Archive for ‘Education’

March 10, 2017

The Killing Fields – Trump Style!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

I remember again and again the phrase “the horror, the horror” in Joseph Conrad’s book The Heart of Darkness … Is that heart or should it be plural – hearts – what now leads this nation … Is that who President Trump is and what the current GOP is all about? Evidence seems to indicate the answer is a definitive YES!

One might think the title I decided on for this essay – The Killing Fields – is a bit of hyperbole however there has now been Executive Orders by President Trump as well as Republican Congressional Bills and attempted rescission of other laws that in fact will destroy lives – possibly leading to death in more then a few cases. Not much better than actual ending of a life are those decisions that will so affect health, education, housing, environmental factors and employment protection that life quality and viable years will be destroyed for a great many citizens of the United States – even having international dire consequences in certain circumstances.

 

Women, the LGBT community, seniors, children, people suffering from both physical and mental health issues, those disenfranchised by poverty and disabilities, immigrants and anyone else with serious life challenges are all at risk from the ideas and plans that President Trump has begun to put into place since his January 2017 Inauguration. I find it difficult to create a hierarchy for concern – the troubling daily life situations along with the growing Constitutional crisis the Trump Administration has presented are mind boggling … None the less nothing can be set aside when contemplating the importance and real damage this Presidency and the GOP majority lead Congress brings to our nation. Are not the evisceration of the EPA, school lunch programs, educational initiatives, women’s reproductive rights, laws protecting minorities and members of the LGBT community all equally a matter of concern that there is a turning back of progress? Isn’t immigration policy based on religion, pretense that racism no longer necessitates civil rights laws reason to fear the lessening of that which differentiates our country from those where ideology rules? Obviously the answer to these questions is yes – now what to do about the Trump/GOP agenda becomes the important topic for discussion and issues demanding intelligent and diligent focus by those of us willing to honestly face the difficult task at hand – that being no less then the saving of democracy and the values we in 2017 who want decency and equality for all people hold dear!

June 4, 2013

Lucky Feminist Me !!!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

MRS_NWHMSomewhat difficult to determine all the reasons why – the blessing of good fortune, happenstance, circumstance, right place at right time or just possibly what I reap, I have sown scenario but the men in my life are feminist. Yes my darling readers either REAL feminist or at the very least respectful of my being one. Come to think of it, the men that I feel the most closeness to allow for the full scope of who I REALLY am – at times completely in charge, other moments very much in need of support, still others where – well not often – I throw myself into their arms [real and theoretically] for protection and directive oversight. Best of all worlds is what I seem to have. Asking why or how moi got so damn lucky? Hmm … probably a combination of there being no other option, a bit of plain old luck and putting out there that which I expect to get back.

Please do not think this post is going to be another blah, blah, blah tutorial others of my ilk often write in an effort to dictate the life plan of women and their guys – nope, it is my REAL and honest descriptive self analysis and a portion of my own  hopefully inspiring life story, along with what else is relevant in historical and current terms, that will somehow help the ladies and gents reading this get to that perfect balance where REAL respect is achieved. Here is an aside – both myself and my REALLY feminist husband, who if you read me regularly or know us personally, are aware legally took my last name and agreed to have our children do the same – are angry about the state of women here in the great U.S.A. and around the world. In her new novel The Woman Upstairs [a MUST read], Claire Messud writes about “the furies” – that being simply the furious tone we women should have concerning the still oppressive and often dismissive attitudes toward us despite education, earning capacity and such. Pissed off is what her main character is and hubby and I think most women should be – if not about ones own individual circumstance, then toward the other women less fortunate and certainly undeniably oppressed status to various degrees. We women are far too often the worst enemy of ourselves and others of our gender – less supportive of another woman is much too usual the posture seen in the work place, politics and community. Is it jealousy or fear? Not sure exactly but the lack of REAL connective and unified presentation against misogynistic attitudes is daunting to me. Of course, there are the absolutely amazing efforts by women to continue that which my beloved feminist Mother’s generation began … Still fighting to pass Equal Rights Amendment here in U.S.A., working for decent wages and health care here and around the world for women and girls, those striving to elect more American women to political office and even to get the National Women’s History Museum finally built in Washington D.C. – to name just a few of the ongoing and long sought after items involving women. Additionally, there are famous and well placed women attempting to enlighten and raise not only awareness but funds to help our gender – just this past weekend Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and other entertainers performed and sponsored the Chime for Change event in London to raise the consciousness of the world through song about justice, health and education for girls and women everywhere. All in all there is a REAL effort but we gals need more definitive action by everyone to get it right – to the place where gender REALLY does not matter any longer.

Being our own worst enemy surely applies to women’s current problems – if you want it all, then do it all – that is if like myself, fortune has smiled on you through education, etc.. There are our sisters with no REAL choice … place of birth and other factors rendering them incapable of having choices and so the rest of us must step up and do it – yes, make not only our circumstances and successes doable but be sure legislation here and government actions around the world insure the well being of all women. Dear G-d … when I hear women spout nonsensical things like “I am not a feminist – I love taking care of my husband and children” – well me too and he for I but that does not in any way excuse ignoring the REAL problems of women being denied choices in all areas of life and without any equivocation does not pass for reason to claim ignorance about the growing apparent recognition of things like sexual assaults in the United States military and more similar ongoing egregious actions against women. Listen folks, I bake, I love my family, I am a bit of a high maintenance Princess type but I also handle business and finance for my family and often friends, I am involved in politics, am a writer, athletic type and many more things but what I am not is foolish enough to allow society to define me – then why would I ever allow that to be the case for another women? I ask the ladies reading this to remember that all are affected by laws and tenor of community – her today babe, you and your daughter tomorrow in an oppressive world. To the guys reading this, my hubby is a REAL man who is not afraid to look after the homestead quite well, being a researcher and brilliant writer while doing so – and when someone offends or attacks his woman [me] he is a lion defender of his brood – no question about his manhood, trust me on that. What matter is it if man or woman does this or that task – we are each the better for the others accomplishment and only by working in unison will a family, community, country and the world get better, healthy and more equal for all!

