Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald, Alison Beck and a working system

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


"I am pleased that our check and balance system is working in this country," Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "It shows that the courts are going to be there when President Trump uses his power and exceeds his constitutional authority. I think that is an important message that our constitutional system will work."

I totally agree with Ben Cardin!




Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed? I do!  
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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 ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration























 

The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

Click images for alternate views

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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Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
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 Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can join Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook.

Thank you so much in advance for your support and interest. 

Alison Bard Burnett's daughter and Betty MacDonald's niece Alison Beck passed away at the age of only 65 in 2014.

Alison Beck is the sister of Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Darsie Beck. 

Many Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world know very witty and intelligent Alison Beck because she shared her fascinating memories and thoughts on Alison Bard Burnett CD/DVD. 

We can't wait to see the new Alison Bard Burnett CD/DVD.

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

Alison Beck,  Darsie Beck, Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's  Vita Magica.  


Alison Beck Obituary

Alison Beck, 65, passed away on July 19, 2014 of natural causes at her home in Tucson, Arizona. She is survived by her son Oliver Saul of Tucson, Arizona, brothers Darsie Beck and Bard Beck of Vashon Island, and her nieces, nephews and second cousins. 

Alison was born in Seattle July 26, 1948 to Alison Bard  and Bernard Beck. She grew up on Vashon Island and Mercer Island. Graduating from Helen Bush School in 1966, she attended Mackinac College, and obtained a BA in English from the University of Washington in 1992 where she worked as Editor of the Newsletter for Institute on Aging. After several years in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico, Alison bought a home in Tucson in 2004. She worked at St. Ambrose School and Temple Emanuel, and volunteered at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.
Her passions and delights were: her writing as published in Sun Magazine, brightly colored quilt making, remodeling her home and garden, her son, family and friends, and her devoted dogs.
Those who knew Alison remember her ability to see the humor in things and her memorable laughter. Inquisitive, she enjoyed having long conversations. Her artistic talents were expressed in her writing, quilt making, creating a home filled with color, and cooking and hosting for others. 



We are going to publish some new Betty MacDonald fan club interviews  by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.
 

Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography.
 


This very new Betty MacDonald biography includes all the results we got during a very successful Betty MacDonald fan club research which started in 1983.

You'll be able to find unique Betty MacDonald treasures in our Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald biography includes for example interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.

We got many letters by Betty MacDonald and other family members even very important original ones.


Our goal is to publish a Betty MacDonald biography that shows all the details of Betty MacDonald's life and work but also to present her fascinating siblings.

Dear Betty MacDonald fan club fans let us know please what you are interested most in a future Betty MacDonald biography.  

Do you prefer an e-book or a so called real book?
 
Vita Magica by Wolfgang Hampel is really fascinating and very interesting.



Wolfgang Hampel and Friends of Vita Magica visited Minister of Science of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer in Stuttgart.

They visited Landtag and had a great time there.
 

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.



 


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


You'll be able to read more info during January.

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.







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.

 


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.


"I am pleased that our check and balance system is working in this country," Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "It shows that the courts are going to be there when President Trump uses his power and exceeds his constitutional authority. I think that is an important message that our constitutional system will work."
But the President's allies quickly moved to contain the damage and to frame the terms of the political and legal fight ahead.
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton said the order was plainly legal and argued the courts shouldn't second guess the national security decisions of the president.




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

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?



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

Poor World!    Poor America! 

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


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


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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. 





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 Saturday,

Astrid 


Don't miss this very special book, please.


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas




Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club 

Betty MacDonald fan club on Facebook

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 fan Heiderose Teynor 

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



Trump finds the limits of executive power


Check and balance'

"I am pleased that our check and balance system is working in this country," Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "It shows that the courts are going to be there when President Trump uses his power and exceeds his constitutional authority. I think that is an important message that our constitutional system will work."
But the President's allies quickly moved to contain the damage and to frame the terms of the political and legal fight ahead.
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton said the order was plainly legal and argued the courts shouldn't second guess the national security decisions of the president.
"This misguided ruling is from the Ninth Circuit, the most notoriously left-wing court in America and the most reversed court at the Supreme Court," Cotton said. "I'm confident the administration's position will ultimately prevail."
The Supreme Court could still rule in favor of the administration, either on the merits of the case or the issue of standing of foreigners on whose behalf the challenge to Trump's executive order was brought by the state of Washington.
But the possibility of the nation's highest bench being called upon to clear up a growing legal imbroglio will also open a new political fight. The Supreme Court is currently lacking its ninth member owing to the prolonged Washington standoff following the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Should the Court hear the case and split 4-4, the ruling of the 9th Circuit would be affirmed. That fact alone adds heat to the confirmation duel looming over the nomination of Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch.
Republicans now have even more of an incentive to ram the confirmation through the Senate using the "nuclear option" to sidestep a Democratic filibuster. Democrats are even less likely to cooperate with a swift process.
Who is Judge Neil Gorsuch?

