abortion. As of yet, unlike some other world leaders, Pope Benedict has not commented or issued an official communique in response to Kennedy's death. One veteran official at the Vatican, of U.S. nationality, expressed the view of many conservatives about the Kennedy clan's rapport with the Catholic Church: "Why would he even write a letter to the Pope? The Kennedys have always been defiantly in opposition to the Roman Catholic magisterium." Magisterium is the formal expression for the authority of Church teaching.

Since Kennedy's death on Aug. 25, commentators have been poring over the Liberal Lion's many legislative achievements and the details of his biography. But it is also worth remembering that for four decades Ted Kennedy remained the nation's most prominent Roman Catholic politician, and brother of America's first and only Catholic President. Ted Kennedy received his first communion directly from Pope Pius XII, and his marriage in 1958 was performed by Cardinal Francis Spellman, the influential Archbishop of New York. His mother, Rose Kennedy, once reportedly said that she'd dreamed that her youngest son Teddy would become a priest rather than a politician, destined to ultimately rise to bishop status.


Susanna said...


Edward Kennedy, it can be said, was not cut out for the priestly life. His first marriage to former model Virginia Joan Bennett, ended in divorce in 1982, with the marriage annulled by the Roman Rota more than a decade later. And there are the infamous episodes in his life that showed a man not quite in control of his demons. But ultimately, beyond his personal travails, Kennedy's relationship with the Church hierarchy was destined for conflict because of politics. The Senator became both the face and engine of the liberal wing of the Democratic party that has long led the battle for abortion rights, stem cell research and gay marriage, all of which Catholic doctrine strictly forbids.

"He is a complicated figure," says Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and the culture editor of the Catholic magazine America. "Catholics on the right are critical because of his stance on abortion. Catholics on the left celebrate his achievements on immigration, fighting poverty and other legislation that is a virtual mirror of the Church's social teaching."

Back at headquarters, however, there is little room for nuance. "Here in Rome Ted Kennedy is nobody. He's a legend with his own constituency," says the Vatican official. "If he had influence in the past it was only with the Archdiocese of Boston and that eventually disappeared too." Some say the final sunset on the Kennedy name within Catholic halls of power was the Vatican's decision in 2007 to overturn the annulment of the first marriage of former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert Kennedy. The successful appeal by Joe Kennedy's ex-wife Sheila Rauch, an Episcopalian, was another blow for the Kennedy image in Catholic circles.

During Benedict's 2008 trip to the U.S., there was some heated debate (with conflicting photographs and eyewitness accounts) about whether or not Kennedy took Holy Communion at the papal mass at Nationals Stadium in Washington, with conservatives insisting that the Pope says the rite should be denied to pro-choice politicians. With this in mind, Church observers are keen to see if Boston's Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley will preside over Kennedy's funeral.

In what may mark the final flicker of Kennedy influence in American Catholicism, reports circulated last spring that Obama was considering JFK's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, as the possible next U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. That was not to be. Indeed in the wake of Uncle Ted's death came word Thursday that Obama's final choice had arrived in Rome to take up the diplomatic post at the Holy See. His name is Miguel Diaz, a little-known Cuban-born professor of theology firmly on the record as pro-life.

Anonymous said...


Cass Sustein also think that animal hunting and eating meat should be banned. He also thinks animals should have legal representatives where they can sue people.


Anonymous said...

Peter J. Smith wrote the article for Life Site News from which Savvy excerpted paragraphs. By giving the link she wasn't taking credit for his writing.


Constance Cumbey said...

Yes, I understand our two dogs and one cat are preparing a class action lawsuit against my husband and I for not sharing more of our lunch today with them.


Susanna said...

Just as a little memory refresher, here is the lowdown on the overturning by the Roman Catholic church in the mid-1990's of the annulment of Joe Kennedy's first marriage to Protestant, Sheila Rauch after Sheila Rauch appealed to Rome.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This is the same Joe Kennedy who was importing oil to Massachusetts from Venezuela!


With the death of his uncle Ted Kennedy on August 25, 2009, (Joe)Kennedy's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for his uncle's seat representing Massachusetts in the United States Senate.

Massachusetts state law dictates that a special election would have to take place no fewer than 145 days after and no more than 160 days after the death or resignation of a senator, although in a letter to the Massachusetts legislature shortly before he died, Senator Kennedy had asked that the law be changed to permit the governor to appoint an interim senator to fill the vacancy until the special election.


The six-year term of Ted Kennedy's Senate seat ends in January 2013. Many experts have predicted that Joseph Kennedy will not run for the seat.


Needless to say, it is highly unlikely that the mainstream media will be reporting the full story about this little political game of "musical chairs" - or in this case "musical senate seats" - being played in Massachusetts for the purpose of cramming socialized medicine disguised as "Health Care Reform" down everyone's throats!