P.S. In my memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life!  many details about my late Mother’s feminism will be shared – how she told me it began as her personal outlook on life, etc.. For now please take a look at the picture connected to this blog – it is a dedication that my husband and I are endowing for her at the National Women’s History Museum, which I hope you all will consider making at least a small contribution in honor of a woman you REALLY love and visiting once open.

May 26, 2013

Hedge Your Funds Baby!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

wall street blog babyCould it simply be a case of gestational status depreciation, an arbitrage suckling shrinkage scenario or short sell C-section causing the problems? Hmm, what you ask am I talking about now? Well my darling readers, nonsense is the REAL answer but apparently some males think those Wall Street financial world activities can not adequately occur when we females have children. Seriously weird for anyone to REALLY believe that is probably what you are thinking  … are you joking Tereza? No, I am afraid not because this past week Mr. Paul Tudor Jones, a  billionaire hedge funder, declared that once we women have babies that pretty much will end advancement in financial world careers on account of that natural life occurrence being  the causation for the lessening of ambitions. Now never mind the CEO/CFO females running major corporations who are Mothers – nope, damn the evidence to the contrary because Mr. Jones was not  using empirical facts but instead only his own personal antiquated misogynistic and dangerous precepts against my gender. Well – you just know I have a personal message for this schmuck – here goes:

Note to Mr. Jones … you can just go ‘whatever’ yourself because it is a REAL fact that I prevailed while gestating, mothering, etc. – in ALL areas, including financial and legal matters of great importance; grant it I have the most amazing men in my life as support (women too) but sweetheart [you don’t mind if I refer to you that way – right?] it was me putting my designer shoe attired feet, one in front of the other, to get things done. I would love to have you meet me in person to discuss this further – you Sir will recognize me because it is I, not you, that display REAL self confidence!!!”

Sincerely, Tereza Eliasz-Solomon

Ok- now that I have stated my REAL opinion – here are some REAL and salient facts, statistics and narratives about women in the financial industry. In 2009 the “Women of Wall Street” were added  to the American Finance Museum as an exhibit denoting those females of monumental importance. One of my and my late Mother’s favorite women in finance, included in this event and currently a very important presence at Goldman Sachs, is Abby Joseph Cohen – a wife and Mother herself. There are many females who control and design products that move and change the world economy – some have children and some don’t but why the hell any man would believe for a minute that giving birth – which female world leaders have done for centuries – would lessen our ambition is illogical and insulting at best. Every year Harvard University graduates women with MBA degrees and the iconic Wharton School of Business in my beloved hometown of Philadelphia likewise – there are other similar programs doing exactly the same across this nation and around the world. It is obvious that in just the act of graduating these women are therefore well versed in economics and finance … many already Mothers I am sure. Statistically it thus becomes an impossibility that child birth renders females less ambitious – simply on account of so many having completed scholarship and subsequent work product in that field while and after becoming Mothers.

I wonder if men like Jones actually believe that biology is destiny – is it the physical act of birthing being suggested as reasoning for us gals being thought then less capable? Surely men becoming parents equals they too having divided attentive energies as being a Father brings great responsibility and necessitated strength, fore thought and a directed consciousness that one could claim also lessens focus for work issues. Is it being suggested that the mere act of being a parent proves too divisive a chore to any longer address career responsibilities? Hence the very act of going from without child to parental status renders a professional less worthy in the opinion of hedge funder Jones and his like minded compatriots. Seems simple then – only childless forever folks need apply for the most powerful position in society … guffaw  and belly laughs insert here. See – it makes no REAL sense that giving birth, adopting or as I have been blessed with, being in a marriage where parenting is a REALLY equal full time position for myself and my husband, which creates a opportunity for both of us to be creative, successful and REALLY ambitious. No matter the structure of a women’s child bearing and raising situation, her employment should not be affected intrinsically or by others … yes ladies, we too need to not let being Moms get in the way of our work product – that is no more so than the Father of four children, Paul Tudor Jones, did with his!

P.S. In my REALLY soon tell ALL  memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! the REAL and quite amazing details of how I actually manged to, as the saying goes, have it all – or least attempt to -will be shared. Want you to know it takes hard work, some luck and a great deal of faith  – plus, having the REALLY greatest people surrounding you – to get to that place where it is all doable to at least some extent. For now, I want to thank ALL the supportive and REALLY secure men in my life … these great and talented men who never hesitate to help me be better and who, like my feminist husband – who legally took my last name and agreed to have our children do the same – are REALLY secure and strong enough to never be threatened by any woman’s success. In fact, the men in my life champion and promote my achievements and they are intuitive enough to realize we then can be each others REAL heroes. I love you guys and am eternally grateful for your presence in my life – you each “had me [impressed] at hello” !

