April 15, 2017

Hidden Figures Review (2017)





I'm not much of a movie watcher but I'm glad I took the time to watch this one.  So happy to learn of this, what a story. Both a sad story because of the way we were, yet also a story of triumph. An amazingly poignant example of our collective human ignorance of how hate retards our progress and how the indomitable spirit of a few overcame the stupidity of the masses.

March 10, 2017

Brigitte Gabriel articulates the problem beautifully

March 02, 2017

Delta Airlines - a warning


I spent days on the Delta website trying to find flights I can afford and that will work with my itinerary. When I settled on a flight where I could save a lot of money by having my wife drive a short leg of the journey, i pulled the trigger and started booking the flight.   I wasn't logged into my account, I then entered my frequent flyer ID and had to log in.  I crossed all the Ts and dotted all the Is and when I hit the buy finish button.  At that time the "Fare Change" dialoge box came up demanding another $299.00.    I was pissed.  I find something what works for $998.00 and by the time I fill out the purchase agreement on your website you try to sodomize me for another $300.00.

Of course I phoned Delta to ask WTF!   Delta then quoted the $998.00 flight which was still available after all, I booked it. This process wasted a lot of my time as well as the time of the Delta employee who had to repeat on the phone what I had already completed online.  This made me ponder a few thing about process.

After this exasperating experience I had to go for a hike to clear my head.   With clarity came an epiphany; considering my both logged in and logged out searches and the inconsistent results I had to conclude Delta must charge frequent fliers more money to make up for the discount they give.  This would explain the $300.00 jump after I logged in.

As I said, I spent days, well maybe several hours spread over several days.   While consulting with my wife about when she was available to fly, where she was willing to fly from caused many starts and stops on my searches. I couldn't always replicate results that I had found earlier.Sometimes I'd be logged into my frequent flyer miles account, sometimes I wasn't.  Hmmm.

I certainly got into the wrong frequent flier program and am getting out as soon as I use up my accumulated miles.

Further more, I'm still pissed about you bumping me out of me "Delta Comfort" isle seat on my return flight from South Africa.   I buy Isle seats for the convince of your other passengers, because of my health issues which mandate me moving around the cabin often.

Every time I fly with Delta, I regret it afterwards.

December 11, 2016

The Eagles Nest



One day after 25 years of searching I found an eagles nest I could look down into. Cameos of some of the animals and birds from around the nest.

September 30, 2016

Glenn Beck ~ shut your pie hole!!!

Glenn Beck ~ Shut Your Pie Hole


Ok Glenn; you are too moral to vote for Trump, I get it.

Yes I understand your show, I have been a loyal listener since 2001. I understand you fancy yourself as a twenty first century George Whitefield, a noble aspiration!

I understand morality is great, and principles are wonderful. I also understand other metaphors help the thickheaded. Bill Bennett once passed along one once: “pacifists are the unwitting ally of the enemy”. I guess today we could use this baseline to construe “the moralist is the unwittingly alley of the enemy.”
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." H.L. Mencken .

I also was a Cruz guy, Cruz lost! Glenn you once had millions of followers, the number, I’m sure, remains large. As you undermine our better of, two bad choices, proclaiming you have no influence, I will argue you have more than I wish you did.

One of my closest friends is an evangelical; in 2012 Steve, morally couldn’t vote for the cult member (Romney “Mormon”). Before the election I tried to reason with him; “wouldn’t you rather have the cult member than the Muslim? Steve replied; I prey about it, but I’ll let God decide. Millions of evangelicals did the same. Well Glenn, I don’t like Gods decision of 2012.

In 2008 I published an article called “A deist among the Mormons” stating how although I’m a deist, I love my Idaho Mormon neighbors. The best family/community people I have ever had the pleasure to live among. As a matter of fact, I met you at Frank VanderSloot’s barn in Idaho Falls.
All the days I can briefly listen to your show, I hear you extrol morality, and how yours can’t be tainted by a Trump vote; your remaining followers, thus to remain moral by your measure, also won’t vote for Trump. I am saddened that I am compelled to reach for the off switch of your show at a greater frequency than I ever did for the off switch for Michael Savage when Savage goes on to gratuitously savage his competitors.