What we need to do is to vote the bums out in 2010 and vote in some people who actually intend to represent us and not their own personal political powermongering agenda!

Susanna said...


Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday the Obama administration should be debriefing CIA interrogators about keeping the country safe rather than trying to punish them for doing their jobs.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday said the Obama administration should be debriefing CIA interrogators about keeping the country safe rather than trying to punish them for doing their jobs.

In an exclusive interview taped to air this weekend on "FOX News Sunday," Cheney called the Justice Department probe of interrogators an "outrageous political act" that will do long-term damage to the United States' capacity to protect the country.

"We had a track record now of eight years of defending the nation against any further mass casualty attacks from al Qaeda. The approach of the Obama administration should be to come to those people who were involved in that policy and say, 'How did you do it? What were the keys to keeping this country safe over that period of time?'" Cheney said.

"Instead, they're out there now threatening to disbar the lawyers who gave us the legal opinions -- threatening contrary to what the president originally said. They're going to go out and investigate the CIA personnel who carried out those investigations," Cheney entire article...

Susanna said...


Does anyone really think the kids made up the prayers?

This is why y'all will have to excuse me if I don't get all choked up!


Anonymous said...

I am finishing an easy to read book called The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. From the jacket:
"Four percent of ordinary people have an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt or remorse. ...One of their chief characteristtics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. ...Sociopaths learn early on to sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win...To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play."

In one chapter she points out that culture can trigger it. "Apparently cultural influences play a very important role in the development (or not) of sociopathy in any given population."

Thought the book doesn't mention it, how does this relate to New Age? While New Age claims to develop a feeling of oneness with everything in nature which would work against development of sociopathic behavior, in fact branches work to trigger covetous sociopathic behavior. "The covetous sociopath thinks that life has cheated her somehow; has not given her nearly the same bounty as other people, so she must even the existential score by robbing people, by secretly causing destruction in other lives."

If we are dealing with a sociopathic government, we are all in trouble.


Anonymous said...

Susanna, what got to me was the blaring of America as the casket was going out of the church. I always thought a funeral was a quiet religious event.


Anonymous said...

From a story over at World Net Daily.

"Edward Klein, speaking to WAMU guest host Katty Kay, said one of Kennedy's "favorite topics of humor was, indeed, Chappaquiddick."

"He would ask people, 'Have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?'" said Klein, a former Newsweek foreign editor and former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine."

Speak about lacking a conscience.


Depressed said...

Obama and his friends, most of the dems, liberals, are not as dangerous as the reckless behavior of out-of-control neo-conservatives over the previous eight years. Obama is trying to clean up the huge mess those crazy, narrowminded conservatives left this country. The mess is so big, though, it may never be cleaned up. Oh, but wait, liberals and the dems have added their share to the mess, so we really can't count on anyone to clean it up. Our country is messed up by these two extreme groups. How depressing!

Anonymous said...

Curbing free use of photography in England. Probably coming to America some time soon.
Oppressed British snappers focus on police

Photographers attempt to reclaim the right to photograph

Relations between police and photographers, already at an all-time low, look set to worsen this week as activists set up a new national campaign group to protect photography, and protesters get ready to take to the streets in Chatham. The national campaign launched last Saturday in the Foundry pub in East London, with more than 200 photographers showing their support for a new photographers' rights website by being snapped holding up a placard saying "I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!"

Although the campaign is skewed very much toward professional photographers, it claims that it is the rights of all photographers that are currently under attack. According to the site: "Not only is [this attack] corrosive of press freedom but creation of the collective visual history of our country is extinguished by anti-terrorist legislation designed to protect the heritage it prevents us recording." It goes on: "This campaign is for everyone who values visual imagery, not only photographers."

Materials available on-site include a "bust card", that photographers should carry in case they are stopped under anti-terror legislation, as well as a Google map pin-pointing areas of the country known to be problematic for photographers. Supporters of the campaign are encouraged to upload a self-portrait including the campaign slogan "I’m a photographer, not a terrorist". There is also a fan page available on Facebook.

Meanwhile, in Chatham, to mark the recent arrest of local photographer Alex Turner for the heinous offences of being too tall and laying claim to his legal right not to give his name and address to the police, Medway Eyes is planning a meet up in the Riverside Gardens and photo walk on August 15th. Medway Eyes is an informal umbrella organisation that supports, promotes and collaborates with Medway artists and venues.

They have sent an open invitation to photographers and friends, stressing that the event is not a protest, but adding that they will be happy to speak on the subjects of photographers' rights and the value of social documentary photography whilst the group assembles.


Anonymous said...

Catholic League Rips Showtime's Vile, Error-Laden Anti-Catholic Assault
By Dave Pierre (Bio | Archive)

Following last night's episode (Thu. 8/27/09) of Penn & Teller's show on Showtime, Bill Donahue, founder and president of the Catholic League said, "I have never seen a more defamatory, obscene and vicious show on TV." Folks, that is saying a lot. The man has dedicated his career to exposing anti-Catholicism.

