Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald, her dog and Women's March on Washington

Betty MacDonald
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mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_1957_hardcover_bookjacket(yellow)-cleaned_FRONT
Hello 'Pussy' this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle:  
There will be a Women’s March on Washington in January to protest against you.

Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed? I do!  
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 plague_English_1994_paperback_FRONT
  
Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
plague_english_1948_paperback_FRONT


The Egg and I Film Illustration























Betty Bard MacDonald's photo. 

The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

Click images for alternate views
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Betty MacDonald's sister Alison Bard Burnett


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Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Bildergebnis für mysterious lady

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas

Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,


look at this beautiful photo of Betty MacDonald and her dog, please.

If you know the name of the dog, let us know, please.

Betty MacDonald

You can win our updated Betty MacDonald documentary and biography.

Deadline: December 31, 2016

An advice:

Betty MacDonald fan club photo collection includes a wonderful photo with Betty, Don, Sydney, Anne and Joan with the very same dog in front of a huge Christmas tree in their house on Vashon Island.

Good luck!



We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.
Very exciting Betty MacDonald fan club news! 
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to present life and work of Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica January 2017. 
More info will come soon! 

Vita Magica December was very successful.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.

The visitors enjoyed Vita Magica very much.  

A great event! 







Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.


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New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.


We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 


Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.


Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.

 
Vita Magica was very witty and enjoyable.


We know the visitors had a great time there.

Congratulations dear Letizia Maninco, Wolfgang Hampel and Friedrich von Hoheneichen!



Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.


Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.


I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.


Security surrounding the inauguration of Donald J. Trump is proving to be the most challenging in recent history, according to senior officials involved in its planning, largely because of the same forces of political rancor that shaped the race for the presidency.
On top of the daunting threats to any inaugural ceremony, the three dozen agencies responsible for security at the Jan. 20 festivities are preparing for the possibility of large numbers of protesters flooding the capital, along with what may be nearly a million supporters of Mr. Trump.
The agencies are worried about the possibility of confrontations between groups of Americans still deeply divided over the election — and at a moment when millions of people around the world will be turning their attention to Washington. At the very least, officials said, protests would put additional pressure on the region’s already-stretched security apparatus.
“To paraphrase Tolstoy: Each inauguration is risky, but each is risky in its own way,” said Michael Chertoff, who was secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush and oversaw the department for President Obama’s first inauguration, in 2009.

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.




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Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher


Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?



Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.

I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 


The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career


mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT



Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................











Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 
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Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?

I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.


Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 


Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.


I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 


Real vs. Ersatz









I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.


I totally agree with these comments:

This is incredible! I'll You get what you pay/vote for and Trump is the epitome of this ideology. America I won't feel bad for you because you don't need my sympathy for what's coming but I am genuinely scared for you. 'Forgive them lord for they know not who they do' or maybe they do but just don't care about their future generations who will suffer for this long after the culprits have passed away. 

Is the USA like North Korea where you can't trust other politicians?

That's it. 

Put Ivanka in! Put Ivanka in! Put my whole family and friends in! '

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

Wouldn't it be a great idea to put them in too?

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 


André Maurice Dayans Foto.



I found this in Wikipedia about her:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[88] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[89] On her return journey she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[90]

That's the reason why very intelligent and brilliant Sarah Palin knows the World very well. 

Sarah and ' Pussygate '  will rule America and the World - what a couple. 


I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald




Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  


Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

 
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 

Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 


If so would you be so kind to share them?


Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.


If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.


Thank you so much in advance for your support.



 


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vqvrCz_OYTo/S7hJGYQaymI/AAAAAAAAFIw/W--wXFF912Y/s1600/M7a



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.


More info are coming soon.




Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 


Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.


We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.



Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.


Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

 
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

Have a nice Wednesday,
Nina


Don't miss this very special book, please.


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 


Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  



Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson


Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose 


Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 

Politics

Trump Inauguration Security Planners Brace for Wave of Protesters



 
Workers building viewing stands at the Capitol for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. Credit Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
WASHINGTON — Security surrounding the inauguration of Donald J. Trump is proving to be the most challenging in recent history, according to senior officials involved in its planning, largely because of the same forces of political rancor that shaped the race for the presidency.
On top of the daunting threats to any inaugural ceremony, the three dozen agencies responsible for security at the Jan. 20 festivities are preparing for the possibility of large numbers of protesters flooding the capital, along with what may be nearly a million supporters of Mr. Trump.
The agencies are worried about the possibility of confrontations between groups of Americans still deeply divided over the election — and at a moment when millions of people around the world will be turning their attention to Washington. At the very least, officials said, protests would put additional pressure on the region’s already-stretched security apparatus.
“To paraphrase Tolstoy: Each inauguration is risky, but each is risky in its own way,” said Michael Chertoff, who was secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush and oversaw the department for President Obama’s first inauguration, in 2009.



 
The inaugural stage taking form in November. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
“I can’t think of an inauguration that presented more security challenges than this one,” Mr. Chertoff said.



There were, of course, heightened concerns for the second inauguration of Mr. Bush, in 2005, the first presidential swearing-in to follow the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. And in 2009, Mr. Obama’s inauguration was the first transfer of power in the post-9/11 era — and the first in which an African-American was taking the oath of office. Mr. Obama faced a rash of racist threats, as well as concerns about a terrorist plot that ultimately proved unfounded but sent the president-elect and top aides scrambling on the eve of his swearing-in.

Even so, Mr. Obama did not face the kind of large protests expected to greet Mr. Trump when he officially arrives in Washington. The 2009 crowd of nearly two million people, a record, included few, if any, protesters and did not lead to a single arrest, according to Christopher T. Geldart, the director of homeland security for the District of Columbia.
The National Park Service, which controls much of the public land in Washington, from sidewalks to the National Mall, has already seen permit requests from groups hoping to host events both for and against Mr. Trump skyrocket to 23. In typical inauguration years, the agency receives just a handful of requests.
Safeguarding the nation’s peaceful transfer of power is no easy task even under the most predictable of circumstances. There are few higher-profile rituals in American public life than the swearing-in of a new president.