May 21, 2013

REALLY United States of America or Not ??? — #PrayForOklahoma

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

PrayForOklahoma-pictures-630x421Listen up America: NYC on 9/11, Oklahoma City bombing before that, New Orleans last decade, Boston bombing recently, now Oklahoma Tornado, daily murders of kids in inner cities, mass shootings at schools and on and on and on … we are NOT red or blue States and the partisan politicians can go %#@* themselves – tell them now that we are ALL Americans and we care for each other well. Enough is enough – damn the dividers – lets stop all the divisions immediately. Our children are hurting and we adults need to wise up NOW – because we have REAL problems my dears and no bogus or faux political diatribe will save us.

Yesterday (20 May 2013) people – including children – died in Oklahoma  from severe tornadoes … homes and businesses were destroyed.  Now you tell me if political affiliation matters to those folks – one bet is that the answer is an unqualified no. Now I will tell you what is a REAL and true fact – that the aspect where politicians insanely deny climate change and the need for government programs to address such issues does affect these circumstances prior and in the actual events. You see the REAL truth is that no amount of bullshit on Capital Hill will deter a weather system from causing disasters – nope – words are not enough to address REAL issues … we as a people must insist on sensible and reasonable action and reaction to deal with all our national problems. Education in every sense is paramount to an informed populace – we MUST not let extremist viewpoints deter us from the tasks at hand my dear brethren. We are destroying ourselves simply to support one or another political party – does that make any sense? Is the blood shed  from disasters or terrorist attacks branded Republican or Democrat? Yes I am using hyperbole – but apparently that is what it takes to bring us back to reality in this great nation. Dear G-d, we just spent a few weeks having unnecessary Congressional hearings with “much to do about nothing” delineation on what now turns out to be made up emails in relationship to the Benghazi attacks last year and IRS standard operating procedures. Now do not get me wrong – I fully support government oversight on such matters but I also support the same for climate and safety issues – all in REAL and educated fashion however – with no lies or exaggerated self interest at play.

The greatest times in this nation’s history were those found in a unified effort – a oneness of purpose. I am NOT naive and I happily and proudly admit to being a politically Liberal oriented American but I want joined efforts to keep America great and whole. Same for the entire world but if the United States falters, so will the rest. So lets get our act together and do what needs to be done, without all the left and right diatribes … let us stop being the political pimps call girls – you know what I mean, right? We the citizenry are being played in that the profiteers put us front and center to do the bidding so they can either stay in office or reap great rewards – sounds like prostitution to me. What say all of you???

P.S. In my year end (2013) memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! much will be shared in relationship to my born and bred activist ideals. For now join me in helping our latest national tragedy by going to the site here on How to Help Oklahoma – it has a list of where and how to help/donate funds and PLEASE send your prayers too!!!

… oh yes. one more thing: earlier this morning, when I changed my Facebook timeline to a photo asking for prayers for Oklahoma tornado victims, some schmuck suggested that I “get up off my knees” because prayer does nothing. Well now, #1. I also asked for donations and #2. I explained that my faith of Judaism sees pray as an active thing AND we do not pray on our knees – I personally never get down on my knees – not to pray at least. What? I mean to exercise or kiss the children, pet our doggie and whatever I do get on my knees occasionally but never in prayer!

May 2, 2013

What Detroit SHOULD Learn From Philadelphia!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Detroit

I was shown a Twitter comment a few days ago suggesting that places like New York were “overrated” and so that Michigan born individual suggested that it was best to head back to Detroit. Why yes – that is if you are going to do as the late Tony Goldman did and now his daughter … that is to REALLY address and not faux champion the problems in that once iconic Michigan city. Recently (April 2013) at the inaugural meeting of Project for Public Spaces at Westin Book Cadillac, downtown Detroit investor, Dan Gilbert and now CEO, Jessica Gold Srebnick , seemed posed to offer that REAL dedication to the basic and core history – one might say flavor – of this Midwestern city. What was discussed in needing to be foremost in any redevelopment plans was the creative and herculean effort such an under taking requires. May I add that it seems quite obvious the fawning influx of middle class young suburbanites and surely temporary inner city Detroit residents is NOT the solution. Like my beloved hometown of Philadelphia, like New York City and Miami – you need REAL devotees of a place in order to save and then grow that community. Love I tell you is not only the answer for a personal life but REAL love is needed to save a city and to make it blossom.

Location,  location, location is the well known mantra used as instruction when one buys a home or starts a business and it is also the geographical dictate that often helps decide the destiny of a city, town or community. Some places like the historical city of Philadelphia lucked out by having itself center East Coast – near to the world’s REAL capital, New York City, close to this nation’s government center, Washington, D.C. and easy travel launch to the rest of the world. Both New York City and Philadelphia are blessed to be the center for a ring of REAL thriving neighborhoods – middle and working class boroughs and suburbs are logistically attached through public transportation and even decent highway, bridges, and tunnels. Add the plethora of universities, medical centers, major companies, art/entertainment venues and such – these two cities thrive where places like Detroit can never hope to in just the commerce and activity quotient alone. However, not only location make these East Coast cities more stable than its Michigan poor cousin – no, it is also the REAL strength of diversity from nationalities, ethnic groups, races, social economic levels that forge a stronger and more resilient platform for sustained growth. Not always peacefully coexisting to be sure but still interacting and hence interdependent are the varied demographics of places like NYC, Philadelphia, Boston and Miami. You know the reality is – in it together for better or worse – what forces these historically prominent places to go the distance and make things work no matter the obstacles.

