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Category Archive for ‘International’

Welcome To The World HRH Prince X of Cambridge

Tired but very happy Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduce their newborn son to the waiting world.


UPDATE:  The royal baby shall be called HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.


Belgium King Abdicates

Today marked Beligum’s King Albert II abdication and swearing in of Albert’s eldest son, Phillippe, as the new king of Belgium. The new king is the 7th King of Belgium and takes on a largely ceremonial role. His wife, Mathilde was given the title Queen of Belgium.


Photo credit: The Belgian Monarchy

This was a modest affair in contrast to the days long activities surrounding the abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander on April 30th 2013.

In the meantime, the wait is still on for the arrival of Wills and Kate’s baby.


Royal Baby Watch

Baby Booties

Check out the up-to-the-minute rumors, speculation and most likely announcement of the upcoming Baby Cambridge arrival on Twitter hashtag #RoyalBaby. I’m leaning towards a girl for Wills and Kate Cambridge.

What do you think? Or are you wondering who the heck are Wills and Kate?


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David Gregory Goes Squirrel Hunting

PRISM gum. Should I be concerned? #NSA on Twitpic

Should I be concerned?

Bravo to David Gregory with his totally void of  fact question asked to David Greenwald in regards to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden:


DAVID GREGORY: To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?


Glenn managed to shred David’s line of questioning with this stunning rebuttal.


David’s question was successful in deflecting attention from this devastating leak which is seriously damaging the credibility of the Obama administration. The chattering class on Twitter today was abuzz over the guilt or innocence of a journalist rather than questioning why the administration along with the NSA are more interested in spying on Americans  than terrorists.

What is horrifying about this revelation by Edward Snowden is how easily the data can be exploited for political purposes. Don’t think for one second that the DNCC or David Axelrod would refrain from employing data mining strategies within this mountain of data to search for potentially damaging  or embarrassing opposition research.   Is this the new normal for modern day politics?  I’m not sure – is this 2013 or 1984?

Thoughts? Comments?  Use the comment box below.



Sweden’s Princess Madeleine Weds Her Prince – Chris O’Neill

Swedish Royal Wedding - Madeleine and Chris

Today in Stockholm, the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden wed her American fiance, Chris O’Neill is an exquisite ceremony. The white tie event brought out glittering crown jewels and gowns from numerous royal families invited to the wedding.  With exception to HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco who wore no ribbon, crown or jewelry of any type to this wedding, also, her husband was MIA.

I have to say, the bridal entrance was the most touching one I’ve seen of all the royal weddings. I love how the children literally sung Madeline and her father down the isle to the waiting groom. Watch the video below and you’ll find yourself agreeing with my assessment of this beautiful, loving royal swedish wedding:

Congratulations, Madeleine and Chris, today is the begining of your beautiful journey together.  I wish the both of you all the best!


The Woman – Margaret Thatcher – Rest In Peace

Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher, passed today at the age of 87. She lead her party to three election wins and served twelve years as Prime Minister before handing the reigns over to her successor.

She was fierce.

A principled and intelligent Lady, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Her extraordinary leadership skill set, not whom she married, made her the best person for this position. As Prime Minister, she spearheaded necessary and fair changes to spearhead a revival of Britain, while breaking political glass ceilings for women worldwide.

Her keen intelligence rocked the macho status quo in Parliament; she rose to the occasion, but always remained a Lady.

This woman was no #Julia. She was the real deal – a strong, intelligent, capable, heroic woman – a role model for empowered feminists like myself.

I never had the fortune to meet Margaret Thatcher. My good blogging buddy, Mike Miller, created an extraordinary post remembering Margaret Thatcher entitled Iron Lady for the Ages. He shares his memories of time when adults occupied positions of power.

Rest in peace, Margaret Thatcher. You will be missed.


Meet the New Pope – Francis 1


First pope from the Americas and first Jesuit to become Pope.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now called Pope Francis 1 hails from Argentina and is no friend of Christina Kirchner and those of her ilk. This should make for some interesting conversations in the near future.

Also, the new Pope Tweets!