Inauguration Schedule

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has released a schedule for the Inauguration. There are also several protests planned, including the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.
  • Wreath-Laying Ceremony


    Thursday, Jan. 19
    Arlington National Cemetery
  • ‘Make America Great Again!’ Welcome Celebration


    Thursday, Jan. 19
    Lincoln Memorial
  • Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony


    Friday, Jan. 20
    U.S. Capitol
  • Inaugural Parade


    Friday, Jan. 20
    Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Inaugural Balls


    Friday, Jan. 20
    Two inaugural balls are planned, as well as a third ball honoring the armed services.
From the Metropolitan Police of Washington to the National Park Service to the F.B.I., a vast overlapping patchwork of intelligence analysts, military personnel and law enforcement officers numbering in the tens of thousands will be working to protect the inauguration and related activities.
In total, more than three dozen agencies spread out across the capital will be working to prevent the occasion from becoming a platform for individuals or groups looking to do harm. Their work, begun months ago, has taken on a new urgency since Election Day and will soon include the imposition of a security perimeter around the Capitol, the Mall and large parts of the city.
The costs of security alone are expected to exceed $100 million.
Protecting the new president, the thousands of dignitaries who will be on hand and the crowds is the top priority of federal intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies, as it has been at inaugurations since the Sept. 11 attacks. Threats, from abroad and from homegrown extremists alike, remain a chief concern, current and former officials said.
“What the intelligence community says publicly is what they say privately, and that is more threats from more directions than ever before,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, who is chairman of the congressional committee planning the inaugural ceremony. “And that just means the Capitol Police and the security elements need to be more thoughtful and alert than ever to what could happen.”
But this time, security forces — particularly law enforcement officers who will be on the ground here — are also preparing to confront crowds of Americans who are unusually divided and anxious over the election results. The priority, officials said, is to avoid the kind of violent clashes that periodically flared up on the campaign trail between Mr. Trump’s supporters and those who opposed him, while allowing groups on both sides to carry on with events.



 
News photographers with a model of the White House on a giant planning map used in preparations for the inauguration. Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
“Everybody knows how contentious the campaign was,” said Mr. Geldart, the District of Columbia homeland security director. “Honestly, what really keeps me up at night around this is the ability for us to just allow folks to come in, express their views and leave safely.”

Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said the agency was “actively reviewing” permit requests, with a goal of trying to accommodate as many events as possible. Groups that are granted permits will be spaced out to try to prevent mixing, Mr. Geldart said. The largest of those events, the so-called Women’s March on Washington, was granted a permit for about 200,000 people to rally and then march in protest against Mr. Trump on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration.
Boris Epshteyn, the communications director for Mr. Trump’s inaugural planning committee, said the group welcomed the “free exercise” of First Amendment rights “as long as it is done peacefully and within all applicable laws, rules and regulations.”
Just how many of Mr. Trump’s supporters will attend remains unclear. The planning committee said it was expecting two million to three million people. Such a crowd would be a record, though Mr. Geldart said his team had yet to see evidence that would cause it to revise its own estimates of 800,000 to 900,000 people.
The security effort will require virtually the full strength of the region’s law enforcement agencies, as well as significant reinforcements. More than 3,200 police officers from departments across the country and about 8,000 members of the National Guard will be on hand to help with basic crowd and traffic control around the city. An additional 5,000 active duty service members will be on hand to serve in ceremonial capacities.



 
President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush in 2009, at the inauguration ceremony of the 44th president of the United States. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
Mr. Geldart said those forces would allow local agencies better versed in crowd management tactics to monitor the protesters and pro-Trump groups, in person and with the help of social media.
The security planning covers not just Inauguration Day itself but also a week of public and private events planned to celebrate Mr. Trump’s victory, beginning with a welcome concert on the National Mall on Jan. 19.
Thomas Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s who is leading the inaugural planning committee, said each of those events had been carefully negotiated with the Secret Service and its partners.
Mr. Trump’s personal security was made somewhat simpler when he decided he would stay at Blair House, as his modern predecessors have, rather than at his new hotel in Washington, as was once under consideration.

“It’s their party and we’re there to develop the operation security plan to make their party safe,” said James Murray, the deputy assistant director of the Secret Service’s office of protective operations, which has overall responsibility for inaugural security. “But by all means it’s certainly a back-and-forth kind of thing.”


Continue reading the main story

Politics

Organizers Hope Women's March On Washington Inspires, Evolves


San Francisco high school students protest in opposition to Donald Trump's presidential victory. Protests like it have been springing up all over the country, and a women's protest is planned for Jan. 21.
Eric Risberg/AP 
 
The day after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, Jan. 20, 2017, a march is slated to take place on the National Mall.
It's being called the Women's March on Washington. (It was being referred to, somewhat controversially, as the "Million Women March" before it was re-branded.) At this point, thousands of women and allies plan to rally here for the Women's March on Washington. The march aims to "send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights," according to the event's official website.
  


Trump: Putin Is Right About Hillary, She Has No Dignity



Following Putin’s remarks that Democrat’s and Clinton are losing in a most undignified manner, Trump commented that his remarks are “So true!”

Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: “In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.” So true!” Trump tweeted.

The Economic Times reports:

At his annual news conference in Moscow yesterday, Putin said the Democrats “are losing on all fronts and looking elsewhere for things to blame”, The Washington Post reported.
“In my view, this, how shall I say it, degrades their own dignity. You have to know how to lose with dignity,” he said.
The Democratic party and the Clinton Campaign have been blaming Russian hacking into their emails and servers for their loss.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has ordered an investigation into the alleged Russian interference in US presidential elections.
Putin criticised the Democrats for blaming him for their defeat.
“Outstanding figures in American history from the ranks of the Democratic Party would likely be turning in their graves. Roosevelt certainly would be,” Putin said.
“Trump understood the mood of the people and kept going until the end, when nobody believed in him… except for you and me,” he added.
Earlier yesterday, the Trump Transition Team released a letter from Putin to Trump in which he called for strong bilateral relationship.
“Serious global and regional challenges, which our countries have to face in recent years, show that the relations between Russia and the US remain an important factor in ensuring stability and security of the modern world,” Putin wrote.
“I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able – by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner – to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level,” said the Russian President.
“Please accept my sincere wishes to you and your family of sound health, happiness, well-being, success and all the best,” Putin wrote as per the unofficial translation of the letter released by the Presidential Transition Team.
Trump praised the letter, saying a “very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct. I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path”.




