Thursday, April 25, 2013

Springtime in Ohio!

All photos taken in Bath, OH and all photos by Suzannah Wolf Walker

Copyright 2013  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Heartfelt condolences to those murdered and maimed at the Boston Marathon 2013

To those murdered,

To those maimed;

Know in your hearts

That you will never

Be forgotten.

And may you evermore

Be our heroes

Who represent

The best of America;

The best in America.

Copyright  2013   Suzannah Wolf Walker  all rights reserved

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Margaret Thatcher - the Iron Lady

Baroness Margaret Thatcher passed away on April 8, 2013.
It is with great sadness that I write this as former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, has recently died after suffering a stroke. She was 87 years old. She was the world's first woman to serve as a prime minister of a country.  Although she did not consider herself a feminist - in fact she deplored them - she was a role model to me and many other women throughout the world.  She was a feminine woman, but not a feminist, she liked to say.  I believe a woman can be feminine but at the same time a strong, unwavering woman in her beliefs and in her making the United Kingdom a stronger nation.
Plaque that sits on Margaret Thatcher's birthplace home.

Home where Margaret Thatcher was born.

Margaret Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990.  She was the only woman to have held that office.  She was leader of the Conservative Party (Tory) from 1975-1990 and also the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom.  She is the longest serving British prime minister of the 20th century.

Her nickname, Iron Lady, was a christening from a Soviet Union journalist who gave her the nickname because of her unwavering convictions.  In fact,  Thatcher, herself, said she was a woman and a politician of conviction and not consensus.  During her tenure as prime minister she rarely did concede or compromise with the Labor Party.

Thatcher was originally a chemist and a barrister and was elected as a member of Parliament (MP) in 1959.   She was a staunch conservative and when she became prime minister she introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she considered to be Britain's national decline in the world.  These became known as Thatcherisms.

Her philosophy and economic policies emphasized deregulation in the financial sector, flexible labor markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.  She was a conservative to a T.

She was elected to a third term as prime minister in 1987, but her Community Charge (poll tax) was quite widely unpopular and her views of the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet.  At this time, she began to become quite unpopular and resigned as prime minister  and party leader in November 1990 after a challenge to her leadership.  She tearfully left 10 Downing Street believing that what she had done and had proposed for Britain was in its best interests.

In 1992, she was given life peerage as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire which entitled her to sit in the House of Commons which she did for several years.
Thatcher and her husband with the Reagans .
Thatcher with Mikail Gorbachev and wife.

Thatcher is also known for her unwavering support of President Ronald Reagan and helped him behind the scenes to bring down communism in the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall.  She also was a supporter of Mikail Gorbachev and his political philosophy of 'peristroika', the opening up of the Soviet Union.  She also had unwavering support for him in this regard.  And, both of these powerful men found her charming and elegant but at the same time strong in her convictions.

Several years go, the movie 'Iron Lady', starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, came out much to the interest of the public and much to the dismay of the Thatcher family.  Meryl Streep's performance of Thatcher in her dementia condition and then in flashbacks as Thatcher at the height of her power as prime minister was outstanding.  Meryl Streep was Margaret Thatcher.

Seeing Margaret Thatcher in dementia was poignant and true - we all wanted to know what was happening to her.  The Thatcher family was outraged as they didn't believe Margaret Thatcher would want us to see her that way.  But, her strength in her younger days contrasted by her dementia in later days, was absolutely fascinating to see.  Her basic personality and strength never wavered in dementia as portrayed in the scene when she washes the tea cup at the end of the movie.  Her strength and convictions remained even in dementia.  I found that portrayal comforting and a salute to Thatcher's strength of her convictions.

I find Margaret Thatcher's unwavering convictions a wonderful thing in an age where unwavering convictions do not exist in the United States at this time and place in our political institutions. Although, I didn't agree with every one of her policies I found her to be a strong leader for the United Kingdom.  Perhaps a few politicians like Margaret Thatcher, in our political institutions would help us out of our gridlock, help us in finding a stronger economy, and help us in our quest for some sort of gun control in this country.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Ambassador of Japan

Caroline Kennedy, recently tapped to become the new ambassador to Japan.
Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Ambassador of Japan!  There is no one finer person, in my opinion, that President Obama could have tapped for the new ambassador of Japan than Caroline Kennedy.  She has the education, necessary experience and certainly the pedigree to become an ambassador to Japan, a major ambassadorship for our country.  She is class personified.