Oh baby, hard work is certainly part and parcel of making a city be relevant and vibrant. Government and civic oversight a must in development and sustaining of our nation’s oldest cities. My own family and many friends were and still are at the forefront of Philadelphia prospering. The City of Brotherly Love was blessed from G-d to have [for two terms beginning in 1991] as its Mayor, Ed Rendell – he who demanded, cajoled and more the business types into doing the right thing to make the city a destination world class place. In my memoir, Heiress Mommy …  A Modern Super Woman Life! there will be so much to relate my very essence to  the city of my birth, Philadelphia. Almost DNA for me is how distinctly important that city was and is to my family history, successes and narrative.  Not nostalgia as many reminiscence about the “good old days” when Detroit prospered on the determinate factor involved in its being the automobile manufacturing center of the world but instead East Coast cities have morphed and expanded while keeping the respectful denotation of past glories and accomplishments. There is moral imperative in keeping a city center vital despite the suburbanization of its population – not at all different than acknowledging those relatives that went before each generation and by hard work made more success possible for their offspring. I am snobbery to a fault  in thinking but probably correct at the same time in the belief that only a REALLY astute and sophisticated population can overcome narrow minded preoccupation to allow the inclusiveness necessary to work, school and seek entertainment in a heterogeneous city center. Why even the Midwest city of Chicago has despite its center of country locale  managed to sustain a panache – a desirous draw to new and old residence alike. Why then not Detroit? Easy answer for me is that the groups that comprised a thriving motor city at one time just never REALLY worked together in effort to make it better – no, they just segregated to their bedroom communities and dismissed “those people” as the “other“. Come on readers,  you know its true … race relations and prejudice by the less than intellectual and far from progressive white middle class damned that city and still makes it nearly impossible to reconfiguration it into something modern and valuable. My wise husband was born and bred in Michigan – near Detroit and is stunned and very impressed with the difference here on the East Coast; he fell in love with inclusive intellectual awareness that Philadelphia offers its many citizens. In discussions and attempted analysis my husband’s first hand Detroit experiences have allowed him to surmise that the prejudicial and minimal scoped attitude of most suburban Detroit residences has lead to its demise. As I have in other blog posts,  I must mention my own personal awareness and battles with the lesser type bedroom community dwellers from that area: for these strip mall shoppers, it is that despite a few budget trips aboard and for a few a four year State college education or community college for others, they remain narrow minded and destructive. Their kind would never consider helping inner city Detroit minority youths and yet are willing to do an occasional Haiti “mission” in order to get their once in a lifetime photo opportunity. Is it in the water hubby and I often joke? Why here on the East Coast or places like Chicago do even those without benefit of  travel or higher education seem so much more erudite and willing to embrace REAL life possibilities than their similar types in the Detroit area? Is that a matter of location too or could it be the suburb’s ghetto attitude that you are born, live, work, school and die in that place being just fine that which has so limited the possibilities for REAL achievement in Detroit? All or some of these reasons need to be outed, dissected and addressed if ever in the words of Motown great Stevie Wonder there is “living, living just enough for the city” is to happen!

April 20, 2013

Time for a REAL Change of Climate!!!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Earth day 2013 blogWe have always had severe weather – just read the Bible.“,  “I remember one Winter 30 years ago when we rarely wore coats on the East Coast“, “How do explain all the snow this past year? ” … yes indeed each of these and more are the far too often heard responses when discussing global warming issues. Now these ideas are not always from the extremist climate change deniers – no, actually many are surprisingly from rather moderate and truth be told, confused individuals. REALLY troubling is that most are hearing lie filled and very unscientifically sound rhetoric from the naysayers – those hell bent for a variety of mostly nefarious reasons to deter action toward solving the planet’s environmental crisis. Add in the ridiculous anti-climate change partisan political diatribes and oh my, the end result is that nothing nearing a unified global effort to deal with Earth’s resource destruction is happening. Why the hell REAL science has gotten political is far beyond my ability to comprehend – not saying I don’t understand the base motivations of finances, power and such but I am at a loss to digest fully the whys of any one wanting to leave unattended environmental problems that affect each and every one of us. Climate change denial moves from much necessary skepticism regarding such matters to the usurping tonality that belies the almost frightening misrepresentation of REAL facts.

Money talks and there is loads of it behind the so called contrarian scientist – these are the professionals being funded by groups wanting to protect profits they feel will be lessened by government imposed regulations on items like pollution. We need to create energy industry jobs from the how to conserve and create new sources of energy programs; we also can provide many employment opportunities for those working on and constructing REAL methods of climate control. I am in no way an extremist do-gooder type – not in any way do I insist all industry seize to exist in order to protect the environment. Instead I REALLY believe profit and protection for all can occur through a  sensible business and societal plan. Regulation is not the demon plan – no, no, no – it is through a regulatory system that we achieve controls and reasonable government oversight to instruct industry on the methods best proven to protect consumers and the environment.