Source: latimes.com via Tania on Pinterest


Let The Conclave Begin!

Let There Be Light - Christ Church, Philadelphia

Vatican City, Rome – On Tuesday, 115 Cardinal ‘Electors’ will begin the process of choosing among their peers the successor to St Peter, otherwise known as The Pope. The process is steeped in centuries old tradition and draped in secrecy with far more human influence than Divine. God has always come across to me as a deity who is very direct in communicating with mere mortals via burning bush and all that. Although I’m not  a biblical scholar, I don’t recall God organizing a secret vote to select Peter as the first leader of the Church.  While researching the history of the Conclave, I happened upon a great quote summary on Catholic.com regarding the origins of Peter as Pope.  The post give great insight on how the leading thinkers of the early Church were cementing the role of Peter as the rock of the Church. For those wondering, the article is Nihil Obstat.

In brief, the Cardinals will meet in the Sistine Chapel and vote twice a day until they come up with a name that has garnered more than two-thirds of the vote. Once the elected Cardinal has accepted the promotion, the world will know when they see white smoke from a Sistine Chapel chimney. This process may take a few days or perhaps months as it has happened once or twice over the centuries. Either way, wake me when it is over.

I hold little hope for an American Cardinal to be selected as Pope. Who do you think will be elected to become the next Pope?


Rather Alarming News

Post inspired by a photo of the Sigma Telephoto 200-500mm F2/8 lens.

The British Royal birthday suit scandal has been in the news of late.  The latest news has the German/Danish gossip magazine Seg og Hor playing a game of will they or won’t they publish bottomless photos of the Duchess as she sunbathed with her husband, Prince William.

What Kate and William are going through is not new news. In the late nineties, Aftonbladet – a Swedish gossip magazine printed photos of the Danish Crown Jewels during a summer holiday at a private chateau in the south of France. I don’t believe it was the same chateau featured in the Will and Kate photo session.

 I really don’t care why royalty feel the need to get their kit off during a summer holiday at a private chateau in the south of France and I don’t need to see photo evidence of this activity.  Who cares. They share the same anatomical features as the rest of humanity.

Two things alarm me with the Birthday Suit scandal:

1. The photos were taken from at least a half mile away in a underpopulated area. It’s one thing to see the paparazzi snapping photos while you sunbath, quite another when they are so far away from sight. What if that was a high powered rifle, instead of a camera lens?  This is a real security concern for any public figure.  The royal family is in the process of  suing publishers who print the photos, but to what end?  Sending such a message in the age of digital photography is almost a moot point.

2. Of all the royalty, Will and Kate should have the most highly tuned radar for PDA (public displays of affection). Diana’s famous battles with intrusive press and Kate’s lawsuits against the press while she was dating William should have forged between them a strong working strategy against intrusive photos.  The take home message for both of them – nowhere outside is secluded and private. An exception might be Germany in the near future.

In other alarming news, thousands of Germans demonstrate for a permanent wealth tax on people’s wealth. Imagine how quickly ‘wealthy’ people in Germany will relocate elsewhere. This mass migration could open up great swaths of land for young royals to holiday and sunbath in the nude with no intrusive photos.

What are your thoughts on the age of digital photography and privacy?


Tonight on the Snark Factor!

Listen live to the Snark Factor every Wednesday night at 1opm EST on FTR Radio where I will be joining Fingers Malloy, Irish Duke to bring news bites at the top of the hour followed by sparkling chats with invited guests. If you are a fan of my blog, you’ll know that I have an eclectic taste in news of the day.

On tap tonight:

 Oh My God…Sec of State Hilary Clinton must resign. Murdered American Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens knew he was named on an al-queda hit list.   Cairo was a distraction, the Libyan Ambassador was the target. The success of this premeditated attack spurred on the other Islamic countries. This wave of murder and violence had nothing to do with a YouTube video and everything to do with a ‘kill list’ target – Ambassador Stevens.

Even worse – an ex-Gitmo detainee was involved in the Consulate attack.

In other news…

The 2012 Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon was a great success!

Oh, this is just creepy.  I have to agree with the comments on this article

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