According to Donahue, the foul-mouthed Penn Jillette billed last night's episode as "payback" for 2,000 years of alleged "crimes" by the Catholic Church. Wrote Donahue:

Jillette said the "intolerance, greed, paranoia, hypocrisy and callous disregard for human suffering" was the hallmark of the Catholic Church. Others on the show branded the Church an "amoral" and "power hungry" institution that is just worried about its "cash flow."

For a half hour, Jillette aired a number of wild falsehoods and vicious lies about the Catholic Church. For example, Jillette claimed that a 1962 Vatican document was a secret cover-up for sex abuse. It definitely was not. (This false claim was first aired by CBS in 2003 and then repeated by the BBC in 2007. It has been repeatedly debunked.)

Donahue summarized the show, "The Nazis couldn’t have done better."

Donahue reports that he plans to meet on Monday with Les Moonves, president of CBS, the parent company of Showtime.

Here's a question that Donahue could consider asking Moonves: Would he ever have allowed a show to air that similarly defamed Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists?


Anonymous said...

Thanks Susanna - the article about the anulmwent - I had never actual understood the official outcome.


Susanna said...


Re: what got to me was the blaring of America as the casket was going out of the church. I always thought a funeral was a quiet religious event.

This is true. If "America" was allowed to be played as a recessional, it is because of its reference to God and in this case its implied reference to Kennedy's patriotism and public service.

What gets to me is the fact that this piece was played in spite of Kennedy's self-serving "service" to the enemies of this country.

Apart from his self-serving "service" to the former Soviet Union, it was thanks to his leading the charge to defund the Vietnam War and bail out on our South Vietnamese allies that these same South Vietnamese allies who loyally supported the U.S. died by the thousands at the hands of Ho Chi Minh's secundos (i.e. the Viet Cong) - not to mention those who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime in the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.

Susanna said...


It is people like the Kennedy clan with the collaboration of politicking prelates whose earthly ambition is all too often allowed to outrun their religious scruples that make a mockery out of the annulment process, which, in the past, has been much more rarely granted.

Apparently in this case, which happened on Cardinal Law's watch, Joe Kennedy hypocritically and ignorantly assumed that just because his wife Sheila Rauch was Protestant, she wouldn't put up a fuss if the Catholic Church, by granting him an annulment (in secret, no less)were to say that they were never really married in the eyes of the Church.

The reason why Kennedy wanted a quick annulment was so that he could be rendered suitably "church-worthy" in order to look "respectable" during his run for governor of Massachusetts in 1994. This incident reportedly crippled Joe Kennedy's run for Governor.

Obviously, Kennedy himself couldn't have taken the annulment or the Church's moral teachings very seriously because he didn't even wait for annulment proceedings to conclude before marrying his mistress in a civil ceremony in violation of Church law.

What a crock THAT was!

Sheila Rauch had every right to be outraged over that farce of an annulment. Apparently, Rome thought so too!

Here is another related article.


In what must be a very embarrassing moment for the Archdiocese of Boston, the Vatican has overturned the annulment granted to Joseph Kennedy, son of former Senator and assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

According to news sources, Sheila Rauch, the wife of Joseph Kennedy, was never even notified of the annulment and only found out two years after Joseph Kennedy successfully was granted a civil divorce in 1991 (when he "married" a former congressional aide, Beth Kelly, outside the Church in a civil ceremony).

The Kennedy marriage lasted twelve years and there were two children by the marriage, facts apparently overlooked by

the Archdiocese of Boston when it granted the annulment. Joseph Kennedy did not even wait for the annulment process to conclude before he "married" Ms. Kelly, a "marriage" that the Vatican has now made clear is invalid.

This high profile case is a disgrace to the Church, but it is an opportunity for the Vatican to make clear that annulment is not "Catholic divorce" and that no matter how famous or powerful the name, the Church prefers to remain faithful to the words of Jesus Christ. This is, after all, the Church that preferred to lose England rather than grant a false annulment to King Henry VIII. If she would give up a kingdom for Jesus Christ, why on earth would she not give up a Kennedy?

We ought to admire Mrs. Kennedy's patience and her willingness to continue to work within the legal channels in the Church for justice in this case. Let's hope that the Archdiocese of Boston and marriage tribunals across the country let this lesson sink in.



Anonymous said...

What is Xavier Solana's middle name?

Constance Cumbey said...

Solana's full name is


I know of no other "Middle Name" for him. The "de Madariaga" is a Spanish naming convention -- his mother's family name"


Len said...

Quote Of The Year

"On a more serious front, I sincerely hope that when the president goes in for his annual check-up, the doctors at Bethesda will do a brain scan. Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran."

--columnist Burt Prelutsky

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