Much more frightening –  at times belly laughter inspiring – are the wing nuts who seem to think climate change concerns and especially the United Nations initiatives on the subject are anti-Christ. These “end of days” zealots profess and I think REALLY believe that controlling the destruction of our Earth will deny their quested “second coming of Christ”. Well now, my Jewish faith teaches the polar opposite – we are dictated to be REAL stewards of the environment, as G-d created and gifted it to us and wants its safe keeping. No matter your chosen faith or lack there of – I am not willing to destroy this planet so another person’s religious desires might be achieved and besides the lineage from Earth destroyed to heavenly nirvana makes zero sense [just saying]. REAL science must rule the day on the subject of climate change and global warming … neither left/Liberal nor Right/Conservative should ever be allowed to impose their self motivated ideals on this REALLY imperative matter. The health and welfare of every living thing – human, animal and plant – depends on a concerted and intelligent effort to correct and control the destruction of our environment.

On a REALLY personal note – my late Father, Abraham H. Solomon,  was an early environmental activist; so much so that I included reference to his nearly life long efforts in dealing with this issue in my eulogy for him. I myself was at the first Earth Day celebration in 1970 – in Philadelphia.The children in my family always being the benefactors of my annual April tutorial and books/items to help make Earth Day fun. In my year end (2013) book, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! I will share much of how my life was altered by such matters of REAL science. For now, lets PLEASE work together – wise up and do our best to make Earth safe for all living things – learn about and enjoy this great gift from G-d on this Earth Day, 22 April 2013 !!!

April 17, 2013

Israel @65

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Israel_65A celebration of the birthing a nation – modern day Israel is celebrating 65 miraculous, amazing and gloried years. 2013 or 5773 (Hebrew) denotes a prospering and ever more world important Middle East country … no longer simply the homeland of my Jewish people, Israel is a tech center, arts venue, education mecca and vacation destination for all people. All who visit come away astonished at the level of sophistication that Israel presents – magnificent is the only apt description of this tiny and strong willed country. No one should think it naive when I state Israel strong now and forever … it is determined by G-d and assured by men and women who will not let Israel go asunder – we, the Jewish people of this world and those who support us will NEVER let Israel vanish from this world. You must visit – you too – no matter faith or national origin, will come way awe struck and in love with my proud ancestral homeland.

Without the obvious considerations – the facts of Israel being the homeland for my religion and ancestral heritage of Judaism – one must marvel at the social and economic growth of this REAL democracy during its short 65 year existence. Israel is not singularly a place for nor of one particular culture – yes, it is our Jewish homeland but many faiths, ethnicity and national origin people live and prosper there. Israel is a true international place … the business and financial aspects are multi national and welcoming. Scientific research, technological development  and academic scholarship nearly unprecedented. Education always foremost in Jewish life, is a mainstay of everyday life in Israel … no matter the surrounding stresses, the population adheres to high education standards and this, along with research and development in areas of science has produced unequaled major medical and world changing/life saving break through treatments. Stunning is the only superlative that correctly denotes the absolute abundance of progress in this small and most days besieged nation – where else and when else in history has such evidence of G-d’s REAL blessings been demonstrated. A miracle?  – perhaps but also a fierce and directed sense of righteous  placement and intrinsic knowing that this is as it should be allows for such accomplishments.

I love the idea of eclecticism – many of my blog posts have referenced my own family and individual life as being just that. Not surprising to me that Israel is that too – a multiple faceted and many disciplined nation. Art, fashion, science, technology, ecology, education, medicine,  religion,  travel,  music,  agriculture,  food,  entertainment,  textiles, architecture,  politics,  charity,  international involvement,   etc.,  etc.,  etc.  –  exhausting and dizzying but REAL and true as a description of all Israel does and offers. I am aware of sounding prideful – why not I ask – for is not this a place to boast of? The issue more important to discuss is why all REALLY good people do not see this as a blessed template from which all nations can learn – glean lessons? Israel should be studied and mimicked – for if we/they can survive and rally to such accomplished heights despite surrounded by sworn enemies, then why not others? Herein lies one of my constant refrains – if you read me regularly or know me personally, then you are aware of my personal gloried story of rallying and overcoming much – my thwarting of naysayers and defeating of nemesis only to REALLY have it all. Yet I, as Israel, remain vigilant and humble – always acknowledging those that assisted and made possible achievements from which I benefit greatly. Israel owes great debt to the United States but it is a mutually benefactor relationship and no one need think that anything less than synopsis between the two rules the day.

In my memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! I will share some of my 14 trips to Israel details – my plans to have a property there some day and why I was born on account of Israel being too. For now I say, HAPPY & BLESSED Birthday Israel … I REALLY LOVE YOU!!!

April 15, 2013

A Sporting Woman!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Sporting woman blog post “But your Jewish!” said my dear, devoted and always helpful Italian-American housekeeper after greeting me as I returned from my fly-fishing weekend a few months after my first husband, David Colin passed away Spring 2001. Certainly nowhere near being antisemitic, I knew that Anita, like many thought it odd that I golf, play tennis, sail, and fly-fish – among other sports activities. Why is this odd? Well sadly and definitely erroneous are the preconceived notion that we well coiffed Jewish ladies do not engage in such strenuous activities. At least that is what I have gathered over the years, as others react more or less the same to my multiple physical athletic pursuits. Truth be told many – no make that most of my ilk do indeed go out for many exercise and physical type pursuits – school team sports only the beginning for my and others life long regiments. There are the wonderful example of Israeli women  – the beautiful, strong and athletic Sabras – serving their beloved nation in armed service obligations. So the question goes begging – why not fly-fish, sail, golf, play tennis, hike, swim, ride horses, etc., etc., etc.??? The answer is of course there is no REAL reason and damn it – I have and still do it all … maybe not always well nor at once but still with REAL heart, determination and joy!