Rick Joyner, “Televangelist Compares Trump to Jesus’ Apostles”



C0PvYGwUAAACKR1_1_.jpg
















Putin reaches out to Trump for cooperation, calls Democrats sore losers











Russian President Vladimir Putin
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin more >
- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2016 
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked to “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation” with the U.S. in a letter to President-elect Donald Trump — a note the transition team released Friday, the same day the Kremlin leader called American Democrats sore losers.
The letter, written earlier this month, offers Christmas and New Year’s wishes. Mr. Putin then suggests that the two nations find a way to get beyond the loggerheads of the past few years.
“I hope that after you assume the position of the President of the United States of America we will be able — by acting in a constructive and pragmatic manner — to take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation in different areas as well as bring our level of collaboration on the international scene to a qualitatively new level,” Mr. Putin said.
Mr. Trump, in a statement, called it “a very nice letter” and said “his thoughts are so correct.”
“I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path,” he said.
During the U.S. presidential election campaign, Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump had positive things to say about each other’s leadership style.
 
Democrats and the Obama administration have accused Mr. Putin of meddling in the U.S. election to try to sink Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state tried but failed to earn better relations with Russia.
But answering questions Friday from a group of journalists assembled for his annual end-of-year press conference, Mr. Putin said Democrats were wrong to blame “outside factors” for Mrs. Clinton’s loss.
Democrats “are losing on all fronts and looking for scapegoats on whom to lay the blame,” Mr. Putin told reporters, as translated by the Kremlin.
“I think that this is an affront to their own dignity. It is important to know how to lose gracefully,” he said.
Asked specifically to comment on accusations that Russia used state-sponsored hacking to influence results of the election, Mr. Putin denied responsibility before noting that arguments about “who did it” are less important than what the hacked emails showed.
“These days, it is very easy to designate a random country as the source of attack while being in a completely different location,” Mr. Putin said of the hackers. “But is this important? I think the most important thing is the information that the hackers revealed to the public,” he said.
He also said the resignation of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz over the information vindicates its authenticity.
“What is the best proof that the hackers uncovered truthful information? The proof is that after the hackers demonstrated how public opinion had been manipulated within the Democratic Party, against one candidate rather than the other, against candidate [Bernard] Sanders, the Democratic National Committee chairperson resigned. This means she admitted that the hackers revealed the truth,” Mr. Putin said.
Security analysts believe state-sponsored hackers penetrated the DNC and the email accounts of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, John Podesta, before passing along their contents to WikiLeaks for publication before the Nov. 8 election. President Obama said last week that he has “great confidence” in intelligence reports that links those hacks and others to Russian actors and that their actions were aimed at having Mr. Trump win the White House race.
“This happened at the highest levels of the Russian government,” Mr. Obama said last week. “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”
A day earlier, CrowdStrike, a security firm hired to examine the DNC breach, said the perpetrators used a specific strain of malware used exclusively for nearly a decade in cyberattacks attributed to Russia, including a previously undisclosed hacking campaign in recent months against the Ukrainian military.
The letter was released and the Moscow news conference was held a day after Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump suggested that they might push to expand their countries’ nuclear capabilities.




Donald Trump praises Vladimir Putin for slamming Hillary Clinton


Philip Rucker, The Washington Post
First posted: | Updated:
Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as nesting dolls
 
Traditional Russian wooden nesting dolls, Matryoshka dolls, depicting Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are seen on sale at a gift shop in central Moscow on Nov. 8, 2016. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump late Friday publicly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for attacking Trump's former Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. In a striking statement that seems to further align Trump with Putin, the incoming U.S. president tweeted that he agreed with the Russian leader's assessment that Clinton and the Democratic Party generally have not shown "dignity" following widespread losses in the November election. "So true!" Trump tweeted of Putin's comments, apparently referencing statements the Russian made at his year-end news conference: "Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.' So true!" Trump's expressed admiration of Putin came only hours after he released to the media a warm letter the Russian sent him. The Friday night tweet sparked cries of alarm from former U.S. officials and other Trump critics on social media. In Putin's letter, dated Dec. 15, the Russian leader wrote that he hopes he and Trump can act "in a constructive and pragmatic manner" following the Jan. 20 inauguration. Trump was pleased with the correspondence, saying in a statement Friday, "A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct." Trump has long spoken admiringly of Putin and what he considers the Russian president's strong leadership qualities. Some of Trump's incoming advisers have past connections to Putin and the Russian government, including Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state nominee, and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the White House national security adviser designee.
Trump has so far rejected the conclusions of the CIA, FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the 2016 campaign in part to help Trump secure the White House. The agencies believe Russia is responsible for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails as well as the private emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Obama, tweeted Friday night that Trump's praise of Putin was "unprecedented": "So now the President-elect and an autocrat in the Kremlin team up to trash an American. Unprecedented. Will Republicans speak up?"
Evan McMullin, a Republican former CIA operative who ran unsuccessfully against Trump as an independent candidate, called Friday night for Republican leaders to condemn Trump's "alliance" with Putin: "must condemn @realDonaldTrump's alliance with Putin, a foreign adversary who is actively undermining our democracy. "