The 9th Circuit decision, however, seemed designed to shape the future arguments about the content of the executive order and the administration's attempts to significantly stiffen the government's anti-terrorism campaign.
It went far further in its ruling than the simple question of the stay on the travel ban imposed by a lower court, taking pains to dismantle the administration's assertion that the travel ban was vital to protecting Americans against an influx of foreign terror threats from the seven named nations, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria.
"The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States," the ruling said.
"Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all."

Several options

The stinging ruling presented the President with several options, including an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.
Trump also has the option of going back to the drawing board and coming up with a new way to impose "extreme vetting" restrictions he says are necessary.
But it seems certain he will not take the route since to do so would involve not only admitting the bitter taste of a high stakes legal defeat but repudiating the combative win-at-all-costs attitude that animates his character.
"The President has lost so he is now in a state of limbo. For weeks perhaps even months his order is going to be stayed," Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, told CNN's Erin Burnett. "He claims that this is a threat to the national security of the United States. If he is right, then he has only one option -- rescind the order, start from scratch ... write a new order that will both protect the security of the United States and avoid constitutional challenge."
Dershowitz added: "But it would require him to admit that he is wrong. So now there is a clash between the ego of the President and the national security of the United States."



Media Buzz

Did Neil Gorsuch distance himself from Donald Trump? It's complicated


Now we have the debate over the debate on federal judges, and one judge in particular.
If there’s ever been a time when a Supreme Court nominee criticized—or at least appeared to criticize—the president who picked him, I don’t recall it.
The reported comments by Neil Gorsuch, in private meetings with senators, will only boost his standing, in my view, by casting him as a champion of an independent judiciary.
But the remarks fueled what was already a storm of criticism of President Trump for taking on the Seattle judge who blocked his temporary travel ban. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post all led with Gorsuch’s comments yesterday, and there have been endless segments on CNN and MSNBC.
The president, not one to let a slight go unanswered, used Twitter to hit back at Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat who went public with what Gorsuch had told him.
Trump also got into a Twitter spat with Chris Cuomo over the CNN anchor’s interview with Blumenthal.
My initial reaction when I heard about this was that perhaps Blumenthal was betraying a personal conversation. But then I realized that Gorsuch is savvy enough to know that such remarks would become public. The senator told MSNBC he had Gorsuch’s permission to report on their conversation. And Gorsuch made similar remarks to other senators.
The New York Times said Gorsuch “privately expressed dismay on Wednesday over Mr. Trump’s increasingly aggressive attacks on the judiciary, calling the president’s criticism of independent judges ‘demoralizing’ and ‘disheartening.’”
Washington Post: “President Trump’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary drew denunciation Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who told a senator that the criticism was ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing’ to independent federal courts.”
But Trump told reporters yesterday, “You misrepresented his comments totally. His comments were misrepresented and what you should do is ask Senator Blumenthal about his Vietnam record that didn’t exist after years of saying it did. So ask Senator Blumenthal about his Vietnam record.”
In 2010, the Times disclosed that while candidate Blumenthal had claimed to have served in Vietnam, he actually served in a Marine Reserve unit in Washington.
After Chris Cuomo interviewed Blumenthal on CNN’s “New Day,” Trump tweeted: “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!”
Cuomo responded by playing a clip of him asking Blumenthal about Trump’s criticism that “you misrepresented your military record in the past,” adding: “The president with all due respect is once again off on the facts.” (Blumenthal ducked the question and Cuomo didn’t press the point.)
Bottom line: What did Gorsuch say, and what did he mean by it?
Blumenthal apparently added the word “abhorrent” as his own commentary. But a Gorsuch spokesman confirmed that the judge said he was disheartened, and Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is working with the White House on the nomination, said Gorsuch used the words disheartened and demoralizing.
But Ayotte also said, in a version pressed by Sean Spicer, that Gorsuch was not referring to any particular case and was expressing general concern for the independence of the judiciary.
This is how it’s done, folks.  Neil Gorsuch sent a signal—an unambiguous signal—that he will be an independent justice, even when ruling on cases involving the president who chose him. And he wanted that message out.
But he has the camouflage of saying he was speaking generally rather than specifically criticizing Trump.
Now he gets to do it again, in front of the cameras, at his confirmation hearing.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of "MediaBuzz" (Sundays 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz. 