I am a lessons – school for all things type of athlete. Whether in primary, high school, college or private – classes and lessons were an important part of my athletic tutorial. I believe in training and guidance from experts. Blessed to have parents who taught me being the best was not as nearly important as the participation in both team and individual sports activities. My very wise Mother was fond of explaining that maybe the Olympics nor a professional sports career was in my future but the joy of doing and the life long physical benefits were in my reach. So it went … family fishing – which by the way included my dear Father having a custom made child size rod placed in my 5 year old hand; swimming and such. School team sports a must and then the endless lessons began. No surprise that there were the little girl and onward dance lessons, gymnastics, swimming classes and bikes, bikes, bikes – followed by tennis, horse back riding that followed in my teen years. I began serious running and jogging at around 19 years old and to this day can not ever imagine giving that activity up – seeing myself as that 8o year old [G-d willing] taking 8 or 10 hours to finish a half marathon perhaps. Then in college I decided to take up golf – even took classes at my undergraduate Alma Mater, Temple University. Proud to say I reached intermediate levels in both tennis and golf within a few years of beginning those activities but alas, realized even though wanting and still participating  no desire to reach higher levels in either were in my plans. Once married in my twenties – I joined my sail boat owning first husband in that awe inspiring activity; yes I am certified to sail but I tell all who venture off shore with me to be sure others on our boat more readily able than I could ever hope to be. I have worked out at gyms – including well equipped home set ups for over 35 years [lifted weights, have done aerobics and machines of all sorts]; I do daily yoga and even pregnant do no less than a five day multiple disciplined/combined weekly routine – in past and now soon again with a personal trainer.  So you see – there was and is a very REAL part of my life that holds as important the sporting life and no matter little done or obsessively involved, I will and insist my children always include the glory and benefit of sports, exercise and the physical life.

Now there is another non standard chick part of my “sporting life” – that is I REALLY love football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Even Lacrosse is on my list of well viewed possibilities. I will watch and attend both as many as possible college and professional venues. All Olympics are on my MUST absolutely watch, read and discuss “to do” life list. I was at a few Olympics games and will go again. Not even liking television has never stop me from rearranging my very hectic schedule to watch those world iconic events. Odd I think not – I love sports and I am not to be denied on account of my gender. The history of women in sports and athletics is legendary. It is offensive and quite ignorant for anyone to find it REALLY unique that a woman like me – any woman – is rare to love the physical and competitive life that sports provides. Little known and not discussed enough are the female participators, purveyors and promoters of sports. Surely you have already guessed that I am going to educate you on that history. Here goes:

The Treatsye on Flysshynge with an Angle (1496) within the book of Saint Albans is attributed to Dame Juliana Berners … as such the first known book on the sport of fly-fishing is attributed to a woman. This fascinating woman was many things during her quite interesting life – besides fly fishing, she hunted, was a nun and writer. Mary Queen of Scots has been called “Mother of Golf” – her  reference to a “mashie niblick” in a golf log is well known and oft quoted. This historical fact made more interesting on account of the iconic St. Andrews Golf Club being men only membership and when I visited this amazing sports club in Scotland during the 1990’s I pledged playing there one day … still a hope of mine. For women in America it was 1874 when Mary Owen Outerbridge discovered lawn tennis while vacationing in Bermuda where the English had exported it to along with much else. Surely females joined in when the Kings of France played – beginning with the Court of Louis X – in the 12th century … their “jeu de pume” or game of the palm was a must do for all the privileged class. There are notes to suggest the Henry Tudor – King of England and his ill fated wife Anne Boleyn played tennis both together and separately. But not until 1887 in my beloved hometown and still part time residence of Philadelphia where women were first officially playing in tennis tournaments. It must be noted that currently there are still prejudicial status for women in Sports – for instance the Golf Masters excludes women golfers; just this week the teenage young man, Chinese citizen, Guan ranked well and yet that nation’s girl golf students could not even consider entry. Well now, that is REAL proof that we of the female gender are still being marginalized in the Sports arena to some extent. Happily professional women athletes are coming into their won with endorsements and public notice … hopefully the collegiate possibilities will also increase soon.

I have been so blessed – even in the area of sports. My first amazing and very accomplished father-in-law, The Colonel, was also a senior citizen award winning ranked tennis player. Through him I met the late Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe and other iconic players. Still in my home are his trophies and awarded mementos.  I am proud to say and love visiting the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame, where this dear man is remembered.

There are more amazing REAL life sports loves in my life – more about my many memberships plans, like the  Golf Divas  in my memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life. What I do want to conclude with here is how my second husband who loved bike marathons and hiking as his primary exercise obsession  took to running during our quite short three month courtship in preparation for our marriage – yes indeed, my honey wanted to be able to run with his new bride – sweet I am sure you will agree!!!