Commentary: The United States isn't Russia

on December 24, 2016 11:00 AM






If Vladimir Putin gave a damn about American public opinion, he’d encourage Donald Trump to make at least a symbolic gesture to prove he’s not the Russian strongman’s vassal. So far, there’s no sign either party to their oddly one-sided alliance feels the need.
Trump’s every significant appointment and foreign policy pronouncement has been exactly as the Russians would have it. “The man has very strong control over his country,” Trump has said. “He’s been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.” So what if Putin’s leadership skills include having political rivals and troublesome journalists jailed or killed?
For all of his crudity, Trump can be excruciatingly polite.
More telling are Trump’s cabinet picks: first, national security adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, a flaky conspiracy-theorist who not only gave credence to the delusional “Pizzagate” tale, but has also dined publicly with Putin and done paid gigs on the Kremlin-sponsored “Russia Today” TV network.
Then there’s Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO who has done billions in business deals with state-dominated Russian oil companies and accepted that country’s highest civilian medal from Putin himself.
The Guardian has revealed that “Tillerson was the longtime director of a U.S.-Russian oil firm based in the tax haven of the Bahamas” — perfectly legal, but unusual behavior in a man nominated as secretary of state. Imagine the caterwauling if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had done something similar.
Also, did you know that Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign director forced to resign last summer after reportedly taking millions from the Russian puppet government in Ukraine, actually lives in Trump Tower? Did he ever really quit stage-managing the campaign? It’s worth wondering if, like the omnipresent Trump children, he remains on the president-elect’s private payroll.
Add the skeptical noises that Trump has made about NATO, his seeming indifference to Russian military interventions in Ukraine and its role in the ongoing Syrian slaughter, and it becomes hard to imagine anything Putin might want that Trump’s unwilling to give him. It’s a good bet President Trump will withdraw U.S. support for NATO economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s seizure of Crimea — a blow to our European allies and a boost to the faltering Russian economy.
What Trump gets out of his “bromance” with Putin is also perfectly clear. His campaign’s response to The Washington Post’s revelation that CIA and FBI analysts have concluded that Kremlin operatives meddled in the 2016 presidential election on his behalf was a classic of the Trump method.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump campaign responded. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
Almost every significant syllable was a barefaced prevarication. Without rehearsing the history of Vice President Cheney’s 2003 bullying of CIA analysts during the run up to the Iraq War (which Trump has also lied about opposing), his election win was one of the least decisive in U.S. history. Besides losing the popular vote by 2.86 million, he won fewer electoral votes than Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and many others.
And what exactly do Trump voters think they’re getting out of the Russian connection? Most simply don’t care. They’ve basically chosen party over country. They dislike Americans who vote Democratic far more than the Russian dictator, a distant figure of seemingly no significance to their lives. Most are too busy gloating and rationalizing Trump’s boasts to worry about the Kremlin’s armlock on the White House.
But how much money does the House of Trump owe to Russian banks? If the president-elect gets his way, we’ll surely never know.
Writing in New York Review, expatriate Russian journalist Masha Gessen analyzes the two men’s deep similarities. “Lying is the message,” she explains. “It’s not just that both Putin and Trump lie, it is that they lie in the same way and for the same purpose: blatantly, to assert power over truth itself.”
She examines Putin’s brazen 2014 denial of Russian troops in Ukraine. His lies, Gessen argues, “communicated a single message: Putin’s power lies in being able to say what he wants, when he wants, regardless of the facts. He is president of his country and king of reality.”
Similarly, millions watched Trump and Clinton bicker about Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential debates. “You’re the puppet,” he pouted, like a third-grader. Now he insists nobody mentioned the subject until Hillary lost.
Trump too, Gessen emphasizes, “was demonstrating his ability to say whatever he wanted about the election, precisely because he had won it.”
No doubt. But Americans aren’t Russians, with their long history of serfdom and dictatorship. Nor can Trump have his opponents bumped off or imprisoned. As partisan passions cool, skepticism will reawaken.
And then we’ll see what happens.
eugenelyons2@yahoo.com








Putin Speaks Out

In a news conference, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia talked about Donald J. Trump and nuclear proliferation.
By REUTERS. Photo by Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Friday that a statement by Donald J. Trump, the American president-elect, that the United States should expand its nuclear abilities was not a surprise because he had said the same thing during the election campaign.
Asked about the American election, Mr. Putin, who has made no secret of his distaste for Hillary Clinton, said her defeat was a “humiliation” for the Democratic Party.
The Russian president, speaking at his annual marathon news conference, also said that Russia would continue to modernize its armed forces, including nuclear weapons, but he added that the level of spending would diminish somewhat in coming years.
He said Russia was not seeking a new arms race or to develop new nuclear warheads, but was instead seeking ways to improve its armaments so that they could pierce missile defenses. The deployment of NATO missile defense systems in countries near Russia has been a sore spot between Moscow and the West.


Mr. Putin said again, as he had on Thursday, that the Russian armed forces were now strong enough to repulse any attacker. He suggested that officials from the Obama administration had overreacted by pointing out that the Russian military was far weaker than that of the United States.
“Of course the U.S. has more missiles, submarines and aircraft carriers, but what we say is that we are stronger than any aggressor, and this is the case,” Mr. Putin said toward the beginning of the news conference, which typically lasts four hours or more.
“As for Donald Trump, there is nothing new about it, during his election campaign he said the U.S. needs to bolster its nuclear capabilities and its armed forces in general,” he added.
Mr. Putin said that any new Russian nuclear weapons would stay within the limits of existing treaties. Although Moscow and Washington have taken to rattling sabers more than in the past, experts said that the architecture of previous nuclear arms treaties has so far held.
In 2007, Russia spent 2.7 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, Mr. Putin said, but the figure grew to 4.7 percent in 2016. Russia spent about $52 billion on its military in 2015.
He said that the proportion would gradually decline to 2.8 percent again by 2019. “This will not have an impact on our plan to increase our defense capabilities,” he said.
The budget cuts are being forced by an extended recession, though Mr. Putin tried to put a positive spin on that, as well. He said the overall economy had contracted 3.7 percent in 2015 and probably a further 0.5 to 0.6 percent in 2016, but that some sectors were expanding, like agriculture, which grew 4 percent.
He said this had happened despite Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. In retaliation, Russia has banned imports of many Western dairy and other agricultural products.
Some analysts have suggested that the growth in agriculture was nothing exceptional.
Mr. Putin also noted other positive signs, including that inflation and capital outflows had slowed, but he said that there were still problems, including a drop in personal income for most Russians.
On the American election, Mr. Putin said the Democrats were trying to blame their defeat on external factors like Russia. He said his popularity among American Republicans was not personal, but a reflection of their worldview.
“It means that a significant part of the American people have the same perception about how the world should be developing,” he said. “It is good that people support us in this, in terms of traditional values.” He said it was a good basis for improving Russian-American relations.
Mr. Putin mocked recent statements by President Obama and others that former President Ronald Reagan would be turning in his grave over the support for Russia and for Mr. Putin among Republicans.
If anything, he said, it would be former presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt who would be turning in their graves over the losses suffered by the Democratic Party.
Mr. Roosevelt united the country, Mr. Putin said, but “the current administration divides it.”
The Obama administration has accused Russia of interfering in the American election, not least by hacking the computers at the Democratic National Committee and releasing emails embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton.
Although Mr. Putin did not publicly endorse either candidate during the campaign, his administration made its preference for Mr. Trump clear. Among other reasons for disliking Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Putin has blamed her for the street demonstrations in Russia in 2011 and 2012 that greeted his return to the presidency, citing her endorsement of the protests while she was secretary of state to accuse her of fostering them.
Asked directly about statements by Mr. Obama that he had warned Mr. Putin to stop hacking in the United States, Mr. Putin said that he would not reveal the contents of a private conversation.
But he repeated statements by Mr. Trump that anyone could have done the hacking, including someone in the United States sitting on his couch. And Mr. Putin repeated his usual response to questions about the hacking, saying the main point was the contents of the emails and the light they shed on the Democrats’ activities and plans.
