Today, Caroline Kennedy is an attorney, writer and editor.  She serves on the board of numerous non-profit organizations.  Since 2002, she has been one of two vice chairs of the board of directors of The Fund for Public Schools, which attracts private funding for the public schools of New York City.

From 2002-2004 she was director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education where she raised $65 million for the city's public schools.

She is presently president of the Kennedy Library Foundation, a member of the New York and Washington, DC bar association, she is  also on the board of Directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.  And, she and members of her family have created the Profile in Courage Award since 1989 and they annually give the award to a worthy person.

She is married to Edwin Schlossberg, a museum art exhibit designer since 1986 and they  have three children together, Rose, Tatiana, and John.  She retained her name when she was married.  She lives in New York and also owns her mother's former estate on Martha's Vineyard.

Caroline Kennedy certainly knows how to negotiate and work with all kinds of people, and her people skills will come in handy for an ambassadorship in Japan.  Kennedy is described as quiet, thoughtful, and doesn't seek the limelight even though she grew up in it.  She is grounded and well-spoken and would be a wonderful United States ambassasdor in Japan which has a reserved, quiet, thoughtful culture.  This would be the perfect union of country and U.S. ambassador.    Kennedy and Japan would complement each other.

Just as Japan and China are embarking on a conflict over an island near each of their countries -- China wants control of it -- Caroline Kennedy would make a cool, smooth and calm negotiator in this conflict, helping to ease the tensions and stress Japan is embroiled in right now.  She would be able to chart a course where each country maintains friendly ties with the United States and each other.

Caroline Kennedy is someone I have always looked up to as a real leader.   She is truly interested in what's best for our country and not herself.  I believe and have complete confidence that she will carry out her task for our country to the greatest of her ability and potential.  If confirmed by the Senate, Kennedy will be the first woman ambassador to Tokyo.

Asa Hutchinson - Shame on You!

Former Representative Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas)
Asa Hutchinson - Shame on You!  I am convinced some of our 'leaders' have lost all common sense.  Asa Hutchinson and his task force, National School Shield Task Force,  for creating safer schools has recommended that all public schools in America have teachers appointed who will be in possession of a gun at all times.  He is for ending all American public schools as being gun free zones.
What lunacy is this?  I have said it before and I'll say it again - children and guns don't mix.  Adam Lanza is proof of that.  He is one disturbed person that should never have been around guns and his mother should have known better.  Guns in the wrong hands only ends in one way - tragedy.

Guns in schools teaches children the wrong message.  It teaches them that guns are the answer to all disagreements and conflict.  Rather than reach out and help, it is easier just to kill.  What about the teacher and counselor that talked down a shootist who had come into their school to kill?  This is a much better way of handling a shooter in a school than shooting one.  Students are taught mediation practices for solving conflicts and this needs to be continued, not introducing guns into the public schools.

I can see the potential for too many accidents happening.  What if disturbed students are able to get access to guns kept in the classroom?  Do you really think more tragedy will not happen?  If a child has stolen or broken into where the gun is kept and taken it - it's not there for the teacher to use to defend students.    What if, in a moment of anger, students are able to get access to the teacher's gun.  Do you really think more tragedy will not happen?  What if a student who comes from a home where there are no guns is able to access to a gun at school?  Do you really think more tragedy will not happen?  It is no different than Nancy Lanza having a gun at home that Adam was able to get to.  

Kids are not stupid.  They know how to break into things, how to steal, even how to hack into computer systems.  You think kids will not be able to figure out how to get to any guns stored or kept in schools?  Or, are these teachers going to be packing a gun on their person everyday at  all times?  This recommendation by Hutchinson's task force makes no sense to me.

Why has the NRA returned to the "Wild West" attitude as a solution to school killings and mass murders?  Why is their answer to everything associated with trying to make this a peaceful nation MORE GUNS!  Look at the statistics of countries with gun control - Australia, Great Britain to just name two.  They have significantly less murders per year than the U.S.  In the U.S. we have three, four, five times the murders of England, for example.  

The U.S. is the most violent nation on this earth.  When are we going to wake-up and say NO to the NRA. How did the NRA grow to have such influence and power over us all?  I have the right to live in a peaceful, safe society where I do not have to carry a gun to protect myself at all times.  Do I have to move to an Australia or a Great Britain to achieve this?  My own country and the NRA can't come to an agreement or understanding on control of automatic weapons and magazine clips?  The NRA is limiting my rights to a safe, peaceful United States.  Why is that permitted in the land of the free and the brave?