Trump's Supreme Court pick dispirited by president's tweets


By Lawrence Hurley and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

 
Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday described as "demoralizing" and "disheartening" the U.S. president's Twitter attacks on a judge who suspended Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, a spokesman for Gorsuch said.Gorsuch's comments came as a federal appeals court in San Francisco was expected to decide in coming days on the narrow question of whether U.S. District Judge James Robart acted properly in temporarily halting enforcement of Trump's ban.
A Republican strategist hired by the White House to help guide Gorsuch's nomination through the U.S. Senate said that Gorsuch, himself an appeals court judge, used those words when he met with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Trump, who took office on Jan. 20, took to Twitter over the weekend to condemn the Friday night order by Robart that placed on hold the president's Jan. 27 temporary travel ban on people from the seven countries and all refugees.
Trump called Robart a "so-called judge" whose "ridiculous" opinion "essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country." Trump's administration appealed Robart's ruling to a three-judge federal appeals panel, which heard oral arguments on Tuesday.
Presidents are usually hesitant to weigh in on judicial matters out of respect for the U.S. Constitution, which ensures a separation of powers among the president's executive branch, Congress and the judiciary.
The Republican-led Senate on Wednesday confirmed immigration hardliner Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general despite strong Democratic opposition.
Trump says his executive order aims to head off attacks by Islamist militants. The order, the most divisive act of Trump's young presidency, sparked protests and chaos at U.S. and overseas airports. Critics said the ban unfairly targeted people for their religion.
"I don't ever want to call a court biased," Trump told hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs from major cities at a meeting in a Washington hotel on Wednesday. "So I won't call it biased. And we haven't had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political."

Trump nominated Gorsuch on Jan. 31 to succeed conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on the nine-member Supreme Court. Scalia died a year ago this month.
Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee that will hold a confirmation hearing on Gorsuch, said the nominee had a responsibility to reassure Americans that he would be an open-minded and independent jurist by going public with his concerns about Trump.
PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
The appeals court decision on whether to reinstate the ban, will be just a first step in a fast-moving case.
The courts will ultimately have to address questions about the extent of the president's power on matters of immigration and national security. Traditionally, judges have been extremely cautious about stepping on the executive branch’s authority in such matters, legal experts say, although some note that the implementation of Trump's order presents unique issues.
Trump's order barred travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days, except those from civil war-torn Syria, who are subject to an indefinite ban.
Also at issue is whether the order violates a provision of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits laws favoring one religion over another, along with relevant discrimination laws.
PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES
Trump, a Republican, has made extensive use of presidential directives that bypass Congress and has appeared to be taken aback by legal challenges to his travel order.
He praised a federal judge in Boston who earlier ruled in his favor on the travel ban as a "highly respected" jurist whose findings were "perfect."
Last year, Trump accused Indiana-born U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of bias in overseeing a lawsuit against one of Trump's businesses, Trump University, because of his Mexican heritage.
Democrats and other critics have called Trump's comments toward the judiciary an attack on a core principle of American democracy: that the courts are independent and uphold the rule of law.
At the meeting with law enforcement officials, Trump read from the law he cited to justify the travel ban, quoting it in fragments and sprinkling in bits of interpretation. He said the law clearly allowed a president to suspend entry of any class of people if he determined them to be a detriment to national security.
The matter is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is ideologically split with four liberal justices and four conservatives pending Senate action on Trump's nomination of Gorsuch, a conservative jurist.
U.S. State Department figures showed that 480 refugees had been admitted to the United States since Robart's order went into effect, including 168 on Wednesday. Of those admitted, 198 were from war-torn Syria.
(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, David Shepardson and Richard Cowan in Washington; Writing by Will Dunham, Frances Kerry and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Howard Goller and Peter Cooney)