Canadians are inviting the four West Coast US states that voted for Hillary Clinton to secede to their country. Mocked-up maps of what Canada would look like, if its borders extended from the Arctic down to Mexico, have been widely shared online in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory.A British Columbia reporter has become the latest Canadian to kindly extend an invitation to California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. “I’m sure we can work something out if you want to join Canada,” tweeted Chad Harris, a reporter from Kamloops. “To the west coast of the United States, if you want to you can all become Canadaian Provinces, since you voted closer to the experiences we have as Canadian.” Campaigners are already fighting for California’s independence and a “Calexit” referendum, initially inspired by Catalonia independence attempts, to be held in 2019.






More than 60 per cent of voters opted for Hillary Clinton in The Golden State – the election’s bluest patch.  The Yes California Independence Campaign says: On issues ranging from peace and security to natural resources and the environment, it has become increasingly true that California would be better off as an independent country.”  Douglas Cole from Beaverton, Oregon, wrote an ironic open letter on the subject to Canada, asking: “Just please take us. Pretty please?”
The Independent has contacted the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada for comment.












Trump said in 2014 that Russian hacking was a 'big problem'

Story highlights

  • "No, I think he's 100% right, it's a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russian," Trump said in 2014.
  • Trump continues to cast doubt that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
(CNN)President-elect Donald Trump continues to question whether Russia was behind the hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign. Just two years ago, however, Trump said he was very aware of Russia's hacking, calling it out -- along with China -- as a "big problem."

In an interview with Fox News Sunday earlier this month, Trump questioned the CIA's assessment that Russia played a role in the election, calling it "ridiculous" and saying, "It's just another excuse. I don't believe it."Airways
On Fox News in 2014, however, Trump was quick to agree with a similar assessment by FBI director James Comey about hacking by China, and also raised the threat from Russia.
"I think that's great, I think what he said is fantastic," Trump said, referring to comments Comey had made on "60 Minutes."
"I've been talking about China for a long time," Trump added. "You know, they put on the front like, we're your friend and everything, and in the meantime the cash comes out of your back pocket. It's disgraceful what's going on with China generally. No, I think he's 100% right, it's a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russia. You saw that over the weekend. Russia's doing the same thing."
A report that month, as Trump noted, said hackers with ties to the Russian government had targeted NATO and the Ukrainian government.
"The problem with the Internet and frankly computerization is that there's always some genius that can figure it out," continued Trump. "I mean let's face it. You know, the old ways, when Gen. MacArthur would hand a valise or an envelope with somebody with a written word and that was the attack. This is a different world today. You say things on the Internet, you say things over a computer and people are going to find out what you're saying it's very dangerous and very bad in many ways."
A Trump transition team spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump has repeatedly called into question whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help him win.
Trump again tweeted about the hacking last week, writing, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"
"Personally, it could be Russia. It -- I don't really think it is. But who knows? I don't know either. They don't know and I don't know."
Trump again tweeted about the hacking last week, writing, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"



Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle - by Nicholas Kristof

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"Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana. Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.  Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.  "So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny.  We must be vigilant and recognize what is afoot!" WOOF!