You, Pat, Stu, and a dozen minions can gather around your ever shrinking circle, you say you are willing to lead, and pat each other on your back about how moral you are and we immoral deserve the America Hillary gives us.

I republished “A deist among the Mormons” in 2012, I then posted it to Free Republic where I was savaged by publisher Jim Robinson and his freeper followers, Jim Robinson, much too late tried to rally his followers to vote for Romney; however it is tough to unring a bell.

I am sure that Hillary is delighted you have become her favorite useful idiot, as you whistle past the graveyard on your morality advocacy high horse; you will deliver her the one percent that sends her over the top.

The good thing about my friend Steve is he didn’t have a microphone, although he did listen the microphone of others.

Now get off your grandstand and shut your pie hole!

April 06, 2016

Daryl L. Hunter - Talking about Grizzlies





Daryl L. Hunter talking about Grizzly Bears.



A
protective firewall for grizzlies

The
delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should
celebrate (‘’’’dancing’’’’). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must
insure the grizzlies’recovery is permanent.  To insure “continuity of achievement,” the grizzlies need a
firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.

The
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) was formed in 1983 to help ensure
recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48
states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management and
research. Many people have been working on this recovery for decades, for some;
it has been most of their career. 
I can understand why the delisting of the grizzly before their
retirement is their goal. A metaphorical gold watch if you will.

Many
will argue differently, but I believe that our “isolated” population of
grizzlies has recovered; albeit tenuously, and I don’t have a problem with the
delisting.  The problem is, as the
delisting of the wolves demonstrated; a hunting season for grizzlies will soon
follow. I believe a hunting season is a freight train coming at us we can’t
stop! Managing grizzly bears for the Game and Fish departments is expensive,
and they desire to recoup some expense with grizzly bear hunting tags, but
their real savings will be the killing of bears. All we can do is hope to
mitigate the outcome by providing a firewall, a fall back zone where the
grizzlies will never be hunted, an incubator of sorts. 

Social
tolerance” is the term used by grizzly managers when considering the human
factor intersect.  Social
acceptance is a tough sell for those who fear predators might hurt their
children along the wildland-urban interface; grizzly advocates must understand
this as we move forward with our mitigative efforts to insure a long-term
grizzly recovery. If the residents on the outskirts of our towns and ranchers
along the periphery of your National Forests can protect their property, social
acceptance for grizzlies in our wild areas will grow.  If people keep getting attacked outside Livingston, and
grizzlies are harvesting apples in St. Anthony, or trying to den in garages in
Driggs, social tolerance will shrink. We need to cultivate social tolerance,
not risk it.

My
social tolerance for grizzlies is high because I have one of the 155+ easily
discernable jobs created by grizzly bear tourism. Because of my familiarity, I
understand bears aren’t out to get us. 
I consider them “Revenue Bears,” Game and Fish doesn’t. Every hotel and
restaurant of the Greater Yellowstone communities are beneficiaries of “Revenue
Bear” tourism. 

I wish we wouldn’t have a hunt, but as a pragmatist, I don’t
have a problem with a limited hunting season for the grizzly bears.   What is good for the wilderness
isn’t necessarily good for the outskirts of Cody Wyoming, Bozeman Montana, and
St Anthony Idaho. Although hunting will kill some bears outside the wilderness,
I believe it will encourage bears who learn to fear humans to stay in the wild
areas. In the wild areas they will be out of people’s back yards, and away from
ranches. We have many black bears where I live in Swan Valley Idaho, but I
never see them because they are hunted. 
I see their tracks; I hear them busting through the woods and across the
creeks when they hear me in the area. 
Because they are hunted, they avoid people.