Asia Pacific

Donald Trump’s Tweets About a Judge Find a Critic in an Unlikely Place: China

点击查看本文中文版
















 
A protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington last month against President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times
HONG KONG — President Trump’s public criticism of a federal judge who blocked his immigration order was condemned across the political spectrum as an assault on judicial independence. Now the president is being taken to task from an unexpected place: China.
Judge He Fan of the Supreme People’s Court of China published a scathing blog post about Mr. Trump’s reaction to Judge James L. Robart’s recent ruling blocking key parts of his executive order that barred visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Judge He said that Mr. Trump had breached the principle of an independent judiciary, and that people who attacked judges were “public enemies of the law.”
“Even if you control the armed forces and have nuclear weapons,” Judge He wrote in the post, published on Sunday, “your dignity has been swept away and you are no different than a villain.”
The notion of a Chinese jurist remarking on the danger he believes Mr. Trump poses to the separation of powers may seem, at first blush, to smack of hypocrisy. In China, courts are firmly under the command of the Communist Party. Last month, the chief justice publicly condemned the notion of judicial independence, warning judges not to fall into the “trap” of “Western” ideology.
But the harsh public face presented last month by the chief justice, Zhou Qiang, obscures what is happening on his watch. Judges like Mr. He admire the American legal system and study it to improve China’s rules, such as how to handle plea bargains or what to do with evidence obtained illegally, said Susan Finder, an American scholar who publishes the Supreme People’s Court Monitor, a blog that focuses on China’s top court.

Ms. Finder said that Judge He was an avowed “Scotus junkie” who translates books about the Supreme Court of the United States and works on the court’s judicial reform committee. Works that have been translated by Judge He include “Making Our Democracy Work,” by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and “Becoming Justice Blackmun,” by Linda Greenhouse, about former Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

“The Supreme People’s Court looks more at the U.S. than you would ever think,” said Ms. Finder, who is a scholar at the School of Transnational Law at Peking University’s campus in the southern city of Shenzhen. “They are looking to try to improve the prestige of the Chinese judiciary.”
Unlike the United States Supreme Court, which has nine justices, China’s highest court has hundreds of judges, including those, like Judge He, whose main focus is outside the courtroom.
In his post, which includes an image of a caustic Twitter post in which Mr. Trump referred to the “so-called judge” who blocked his immigration order, Judge He also takes aim at violence against judicial officials in China, bringing up a case of the killing of a retired jurist in the southern region of Guangxi.

In doing so, Judge He, who could not be reached for comment, may be using Mr. Trump’s assault on the independence of America’s judiciary to safely and indirectly level some criticism against China’s own system.
“That could be part of the message,” said Ms. Finder, who has known Judge He for about three years and has written for his blog.




















White House releases list of 78 attacks after Donald Trump accuses media of 'under reporting' terrorist incidents




















The White House released a list of 78 terror attacks around the world on Monday, saying  most of them did not get sufficient attention from the media.

The release came after  President Donald Trump appeared to accuse the media of covering up terrorist attacks by not reporting them.


"You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it's happening," the president told military commanders at Central Command.
 

"It’s gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
Mr Trump offered no evidence for the claim.


Sean Spicer, Mr Trump's spokesman, later said the president was accusing the media of "under reporting" rather than not reporting terrorist attacks.
Before issuing the list, he said: "There’s several instances. There’s a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they've gotten the coverage it deserved.
"Protest gets blown out of the water and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn't necessarily get the same coverage."
The list includes incidents like a truck massacre in Nice that killed dozens and received widespread attention, as well as less high-profile incidents in which nobody was killed.
One of the listed incidents was the fatal stabbing of British tourist Mia Ayliffe-Chung in Australia in August 2016, which Queensland Police specifically determined to be a murder case rather than a terrorist attack.

Show more

"Networks are not devoting to each of them the same level of coverage they once did," a White House official said. "This cannot be allowed to become the 'new normal.'"
It was Mr Trump's latest salvo against the news media, a favorite target for derision that he says broadly underestimated his chances during the presidential campaign. He has kept up the attacks since his January 20 inauguration.