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At www.nytimes.com


Trump Is Not the Problem


Donald Trump may be the ultimate con man, having convinced about 25% of the American public who voted for him that he was a populist interested in helping the working class. His recent cabinet appointments of banksters and corporate elites prove otherwise. Although the prospect of this man as president for the next 4 years is frightening to even contemplate, it’s not really Trump that’s the problem. He is just a symptom of the deeper problem we have in America: the fact that our country is morally and ethically bankrupt.
For at least the last half century, we have lived in a culture not of self-awareness, but of self absorption — a culture in which concern for the greater good has been replaced by a “what’s in it for me?” attitude. Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are ingrained in our culture. We have just covered it over with political correctness so we can deny how extensive an issue it really is. But just like an alcoholic, we can’t begin to recover unless we admit we have a problem.
Just try to hint that the US is not the greatest country in the world and you’ll be labeled a traitor, despite the fact that we are number 1 in some of the worst statistics possible. We are first in rates of obesity, divorce, incarceration, gun deaths per capita, infant mortality, rape, murder, and student loan debt, to name just a few. Meanwhile, we are last in paid sick days, paid maternity leave, income equality, and programs that reflect a society that cares for its people.
Far too often, the poor, working-class white population votes against their best interests. It’s easier for them to believe that an immigrant or a person of color is stealing their livelihood than to accept that a wealthy white billionaire doesn’t have their best interests in mind, and that there is no such thing as The American Dream.
The reality is that the system is set up to ensure there will always be a huge gap between the rich and the poor because the elites want it that way and most people don’t care enough to do anything about it. We are a country that does not like to take personal responsibility for anything, particularly if it requires effort. We would rather have someone else take care of everything so we can go back to watching Monday Night Football.
The average American barely gives a passing thought to the suffering we are causing to innocent civilians around the world in the 7 countries on which we are currently dropping bombs. Unless it’s in their own backyard, they just don’t care. Imagine just a single one of those bombs suddenly dropping on your home while you are in the middle of dinner, killing your children, husband, wife. What is unimaginable for us is daily life for some.
For centuries, Western culture has been dominated by white men obsessed with empire-building. They feel it is their God-given right to invade less developed countries, steal their resources at will, and then expect the conquered to be grateful to us for “liberating” them from their backward ways. We commit mass murder around the world and don’t think twice about it. The hubris is astounding, and like Rome, it will ultimately be the instrument of our downfall.
Fears of Trump becoming the next Hitler are unnecessary because we’re already there. Hitler may have gathered the Jews into extermination camps to systematically murder them, but we have been systematically murdering Muslims in their own countries for at least the past 26 years. An estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed due to our wars. The genocide is the same, just under a different façade.
The very founding of our country is a prime example. White Europeans arrived here in the 17th century and began to commit genocide against the indigenous Americans practically from day one. Those atrocities continue to this day in the form of government-approved militarized mercenaries violently attacking peacefully protesting Native Americans with rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound cannons and concussion grenades.
We seem to have forgotten that we were once the immigrants here. Every US citizen, unless they are from one of the many indigenous tribes that were here far before the first pilgrims, has an immigrant ancestor. Yet it’s amazing how many people say it’s the immigrants who are hurting our country. Like your own great-grandparents once did, most immigrants work hard to establish their lives here. A long-term study has shown that immigrants do far more good for the economy than harm; however, the oligarchy wants to distract you from knowing who the real welfare queens are: the banks and our corporate-owned government.
Congress doesn’t want you to know that they are the reason why you have unaffordable health care. They are the reason our youth are drowning in student debt, and could never dream of making nearly as much money as their parents did — all while they find money to bail out the banks. Congress never has a problem funding more than 50% of the annual budget for the benefit of the military industrial complex, and never have to worry about losing their 100% government-paid health insurance.
As Noam Chomsky and Martin Luther King said, America is socialist for the rich and capitalist for the poor. We allow our government to bail out the banks while working people lose their homes. The wealthy like to maintain a comfortable gap between themselves and everyone else. If everyone is wealthy, nobody is. How could they continue to feel superior? The far-right white supremacists (often oddly called alt-right) have massive fears of immigrants and minorities, believing they are the ones responsible for the disappearance of what they always believed to be their racially guaranteed upward mobility.
Our educational system is a joke; the oligarchy does not want an educated population. If Americans were actually taught to think for themselves, they might begin to question government policies. For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know that our income taxes do not fund federal spending. So any government official claiming there is not enough tax money to fund universal health care, higher education, etc. is either ignorant or flat-out lying.
But even if it’s not your “hard-earned dollars” that would pay for these vital programs, what type of person thinks that any human being does not have the right to decent health care? Universal health care is not even a question in every other Western country, all of which have some form of it. People in these countries almost universally state that health care is an inalienable human right.
It’s no wonder the Kardashians and reality TV shows like The X Factor and American Idol are so popular, not to mention Trump’s own show, The Apprentice. We glorify unbridled wealth, cutthroat competition, and cruelty. The meaner and more demeaning, the better. We shore up our huge insecurities by belittling others, whether they are TV contestants, women, or minorities.
None of this will change until we make significant changes to our ethical code. We need to learn from the Native Americans and adopt a different way of looking at our existence on this planet. Much can be learned from what’s happened at Standing Rock. The indigenous peoples of this country understand that everyone is their relative. What harms one of us harms all of us. They have respect for the earth upon which we all must live and which provides us with food and water. They have astoundingly met brutal violence with only love and compassion.
Privatization must end. The earth’s natural resources should be owned by all of humanity collectively. Nobody should have the ability to make a profit on a natural resource. Along with a minimum wage, there also needs to be a maximum wage. No more allowing a small handful of people to hoard money in amounts so large they could never possibly spend it all, when meanwhile their fellow citizens are struggling to feed their children.
We seem to have lost our sense of compassion for other human beings. Yet we wonder how Donald Trump won the presidency? We need to take a serious look in the mirror and see the ways in which Trump is simply a reflection of the darkest parts of ourselves and examine where it comes from, rather than running from it. At that point, we can make conscious changes and become a better people.
A striking example of this is the stirring ceremony that occurred at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in early December, in which US military veterans asked forgiveness from the Native Americans for the numerous crimes the military had committed against them. Recognizing and admitting our part in these atrocities allows for a beginning in healing the world instead of harming it.
We must always try to remember that we are all members of the same human race living on the same fragile planet. When we make significant changes to our outlook on others and on the world around us, we will finally stop getting leaders like Trump.

SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist

Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle









 
Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington last year. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times
In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related “dirty tricks,” such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans — and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats’ digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia’s president, saying, “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”
In Watergate, the break-in didn’t affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don’t know for sure. There were other factors, but it’s possible that Russia’s theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump’s victory.
The C.I.A. says it has “high confidence” that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the C.I.A. and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America’s intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.

Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush’s poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it’s notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia’s “Order of Friendship.”
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia’s interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson’s closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump’s other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
It’s true that there will be counterbalances, including Gen. James Mattis, the former Marine commander who has no illusions about Moscow and is expected to be confirmed as defense secretary. But over all it looks as if the Trump administration will be remarkably pro-Putin — astonishing considering Putin’s Russia has killed journalists, committed war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and threatened the peaceful order in Europe.

So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny. There are other issues to explore as well, including his role in enabling corruption in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. The same is true of his role in complicity with the government of Angola, where oil corruption turned the president’s daughter into a billionaire even as children died of poverty and disease at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.

Maybe all this from Russia to Angola was just Tillerson trying to maximize his company’s revenue, and he will act differently as secretary of state. Maybe. But I’m skeptical that his ideology would change in fundamental ways.
This is not only about Tillerson just as the 1972 break-in was not only about the Watergate building complex. This is about the integrity of American democracy and whether a foreign dictator should be rewarded for attacking the United States. It is about whether we are led by a president or a poodle.