Our
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Game and Fish departments who are also part of the
IGBC, will argue that Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks are the safety zone
firewall that will protect the grizzlies. I counter point; if Yellowstone and
Grand Teton Parks could protect them, why did the population crash to start
with? That is why the alphabet soup of agencies of the IGBC in 1993 created the
more logical and demonstrably effective 
“Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone”; known today as the  “Primary Conservation Area (PCA).”

The
PCA has fostered the glacial pace yet successful recovery we enjoy today. This
Primary Conservation Area is 9,210 square miles equaling 5,893,760 acres. This
original  “Grizzly Bear Recovery
Zone” has to be the firewall “no hunting zone” to insure the  “continuity of achievement” of the
Grizzly Bear Recovery effort.

Wyoming
Game and Fish thinks 7,229 square miles equaling 4,626,560 acres is
adequate.  “I’m sure Montana and
Idaho Game and Fish agree. Clearly that would infringe on the range the Grizzly
Recovery efforts deemed important essential recovery habitat.

The
IGBC Recovery Plan states; The PCA contains “The Minimum ” seasonal habitat
components needed to support the recovered grizzly bear population, as defined
in the Recovery Plan. “A recovered population is one having a high probability
of existence into the foreseeable future (greater than 100 years).” (Note) This
statement in the recovery plan was drafted before the crash of the essential
food sources, white bark pine and the Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are also
part of the IGBC,
whose mission statement says; “ Work with
others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their
habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” However upon
grizzly delisting
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is

inclined to capitulate to “states rights” putting the future of grizzlies in
the hands of those who find them a nuisance and expensive; hence, rendering
their mission statement meaningless.

We
hold these grizzly truths to be self-evident; hence, for the Interagency
Grizzly Bear Study Team’s, team members, the Wyoming Game and Fish, Montana
Game and fish and Idaho Game and Fish to institute a hunting season within the
boundaries of the “Primary Conservation Area,” not only would be reckless, it
would be ludicrous!



Let’s not let this happen!


































































Daryl
L Hunter is a writer, photographer, speaker and tour guide that works out of
Jackson Wyoming who once wrote a conservative column for JH Weekly called “And
Rightly So”.

March 04, 2015

Saudi Columnist Ahmad Al-Faraj on Obama's Arab Spring

Saudi Columnist Ahmad Al-Faraj On Obama

"Netanyahu Is Right To Insist On Addressing Congress About Iran Deal"


pull quote, read link above



"I will conclude by saying the following: Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.'s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu's firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration's anger and fury. I believe that Netanyahu's conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents. Do you agree with me?"

January 30, 2015

They All Fall Down ~ The Barn Song



My Grandmother painted barns and I photograph them.  This song and the photos of Mark Mesenko"s really touched me.  Why isn't this song at the top of the country charts.  The song articulates how painters, photographers and probably anyone who likes a drive through rural America feels when they look upon yesterday. The song now lives on my iPhone.

Song performed by Tyler Barham, his co-writters were John Griffin, David Flint.  All photos on video by Mark Mesenko

September 29, 2014

Why wolves are good for wilderness



Why wolves are good for wilderness

Ecological Keystones

Everyone is interested in the wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone, wildlife though isn’t
just a cool tourist attraction, it is often a political football.  Wildlife affects the farmer and rancher on the periphery of Yellowstone differently than it does the visitor so excited
to see a wolf they can hardly hold their camera still. Understanding ecological
keystones is important because these hinge-pins of circumstance are harbingers of
subsequent biological destiny of an ecosystem. Understanding fosters reason!

A keystone species is a plant or animal that greatly effects the other plants and animals of the ecosystem, and sometimes the geography, disproportionately relative to its abundance or total biomass. They play a crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions and are a key to ecosystem balance.

The original meaning of  “keystone” came from the wedge-shaped stone placed at the top of a masonry vault or arch,
the final piece placed during construction that locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. The term “keystone” has evolved into a demonstrative metaphor into the lexicon of sustainability of ecosystems without which the ecologic structure would erode and lead to possible collapse.