Al Tompkins at The Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school, dismissed Mr Trump's criticism.
"To suggest that journalists have some reason not to report ISIS attacks is just outlandish," Mr Tompkins said, using an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. 
Mr Trump made the accusations while addressing a gathering of troops in Florida during his first visit to the Central Command headquarters.
The president said he wanted to allow into the United States people who "want to love our country," as he defended his controversial travel ban.
Mr Trump reaffirmed his support for Nato before military leaders and troops, and laced his speech with references to homeland security. But he did not directly mention the travel ban case.


The president told the troops and commanders that "we need strong programmes" so that "people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in" and those who "want to destroy us and destroy our country" are kept out.
He continued: "Freedom, security and justice will prevail.
"We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country. We're not going to allow it."





'Trump' replaced with 'Steve Bannon' in web browser extension 


A new Google Chrome extension replaces the word "Trump" with "Steve Bannon" as part of an effort to highlight the influence that the White House chief strategist has on the president, writes Chris Graham.
American Bridge, a Democrat-aligned super PAC, produced the internet browser extension to show the "power" Donald Trump has ceded to his controversial right hand man. 






















“It also comes with a warning: Anyone who thought the news about the Donald Trump administration was terrifying should exercise extreme caution when reading about the reckless and bigoted policies ordered by President Bannon,” American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah told Business Insider.
Mr Trump has become increasingly frustrated over reports suggesting Mr Bannon is the power behind the throne, with the New York Times bearing the brunt of many of his attacks. 
Read the full article here


Politics

Where Trump’s Travel Ban Stands











 
An Iraqi family from Woodbridge, Va., welcomed their grandmother at Dulles International Airport on Sunday. Credit Astrid Riecken/European Pressphoto Agency
WASHINGTON — A fast-moving legal fight over President Trump’s targeted travel ban reached the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, late Saturday. Here is a look at where things stand.

What does the Trump administration want?

Lawyers for the federal government asked the appeals court to stay a temporary restraining order issued Friday by Judge James Robart of the Federal District Court in Seattle. Judge Robart was appointed by President George W. Bush.









Fact Check: Trump’s Immigration Order



President Trump blocked travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, and cut refugee admissions by more than half. We checked the facts.

By DAVE HORN, MEG FELLING and DAPHNE RUSTOW on Publish Date February 3, 2017. Photo by Al Drago/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »


Acting on a request from two states, Washington and Minnesota, Judge Robart temporarily banned the administration from enforcing two parts of Mr. Trump’s order: its 90-day suspension of entry into the United States of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and its limits on accepting refugees, including “any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities.”
Judge Robart’s order allowed people from the seven countries who had been authorized to travel, along with vetted refugees from all nations, to enter the country.

What does the administration argue?

In its brief, the administration said that Judge Robart had “improperly second-guessed the president’s national security determinations.” The brief said the president had vast power over immigration under the Constitution and federal law.

What did the appeals court do?

The court declined to issue an immediate administrative stay, but it said it would consider the federal government’s emergency motion for a stay after receiving more briefs. The court set a very fast briefing schedule, asking the states to respond by midnight Sunday Pacific time, with the federal government to file a second brief by 3 p.m. on Monday.

How fast will the appeals court act?

There is every indication that the court will act promptly.

Who are the appeals court judges?

The appeals court’s order was issued by Judge William C. Canby Jr., who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, and Judge Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama. They are two of the three Ninth Circuit judges designated to hear motions in February. The third, Judge Richard R. Clifton, was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Will the appeals court hear oral arguments?

Motions for stays are typically decided based on paper filings.

Will the case reach the Supreme Court?

Almost certainly. The losing side will very likely ask the justices to review the appeals court’s ruling on the emergency stay.
The ultimate decision on whether the executive order is lawful will not come quickly. That means people seeking to travel or settle here may be whipsawed until the case is finally resolved.



Homeland Security suspends actions associated with Trump's travel ban; 'standard policy' now in effect




















Behnam Partopour, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student from Iran, is greeted by friends at Logan Airport after he cleared U.S. customs and immigration on an F1 student visa in Boston, Massachusetts. Partopour was originally turned away from a flight to the U.S. following President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Behnam Partopour, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student from Iran, is greeted by friends at Logan Airport after he cleared U.S. customs and immigration on an F1 student visa in Boston, Massachusetts. Partopour was originally turned away from a flight to the U.S. following President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban.