Ross Douthat and Maureen Dowd are off today.
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How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans








 
James Dowson, a far-right political activist, ran a constellation of websites out of the United Kingdom. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press
The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”
Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.
But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.
Patriot News — whose postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States — is among a constellation of websites run out of the United Kingdom that are linked to James Dowson, a far-right political activist who advocated Britain’s exit from the European Union and is a fan of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. A vocal proponent of Christian nationalist, anti-immigrant movements in Europe, Mr. Dowson, 52, has spoken at a conference of far-right leaders in Russia and makes no secret of his hope that Mr. Trump will usher in an era of rapprochement with Mr. Putin.




His dabbling in the American presidential election adds an ideological element that has been largely missing from the still-emerging landscape of websites and Facebook pages that bombarded American voters with misinformation and propaganda. Far from the much-reported Macedonian teenagers running fake news factories solely for profit, Mr. Dowson made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to “spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”



Together, people like us helped change the course of history,” one message said, adding in another: “Every single one of you who forwarded even just one of our posts on social media contributed to the stunning victory for Trump, America and God.”
In a recent email interview from Belgrade, where he has met with Serbian nationalists, Mr. Dowson explained how his decision to establish an American social media presence was similar to the move into European markets by Breitbart News, the conservative provocateur media operation run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist.

“Simple truth is that after 40 years of the right having no voice because the media was owned by the enemy, we were FORCED to become incredibly good at alternative media in a way the left simply can’t grasp or handle,” Mr. Dowson said. “Bottom line is: BREXIT, TRUMP and much more to follow.”
While it is easy to overstate the influence of fringe elements whose overall numbers remain very small, the explosion of fake news and propaganda sites and their possible impact on the presidential election have ignited alarm across the American political spectrum. A recent study found that most people who read fabricated stories on Facebook — such as a widely circulated hoax about Pope Francis endorsing Mr. Trump — were inclined to believe them.
Then there is the added element of Russian meddling. The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Moscow put its thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump through the release of hacked Democratic emails, which provided fodder for many of the most pernicious false attacks on Mrs. Clinton on social media.
Some of those attacks found a home on Russian websites such as the one for Katehon, a right-wing Christian think tank aligned with Mr. Putin. Katehon recirculated anti-Clinton conspiracies under headlines like “Bloody Hillary: 5 Mysterious Murders Linked to Clinton.”
Another Russian site that urged support for Mr. Trump, called “Just Trump It,” is linked to the International Russian Conservative Forum, an annual gathering of far-right leaders in St. Petersburg that has featured Mr. Dowson, among others, as a speaker. The site, which seems mostly aimed at selling Trump T-shirts, was registered to an individual at a Russian company that trademarked a logo used to certify that merchandise was not made with migrant labor.
Some analysts see danger signs in the nexus of Russian interests and far-right agitators in Europe and the United States. Social media can amplify even the most obscure voices, giving them a stage from which to broadcast a distorted message to credulous audiences.
“These messages seep into the mainstream,” said Alina Polyakova, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs institute in Washington. “They may have been extreme or fringe at one point in time, but they have been incredibly influential in shaping people’s views about key geopolitical events in a very specific direction.”
Russia is particularly adept at playing this game, Ms. Polyakova said. “Moscow specifically encourages and facilitates” the spreading of propaganda through proxies, she said, as well as through events like the Russian conservative forum, which showcases views and narratives favored by the Putin government.

At the inaugural forum in March 2015, Mr. Dowson praised Mr. Putin as a strong defender of traditional values, while belittling President Obama and the United States itself as “feminized men.” In the email interview, Mr. Dowson said he was not supported by Russia in any way, and he accused critics of trying 


“I look on this rebirth of McCarthy-type anti-Russian hysteria by the LEFT as a hilarious reaction born out of the left’s inability to realize THEY elected Trump, not me, not the Russians, not even the right,” he said via email.
A colorful if somewhat enigmatic figure in Britain — The Times of London recently described him as “the invisible man of Britain’s far right” — Mr. Dowson, at first blush, would not be an obvious mouthpiece for Russia.
Formerly a church minister in Northern Ireland and the father of nine, he became involved in anti-abortion campaigns, joined the British National Party in the mid-2000s and, later, founded Britain First, a stridently anti-immigrant group opposed to what it called a creeping Islamic threat to traditional British values. He publicly split with the group in 2014 after some of its leaders started invading mosques and threatening Muslims, which he criticized as un-Christian and counterproductive.
While involved with Britain First, Mr. Dowson made deft use of social media and websites to promote its work and convey the impression of a mass following. A British watchdog group called Hope Not Hate, which has tracked Mr. Dowson’s online activities, concluded that he has “a rather canny knack for building up protest groups and movements on the basis that it was your Christian duty to follow his work.”
Mr. Dowson claims to have reached millions of Americans across all of his online platforms in the run-up to the November presidential election, a number that could not be verified, in part, because he would not confirm all of his sites. Online visits to Patriot News did not come close to that, although when combined with several other sites that appear to be connected to Mr. Dowson, the total number edges above a million; most viewers were in Britain.



Whatever the precise numbers, there is little question that postings on the sites and Facebook pages linked to him were viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times. Many of the postings appear to be lifted from other conspiracy websites, repackaged and launched back into the social media maelstrom. Another site that trafficked heavily in pro-Trump news was run by Knights Templar International, a militant religious group that Mr. Dowson is involved in, which has recently supported anti-immigrant militias patrolling border areas in Bulgaria and Hungary.
For Mr. Dowson, such activities are in keeping with his philosophy that traditional Christian values are under siege because of feckless leadership by America and European powers. The success of Mr. Trump, he said, is the logical result of voters’ rejection of the weakness of global elites.

Mr. Dowson has long been optimistic about the effectiveness of social media. During the 2015 conservative forum in Russia, he spoke presciently about the looming online battle for the attention of American voters.

“We have the ability to take a video from today and put it in half of every single household in the United States of America, where these people can for the first time learn the truth, because their own media tell lies, they tell lies about Russia,” Mr. Dowson said then.
“We have to use popular culture to reach into the living rooms of the youth of America, of Britain, France, Germany, and bring them in,” he said. “Then we can get them the message.”


Trump has been lying about the Russian hack. He just accidentally admitted it himself.





Betty MacDonald fan club fans, 

let's talk about great writers and poets Letizia Mancino, Hilde Domin and Betty MacDonald.