April 14, 2013

The Congo is Being Raped!!!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

rape-in-the-congoIn a pit – a hole in the ground … you are a fifteen year old Congolese girl who has been kidnapped from her village and now is being repeatedly raped, day after day after day. Now pregnant, the rapist soldiers release you and your family seeing the “bump” evidence of your pregnancy reject you as they blame you for bringing this situation of shame to them. True story and tragically not unique at all in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The REAL question is – why the hell we,  the Western world,  are not doing more to stop these atrocities? True there are international and United States, as well as European Union efforts to address this horrific situation but not enough – not nearly anything close to  a really concerted effort has begun to stop these heinous crimes against women, girls, men, boys and even babies. That is right – you read correctly – I tell you babies are being raped by Congo rebels and regulation soldiers too. The Congo has become the rape capital of the world, with most reported and obviously some not, acts of sexual violence on this planet. Now – do I have you full attention? Allow me to have you gaped mouth and cringing because if that is what it takes to make us all REALLY care – then here I go folks. I am NOT going to do the politically correct warning so that your delicate sensibilities might be spared from what I am going to share here – read it and know this effects every human being. Yes  – I tell you the REAL truth in saying there are massive predatory atrocities going on in the act of raping Congo citizens now – today – as you read this blog post. What are you going to do about it my dear readers?

Between all the many newspapers and periodicals I read, activists and human rights organizations I belong to and support – my knowledge of the Congo and similar atrocities has been long standing. Add to this the fact that BBC radio and NPR are in my homes and cars as my constant companions – well there you have the barrage of horrors I have been willingly exposing myself to concerning matters such as rape in the Congo. Hearing reports of infant and toddler girls being ganged rape and left for dead by boy soldiers and grown militia men is at times mind numbing. One asks over and over again – how and why? Trust me – there at times I just must put such REALLY daunting matters out of my mind and hence I do not expect you to do any differently. We all have REAL lives to lead – many pressing personal and professional tasks to attend to and often our own emergencies. However, no decent person can turn the proverbial “blind eye” to something as inhumane as mass and deliberate raping of an entire population. If you do turn away, not only will humanity suffer but that damn “slippery slope” of them today and G-d knows who tomorrow comes into play. A world where raping is the norm because you think “well – that happens there because they are  _____ ” is exactly how we all get diminished and I do not only mean in spirit. The Congo scenario is evil and equally destructive in many areas of international concern. To let an entire territory be ruled and controlled by rapist thugs depletes humanity and natural resources and financial support, growth and development is just global insanity. Yes readers – this is a tale of human destruction but also a national and international economic development – for a nation can not prosper where rape is massive and common place. Shocked are you that I am bringing financial topics into a post about rape? You betcha I am because that and sometimes only that gets action going from the powers that are in charge.

By the way, if your however  subtle and still unacknowledged racism is informing you even in the most remote parts of your mind that this is happening because it is Africa – stop because I will remind you of the mass rapes and murders in the Bosnian War by Serbians against Albanian Muslim women and girls. All right now that we have settled that issue – what say we all about the possible and yes unintended complicity that the United States and other donor nations have by continuing to give money to the Congo despite being quite aware of the rape and violence there? U.N. Envoy Rice faced these exact questions from human rights organizations and diplomats concerned that the Obama administration was not doing enough to  deal effectively with the many layers of corruption and violence – including mass rapes – in the Congolese nation. Please understand that I am REALLY not naive nor a knee jerk Liberal, “feel good” humanitarian. No indeed, but instead a somewhat sophisticated and REALLY astute observer that fully realizes not all international interplay is simply a matter of bad guys versus G-d and the angels. Surely we can not just pull back all aid in hopes that will end the atrocity in the Congo but what we can and must do is put the screws to these bastards. You know what I mean – not just tough talk but REAL action against the perpetration factions. Dear G-d … we bombed entire swaths of Iraq

in response to our tragic 9/11 attack. Are you telling me we can not use our mighty military U.S.A. and allies force to stop baby rapist? Come on folks – lets get REAL as they say. We can and we should act decisively in the Congo or anywhere else where horrific violence is happening. If we do not – the proverbial “bite on our ass” will happen  because voids will be filled and not be friends of ours. We leave open the REAL possibility that extremist will seize the moment – get in there and save the day, only to then co-op that besieged population into become sycophantic tools that are then also enemies of ours. Why not – after all, who would you appreciate if saved from such horrors? Those that gave marginal assistance and lip service or those that used brute force to destroy your rapist? We were slow to get involved in an effort to stay the tide of  Rwanda genocide  until 1994 and then the United States and others were reticent to intervene and stop the horrors in Bosnia-Herzegovina until 1995.  I can tell you that both made me passionately irate as the human detritus accumulated during those major world crisis. Admittedly being a Jew who has maternal Albanian Muslim family made me even more acutely aware of that situation but in no way was my purely logical application standards tweaked by that part – no, instead I explained to all who would listen, that the world did not want those peoples to be left with absolutely zero choice but to allow our sworn enemies to be their salvation and new found friends as we left the door for such results wide open.  Fortunate for us and I am proud to say, Albanian Muslims defied that outcome and remained secular and not embittered – that burdened community found appreciation and hope in the eventual U.S. and ally involvement – deciding they were more nationalistically connected to the non Muslims in their country, then outside extremist Islamist. Anyone want to roll the dice on the Congo being similar in results? Not me!

Note: In my soon memoir,  Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life!  all the amazing details on how I came to feel like a REAL citizen of this world came to be  – from my multi-faith and uniquely blended ethnic background to the “womb to tomb” activism that this life has presented to me!