A Seattle federal judge on Friday put a nationwide block on U.S. President Donald Trump's week-old executive order that had temporarily barred refugees and nationals from seven countries from entering the United States.
The judge's temporary restraining order represents a major setback for Trump's action, though the White House said late Friday that it believed the ban to be "lawful and appropriate" and that the U.S. Department of Justice would file an emergency appeal.
As a result of the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security suspended its enforcement of the ban, announcing on Saturday that "standard policy and procedures" were now in effect.
"In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," DHS said in a statement.
"DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure," it stated, adding that the Justice Department would file an emergency stay to "defend the president's executive order, which is lawful and appropriate."
The move came on the heels of the State Department announcing it was reversing the revocation of visas that left countless travelers stranded at airports last weekend.
"Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid," the department said in a statement.
Early Saturday morning, Trump criticised the ruling as "ridiculous" and warned of big trouble if a country could not control its borders.
Still, just hours after the ruling, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told airlines they could board travelers who had been affected by the ban. Trump's Jan. 27 order caused chaos at airports across the United States last week as some citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were denied entry. Virtually all refugees were also barred, upending the lives of thousands of people who had spent years seeking asylum in the
U.S.

The State Department said Friday that almost 60,000 visas were suspended in the wake of Trump's order; it was not clear Friday night whether that suspension was automatically revoked or what travelers with such visas might confront at U.S. airports.
While a number of lawsuits have been filed over Trump's action, the Washington state lawsuit was the first to test the broad constitutionality of the executive order. Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, explicitly made his ruling apply across the country, while other judges facing similar cases have so far issued orders concerning only specific individuals.
The challenge in Seattle was brought by the state of Washington and later joined by the state of Minnesota. The judge ruled that the states have legal standing to sue, which could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration.
Washington's case was based on claims that the state had suffered harm from the travel ban, for example students and faculty at state-funded universities being stranded overseas. Amazon.com and Expedia, both based in Washington state, had supported the lawsuit, asserting that the travel restrictions harmed their businesses.
Tech companies, which rely on talent from around the world, have been increasingly outspoken in their opposition to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies.
Judge Robart probed a Justice Department lawyer on what he called the "litany of harms" suffered by Washington state's universities, and also questioned the administration's use of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States as a justification for the ban.
Robart said no attacks had been carried out on U.S. soil by individuals from the seven countries affected by the travel ban since that assault. For Trump's order to be constitutional, Robart said, it had to be "based in fact, as opposed to fiction."

Outrageous order

The White House said it would file an appeal as soon as possible.
"At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the president, which we believe is lawful and appropriate," the White House said in a statement.
"The president's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people."
Washington Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the decision as a victory for the state, adding: "No person - not even the president - is above the law."
The judge's decision was welcomed by groups protesting the ban.
"This order demonstrates that federal judges throughout the country are seeing the serious constitutional problems with this order," said Nicholas Espiritu, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.
Eric Ferrero, Amnesty International USA spokesman, lauded the short-term relief provided by the order but added: "Congress must step in and block this unlawful ban for good."
But the fluid legal situation was illustrated by the fact that Robart's ruling came just hours after a federal judge in Boston declined to extend a temporary restraining order allowing some immigrants into the United States from countries affected by Trump's three-month ban.
A Reuters poll earlier this week indicated that the immigration ban has popular support, with 49 percent of Americans agreeing with the order and 41 percent disagreeing. Some 53 percent of Democrats said they "strongly disagree" with Trump's action while 51 percent of Republicans said they "strongly agree."
At least one company, the ride-hailing giant Uber, was moving quickly Friday night to take advantage of the ruling.
CEO Travis Kalanick, who quit Trump's business advisory council this week in the face of a fierce backlash from Uber customers and the company's many immigrant drivers, said on Twitter: "We have a team of in-house attorneys who've been working night & day to get U.S. resident drivers & stranded families back into country.
"I just chatted with our head of litigation Angela, who's buying a whole bunch of airline tickets ASAP!! #homecoming #fingerscrossed"


Four states in court 


The decision in Washington state came at the end of a day of furious legal activity around the country over the immigration ban. The Trump administration has justified its actions on national security grounds, but opponents have labeled it an unconstitutional order targeting people based on religious beliefs.
In Boston, U.S. District Judge Nathan Gorton expressed skepticism during oral arguments about a civil rights group's claim that Trump's order represented religious discrimination, before declining to extend the restraining order.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, ordered the federal government to give the state a list by Thursday of "all persons who have been denied entry to or removed from the United States."
The state of Hawaii on Friday also filed a lawsuit alleging that the order is unconstitutional and asking the court to block the order across the country.
Phillip Tutt contributed to this article.