The wolf is such a keystone as is the grizzly as well as the Beaver. All these species have experienced wide variance of populations as we humans interfered and now with our elementary, but growing understanding of ecosystems try to
undue what we have done. Other Greater Yellowstone Keystones include cutthroat
trout, Whitebark Pine.

A classic keystone species is a predator that prevents a herbivorous critter from
eliminating dominant plant species. Without predators herbivorous prey would
explode in numbers, wipe out the dominant plants, and dramatically alter the
character of the ecosystem. A keystone species is often, but not always, a
predator, for instance the lowly krill, a keystone species in the Antarctic
ecosystem. Krill are only two inches in length, but it represents a giant-sized
link in the global food chain. These small, shrimp-like crustaceans are essentially the fuel that runs the engine of the Earth’s marine ecosystems; hence, a keystone.

Natural ecologic communities are can be seen as a pyramid, the different layers are
known as “trophic” (or feeding) levels, plants form the foundation everything
from algae to trees. This foundation of grasses, forbs etc. feeds the vegetarian species ranging from voles to elk. Carnivores, raptors, grizzlies, wolves etc. then prey on the herbivores. Predators have few or no predators they remain at the pyramid’s peak.

Keystone species play a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological
pyramid, affecting many other organisms in an ecosystem and helping to determine the types and numbers of various other species of the ecological
community.

The disappearance of a keystone species would start a domino effect, or more
specifically a “trophic cascade”Ó trophic cascade is a destabilization of the
ecosystem and a compromised ecosystem can cause a series of secondary
extinctions that are triggered by the primary extinction; i.e., the first
domino. Without the keystone species, new plants or animals could also come
into the habitat and push out the native species. Without keystone species, the
ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist.

Keystone species, because of their proportionately large influence on species diversity,
community structure, and ecologic balance, have become a popular target for
conservation efforts. The reasoning is sound: protect one, key species, and in
doing so stabilize an entire community.


Daryl L. Hunter, author of "The Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide"


February 12, 2014

Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide

cover, Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide Grand Teton Photography and Field Guide composition photography portfolio-packer wildlife-preview

Introduction:

The Grand Teton Photo and Field Guide is an encapsulation of the flora, fauna, and photography of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Also included are thumbnails of the history and geology of the valley. This is an overview, not an encyclopedia. It is a guide and not a novel, so skip over what doesn’t interest you and find what tickle’s your curiosity.

This book is for all visitors with a desire to seek out wildlife, photograph the landscape, or merely learn about the history, geology, and lay of the land of Grand Teton National Park. I provide general overviews with hot links with more in-depth descriptions of subjects of individual interest.

I have been guiding and photographing around Jackson Hole and Yellowstone since 1986 when I came here for a photography trip that precipitated my sudden move to the area.

In the “Lay of the Land” section, I write of the obvious highlights along the loop through Grand Teton Park. Hot links to side roads will give you more in-depth description of side roads and feeder roads and their highlights. GPS links to Google Maps are provided throughout. Although “Lay of the Land intro” is in the main part of the book, the road links from it are in the Road Index in the back of the book.

As a field guide I profile many animals and birds of the area. Jackson Hole is full of wildlife but there are places where animals are, and there are places where they are not. It is a waste of time to scrutinize a landscape devoid of what you are looking for so this guide narrows options down to the hot spots. I provide maps of the likeliest places to find the popular critters of Grand Teton National Park. I also touch on trees, shrubs, and wildflowers with minimal explanations. Also included are explanations of the Greater Yellowstone ecology.

Everywhere you look in Grand Teton Park is a potential postcard but there are a handful of great places photographers shouldn’t miss. Throughout the book there are many photos. Many, but not all the photos click through to a larger photo. In the photography section I will delve deeper to where to set up your tripod for landscapes, where to find the critters and many pointers on how to use your equipment to better effect.

Although unrelated to photography, geography, mammalogy, ornithology, botany, or ecology I sum up the book with some recreation opportunities you may want to consider for your trip to Jackson Hole.

Enjoy!