Betty MacDonald fan Club honor member, artist and writer Letizia Mancino shares her delightful story THE SECOND PARADISE. 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mary Holmes did such a great job in translating THE SECOND PARADISE.

Thanks a million dearest Mary.

We are really very grateful.
 
I'm one of Letizia Maninco's many devoted fans.

Letizia Mancino sent this connecting piece to " The Second Paradise".

DEFIANT AS A COCK

Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes 

All rights reserved

That was how my friend Hilde Domin was, dear Betty! You would have liked her so much. She had also been in America. At that time you were a famous author but she was still unknown.

-Did she love cats like you do?

-Yes Betty, she sure did!! Otherwise how do you think she could have been a friend of mine?

-Oh Letizia, don’t boast! Hilde was famous!

-It’s all the same to me, Betty, whether a person is famous or not but that person must love animals

-Why was she as defiant as a cock?

-Well Betty, she was simply so!

-Like a pregnant woman in my “Egg and I”?

-No not so! Betty, Hilde was a whole farm!

- A farm, how was that?

- No Betty, Hilde was more! Almost a zoo! Even more. She was all the animals in the world!

-You loved her very much.

-As I love all animals. 


You Betty, if I had known you, I would have loved you exactly so because you loved animals.

-But as defiant as a cock from my Bob-farm!

-Yes and no! (Hilde really loved this double form of answer). Listen Betty , I’ll tell you a story about how Hilde was. You would certainly have loved her.
I’ll call my story “The Second Paradise”.

THE SECOND PARADISE

Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino

translated by Mary Holmes
 

All rights reserved


The Lord God, one day, met Adam in Paradise and saw him lying under a palm.

And God spoke to him: Adam, my son, are you happy, are you content with Paradise ?

Adam answered: Oh Lord, it is wonderful!

And God said: But I will create a second Paradise and give you a wife.

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful!

And God said: I will create the wife according to your wishes.

And Adam stood under the palm and thought hard.

And God said: Adam, are you ready?

Adam answered: My wife should be as lively as a bird but she should not fly. She should swim like a goldfish but not be a fish….. She should be as playful as a cat but not catch mice….. She should be as busy as an ant but not so small.

And God said: So shall she be: Like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant…

Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful, but she should be as faithful as a dog.

And God asked: Adam, have you finished?

Oh Lord, cried Adam. She should also be as delightful and gentle as a lamb and as defiant as a cock!

….She should be as curious as a monkey and as pampered as a lapdog.

And God said: So shall she be.

And Adam said: My wife should be as courageous as a lion and as headstrong as a goat…

And God said: So, like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant, a dog, a lamb, a cock, a monkey, a lapdog, a lion, a goat… and slowly and surely he wished to begin creating…

But Adam stretched himself under the palm and called:

Lord, Lord, she should be as adaptable as a chameleon but not creep on four feet.

She should have sparkling eyes like, like… real diamonds. She should be as fiery as a volcano

But … she should have crystal-clear thoughts like a mountain spring.

God, the Almighty, was speechless…

And Adam spoke: Also she should be as quick as lightening…

And God said: Man, have you finished????

No, said Adam! She should be as strong as a horse, as long living as an elephant but as light as a butterfly!

God found Adam’s thoughts were good and said: So, bird, goldfish, cat, ant, dog, lamb, cock, monkey, lapdog, lion, goat, chameleon, genuine diamonds, volcano, mountain spring, lightening, horse, elephant…. butterfly…

God wished at last to begin creating her…

Lord, called Adam… she should be as stable as steel, but as sweet as three graceful women in one…

And God asked: Should she also be a poet?

Yes, called Adam from under the palm…

And God said: Adam have you finished?

Lord, I wish that, in the second Paradise I shall be one and doubled:

So God according to Adams last words created:

HILDE PALM DOMIN

 

Very best wishes


Letizia Mancino 

 
















Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham

 




 







Beijing Airpot


Mr. Tigerli in China

Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved  


Yes Betty, either or it seems he wanted to fly only with Singapore Airways.

Boeing or Airbus, it’s just the same isn’t it? Aren’t they both just fat birds with 500 passengers?

Yes, but Singapore Airlines has the most beautiful airhostesses: delicate, fine, graceful…  Mr. Tigerli had looked forward to the flight so much!

So the little man was disappointed?

You just can’t imagine how disappointed he was.
 But thank God one of the hostesses was a pretty Chinese girl. Mr. Tigerli purred loudly but she didn’t hear him because the purring of the Airbus 380 was even louder.

The poor cat!

You’ve said it Betty. Mr. Tigerli was in a very bad mood and asked me for a loud speaker.

I’m sure you can get one in 1st Class.

“”Russian Girl” had even heard you over the roar of the Niagara Falls” I said to Mr. Tigerli. “You are a very unfaithful cat. You wanted to get to know Asiatic girls. That’s how it is when one leaves one’s first love”.

And what did he say to that?

“Men are hunters” was his answer.

Yes, my dear cat, a mouse hunter. And what else did he say?

Not another word. He behaved as if he hadn’t heard me.

The Airbus is very loud.

I told him shortly “Don’t trouble yourself about “Chinese Girl”. There will be enough even prettier girls in China. Wait till we land in Guilin”.

Did he understand you?

Naturally Mr. Tigerli understood me immediately. Yes, sweetheart, don’t worry. They will find you something sweet to eat.

And he?

He was so happy.

No problem going through the immigration control?

Naturally!  Lots of problems. How could I explain to customs that the cat had come as a tourist to China to buy shoes?

Fur in exchange for shoes…

Don’t be so cynical Betty!

Cat meat in exchange for shoes?

I said to the officials. He isn’t a cat, he is Casanova.


He came through the pass control with no trouble!



photos and graphics betty family betty and friend



Is this Mr. Tigerli?





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Betty MacDonald














Take an illustrated day trip through Washington state’s largest city with artist Candace Rose Rardon.
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Linda White yes,if my health allows.I have a few problems but is something I have always wanted to do,especially as I reread her books.


Linde Lund


Linde Lund Dear Linda I'll keep you posted.


Bella Dillon


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I still read Mrs Piggle Wiggle books to this day. I love her farm on vashon.




Lila Taylor


Lila Taylor Good morning...Linde Lund
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