April 10, 2013

My REAL Thomas Jefferson Crush!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

JeffersonI have many passions but do not have many obsessions – my husband, Chester M. Eliasz-Solomon, is my main “can NOT ever live without addiction“. Which by the way, he insists I never get over. However, for a decade or two – beginning in the 1980’s, I had a big time fascination for – one could almost say “crush” on our Third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson. What’s not to like? The man was handsome, erudite, successful and powerful – why surely all the qualities us gals look for in a mate. Thomas Jefferson was born 13 April 1743 – as we approach the anniversary of his birth, I want to reflect on why he is still such an attractive man – to me personally, as well as in reference to this great nation that he help form. We hear much about our Founders “original intent” concerning the U.S. Constitution but how do we REALLY know the internal melange of these men? Personal life is so much a definitive corridor to that which anyone holds dear and true – so is not that also a factor in knowing what Jefferson and his fellows meant as a template for America? I believe it is … so here is my own take away from the years that  I spent fawning over, reading about, visiting his dwelled in places both here and aboard that define Thomas Jefferson.

One of the most important facts I learned about Jefferson was his rejection of any doxology – he was nearly an agnostic. I know that the extremist on the religious right of our America demographic are constantly attempting to impute a Christian adherence for the men who designed and established this country. However it is simply not the REAL fact – in my home library there is a copy of The Jefferson Bible, subtitled “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”, written by Thomas Jefferson  – which he began in the White House 1804 and completed 1819. You are probably thinking that such an effort REALLY does denote a religiosity – however it is nearly opposite in tonality. Jefferson saw Jesus as a story of absolute love and service, instead of believing in the miracle of the Annunciation. The President’s redactions of the Gospels is stunning – one must keep in mind what REAL audacity this man must have had to even contemplate taking a razor in hand as he literally cut and pasted as an editing devise that which he found disingenuous in the bible’s text. Without question the fact that Jefferson was a rationalistic fellow allowed him an almost dispassionate analysis of the New Testament. No one need be offended nor think me insulting of the Christian faith … in fact through Jefferson, a Jew like myself finds pleasant comfort in knowing the REALLY humanist attitude and ideals of that faith is how our third President informed his life and leadership decisions.

I am a “head over heels” in love with bookish men like my husband – show me your library Sir and I am yours. Bigger really does matter with a man’s book collection – hubby and I decided from first year of marriage that any home we owned would have a library as a primary room. So no surprise that my admiration for Thomas Jefferson is furthered in depth by his near compulsion to read, own and promote books – volumes and volumes of the written word were his constant refuge and life long companions. This great American bibliophile amassed through collecting thousands of books for his home library at Monticello in Virginia  – I have visited there more than once and felt entranced by volumes still present and the curatorial efforts ongoing as they best believe Jefferson would have wanted. Being a polymath allowed this lawyer and scholar purview into classics and literature from many cultures and origins of translations – knowledgeable of many languages gave our American Jefferson both insight and lessons from other times and lands. In my heart – after much study and concentration – I REALLY believe Thomas Jefferson hoped for a literate American citizenry – schooled and guided by a multiple of disciplines. Our third President would most definitely be outraged and distressed by the anti-scientific “Tea Party” rhetoric of late – shameful to a man of letters like himself and tragic in his mind as a contemplation of his well designed ideals for this new country whose very format he helped design. Our National Library of Congress was established by Thomas Jefferson – it is his own personal book collection that ceded this amazing cultural institution, that we are all still benefactors of today.

My husband and I have been waiting – somewhat impatiently – for our children to be of an age where they will fully enjoy our long planned trip following the Lewis & Clark Expedition. This event that changed forever the United States geography was decided on by President Jefferson – hence we have the western part of our vast country. Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase  in 1803 – a territory from France and then sent the explorers further on to seek and find what we now know as our diverse and multiple geographic splendorous nation. A visionary can easily describe this energetic man – probably without many equal in kind, Thomas Jefferson designed, morphed and plotted the United States of America – knowingly and at times happenstance but either way a REAL gloried legacy to be sure.

Eclectic well described Thomas Jefferson – I am grateful that my own parents believed and taught us/their children and grandchildren and I now my own children that being versatile – many faceted in ones life is a route to REAL happiness. Renaissance man for certain is the often invoked verbiage when scholars describe Jefferson … statesman, lawyer, inventor, gardener, writer, devoted husband and father and so much more. Yes we all are aware of his now well documented romance and resulting off spring with Sally Hemmings – what to make of it I am not sure and yet I am prayerful – at least wanting of it having been REAL affection at play between those two people. Of course, as myself being the daughter of a civil rights activist I remain concerned – almost daunted by the controversy of whether or not our third President was REALLY committed to ending the horrid institution of slavery in the then new nation. Now here, as I admit early on in this post as being a bit of a T.J. “groupie“, I have to confess to anxiously waiting for and viewing more than once the 1995 film starring Nick Nolte, Jefferson in Paris with Hemmings by his side. Then I insisted on seeing places where Jefferson visited while in France – I have traveled to that country quite a few times before and since my T.J. tour obsession but still think of his times there as I stroll the streets of Paris until this day.

So as we celebrate the 270 year anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth – I invoke Marilyn Monroe to J.F.K., as I sing to the heavens “Happy Birthday Mr. President!” and say thank you, thank you, thank you. In my year end (2013) memoir, “Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life!” all my “crushes” – my cerebral REAL life devotions will be fully explained and detailed; until then go visit Jefferson’s Monticello home in Virginia or D.C. Library of Congress this Summer 2013 and remember to say that you too are grateful that G-d placed a man like Thomas Jefferson on this Earth, at the time when the world so needed a new form of government, founded in The United States of America!!!

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