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December 02, 2013

Christmas Present

By Daryl L. Hunter (originally published in 2005)

Growing up as a child in America, as all children, I loved the Christmas season, the Christmas tree, lights, lawn decorations, candy, mistletoe, cookies, Santa Claus, elves, reindeer and most of all presents, it was a magical time of year.

It sure was a surprise at age 12 when I found out that Christ was the root word in Christmas, my secular home had never pointed out the connection. Today I remain more secular than anything else and I question myself, why do I get so flipping angry when ACLU types are trying to remove all vestiges of Christmas from the public square when I am not religious.

The answer must be, the homogenization of Christmas is just another symptom of the dismemberment of traditional American Culture, another victim of the Culture War, call me old fashioned but I liked the America of Christmas past, the time of the singular Scrooge. Today Christmas to me is a lot less about presents and more about turkey, tom and jerrys with friends, family and tradition, but embarrassingly with only a perfunctory explanation and observation of the meaning of Christmas to the kids.

When Christmas retailers insult the patrons of their biggest season by removing the Christmas greeting it makes me want to not buy, when I was told that a member of the Start Bus Board forbade the drivers from displaying the Merry Christmas programmed into their electric signs I was outraged, When Christmas trees became holliday trees I was apoplectic.

I have a hunch that the ACLU and their minions are offending more than just their sworn enemies, the Christian right. If their goal is "not to offend" it is a fool's errand as it is an impossible task because to accommodate the 15% of Americans who are not Christian you have a remaining 85% at risk of being offended as an unintended consequence. If their goal is to offend, they have aspired to a goal they have a gift for achieving.

My hope is my 8 and 11 year olds find the magic in Christmas that I had the privilege to enjoy as a child; I hope it is still possible in this increasingly divisive and hostile social climate. As for me and many others I suppose, I have had a giant intangible stolen from me by the secular leftists of the ACLU and their Christophobe allies and my Christmas's will never be the same.

All the people of the western world are going to have a Christmas on 12-25 of every year, most will have a day off from work whether they celebrate Christmas or not. It stands to reason that a Muslim, Jew or atheist would celebrate an extra day off so merry Christmas to you all.
------------------------------------
I originally wrote this in 2005 for a Jackson Hole newspaper "Planet Jackson Hole" but it is a Christmas tradition of mine to repost it every year here on my blog.
Maybe with some additions ~

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
------------------------

Now for some pleasant Merry Christmas mood - watch wonderful video below

Introduction To Photography

Photography according to me

You can see my photography at http://www.daryl-hunter.net

and you can hire my for a photo tour here = http://www.theholepicturesafaris.com

"Photography according to me" I boiled down what I believe is the essence of basic photography into a 25-minute presentation which logically walks you through the photographic process from exposure to post processing.

In this “Powerpoint Presentation” converted to video I talk about Landscape Photography, Lifestyle Photography, and Wildlife photography and how to go about it – briefly!

I introduce the fundamentals of composition, exposure, photo library organization and post processing. Why should we shot in RAW? Why should we shoot video?


When I lead photography tours and workshops I get the same questions repeatedly, so here I try to answer them with additional helpful suggestions.

November 04, 2013

The Canadian Rockies where superlatives of grandeur become mute


Clearing storm, Peyto Lake, Banff National Park (© Daryl Hunter's "The Hole Picture"/Daryl L. Hunter)

Autumn along the Icefield Parkway in Banff National Park (© Daryl Hunter's "The Hole Picture/Daryl L. Hunter)The Canadian Rockies where superlatives of grandeur become mute in a landscape abounding with peaks competing to dominate the sky, psychedelic lakes that contend for the coolest colors of the light spectrum and rivers that appear to be a pleasing, yet reality defying mistakes in Photoshop.


Being one of the most photogenic landscapes on earth, we have all seen photos of its break away stars, iconic landscapes like Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Peyto Lake, and Maligne Lake, but there is so much more. No matter which direction you go, it as if you had the Colorado’s San Juan Range on one side of the road, Idaho’s Sawtooth Range on the other and California’s  Sierra Nevada around the bend. All surging with prodigious streams and waterfalls spilling out of the glaciers like the Chugach Range of Alaska. Of course, all the water feeds the panoply of the colorful lakes that make the place famous.
Moraine Lake , Banff National Park (© Daryl Hunter's "The Hole Picture"/Daryl L. Hunter)

 
I have had the pleasure of visiting Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, and Waterton National Park, and they have wet my appetite to see more. Kootenay National and British Columbia’s Glacier National Park I’m sure are as good as the rest, hosting their own endless procession of pyramid-shaped peaks hemming in broad alpine valleys and glacier feed lakes
I have written how, where I live, close to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone has an embarrassment of riches, but I’m afraid the Canadian Rockies has hoarded more that its share of wilderness splendor relegating northwest Wyoming a notch or two down on the “embarrassment of riches scale, and I wish the Canadian Rockies weren’t so far away.


My Canadian Rockies Gallery - click through to purchase print or license photo



Canadian Rockies - Images by Daryl Hunter

September 25, 2013

Yellowstone Dinner Party - grizzlies and wolves



A grizzly bear boar, grizzly bear sow, her three cubs dine on the bounty of Yellowstone with a pack of wolves in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park

April 23, 2013

Grizzly 610 and cubs emerge from hibernation


April 8, 2013, famous Grizzly sow 610 emerged from her den with three fat, happy and rambunctious cubs. Below are the spring photo sessions with the Grizzlies. To the delight of many grizzly 610 one of 399’s cubs from her 2006 crop of cubs,  Grizzly 610 continues to be emulating her mother as she seems to be comfortable near park roads and relaxed with yet attentive with her cubs. She seems comfortable with people and vehicles as is 399 as she straddles her between wilderness and humanity. For those who see 610 and her brood the experience will be as special. And those who know her family history will likely be even more appreciative.


To learn more about these great bears visit 

April 08, 2013

Godspeed Lady Thatcher!


The world has lost one of its greatest champions of freedom. Margaret Thatcher led Great Britain courageously for more than a decade. During that time, she rolled back the suffocating blanket of Big Government, sparking an economic revival. And she implemented a foreign policy based on the principle that British sovereignty and the freedom of all those under the protection of Great Britain shall not be violated. Nicknamed the "Iron Lady" by the Soviet press after a 1976 speech declaring, "the Russians are bent on world dominance."

Margaret Thatcher has her place in world as well as British history. Her very name is used to denote a way of thinking: Thatcherism. Thatcherism as a powerful collection of beliefs about the capacities of human beings in a political society. The ideas were not new but were put into operation by a very remarkable woman. It was the happy coincidence of the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

It was Thatcher’s partnership with Ronald Reagan that we Americans think of first. It was characterized by loyalty, commitment and a jauntiness that proclaimed success was inevitable. As it proved to be, both in domestic policy and in bringing down the Evil Empire of the Soviets without firing a shot. Mrs. Thatcher spoke constantly of freedom, and the absolute need for America to exert international leadership in the cause of freedom. Thatcher was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush in 1991.

Her achievements were remarkable, starting with the fact of being the only woman Prime Minister in British history -- something America has yet to achieve. She enjoyed 11 and a half years in office, longer than any other 20th century politician. She won three successive general elections, two of them being landslide majorities, and lost none. The secret of her success lies in a combination of qualities, which both saw her into leadership and were the essence of her period in power.

When she became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, Britain was on the brink of disaster, threatened by total collapse. The weak Labour government with a small majority presided over a bankrupt economy in hock to the International Monetary Fund and threatened from within by a challenge to law and order itself. When she was forced from power in 1990, she left a sound economy and a confident and well-ordered society. She loved the jokes claiming she beat her all-male Cabinet ministers with her handbag, and reveled in being the "Iron Lady."

Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Yes, the special relationship Obama turned his back on since the beginning of his presidency.

Margaret Thatcher was a conviction politician and left a remarkable legacy.

Godspeed Lady Thatcher!