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we share a very special gift by beloved and very popular Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor member Letizia Mancino.


We know you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Thanks a Million, dear Letizia Mancino.


You are an outstanding writer and artist.

We are so proud and happy to have you with us.

Letizia writes: One should not underestimate Wolfgang Hampel’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty MacDonald’s friends.

We agree. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang Hampel for doing this. You founded Betty MacDonald Fan Club with four members.

Now we have members in 40 countries around the world. A dream came true.

Mary Holmes did an excellent job in translating this great story. 


Thank you so much dear Mary Holmes. 


We are really very grateful.

All the best to Letizia, Wolfgang and Mary and to all Betty MacDonald Fan Club fans from all over the world!

Lenard 






Following in Betty’s footsteps in Seattle:

or some small talk with Betty

Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
translated by Mary Holmes

We were going to Canada in the summer. “When we are in Edmonton”, I said to Christoph Cremer, “let’s make a quick trip to Seattle”. And that’s how it happened. At Edmonton Airport we climbed into a plane and two hours later we landed in the city where Betty had lived. I was so happy to be in Seattle at last and to be able to trace Betty’s tracks!

Wolfgang Hampel had told Betty’s friends about our arrival.
They were happy to plan a small marathon through the town and it’s surroundings with us. We only had a few days free. One should not underestimate Wolfgang’s talent in speedily mobilizing Betty’s friends, even though it was holiday time. E-mails flew backwards and forwards between Heidelberg and Seattle, and soon a well prepared itinerary was ready for us. Shortly before my departure Wolfgang handed me several parcels, presents for Betty MacDonald's friends. I rushed to pack the heavy gifts in my luggage but because of the extra weight had to throw out a pair of pajamas!

After we had landed we took a taxi to the Hotel in downtown Seattle. I was so curious to see everything. I turned my head in all directions like one of the hungry hens from Betty’s farm searching for food! Fortunately it was quite a short journey otherwise I would have lost my head like a loose screw!
Our hotel room was on the 22nd floor and looked directly out onto the 16-lane highway. There might have been even more than 16 but it made me too giddy to count! It was like a glimpse of hell! “And is this Seattle?” I asked myself. I was horrified! The cars racing by were enough to drive one mad. The traffic roared by day and night.
We immediately contacted Betty MacDonald's friends and let them know we had arrived and they confirmed the times when we should see them.

On the next morning I planned my first excursion tracing Betty’s tracks. I spread out the map of Seattle. “Oh dear” I realized “the Olympic Peninsula is much too far away for me to get there.”
Betty nodded to me! “Very difficult, Letizia, without a car.”

“But I so much wanted to see your chicken farm”

“My chickens are no longer there and you can admire the mountains from a distance”

But I wanted to go there. I left the hotel and walked to the waterfront where the State Ferry terminal is. Mamma mia, the streets in Seattle are so steep! I couldn’t prevent my feet from running down the hill. Why hadn’t I asked for brakes to be fixed on my shoes? I looked at the drivers. How incredibly good they must be to accelerate away from the red traffic lights. The people were walking uphill towards me as briskly as agile salmon. Good heavens, these Americans! I tried to keep my balance. The force of gravity is relentless. I grasped hold of objects where I could and staggered down.
In Canada a friend had warned me that in Seattle I would see a lot of people with crutches.

Betty laughed. “ It’s not surprising, Letizia, walking salmon don’t fall directly into the soft mouth of a bear!”
“ Betty, stop making these gruesome remarks. We are not in Firlands!”

I went further. Like a small deranged ant at the foot of a palace monster I came to a tunnel. The noise was unbearable. On the motorway, “The Alaskan Way Viaduct”, cars, busses and trucks were driving at the speed of light right over my head. They puffed out their poisonous gas into the open balconies and cultivated terraces of the luxurious sky- scrapers without a thought in the world. America! You are crazy!
“Betty, are all people in Seattle deaf? Or is it perhaps a privilege for wealthy people to be able to enjoy having cars so near to their eyes and noses to save them from boredom?”

“When the fog democratically allows everything to disappear into nothing, it makes a bit of a change, Letizia”

“ Your irony is incorrigible, Betty, but tell me, Seattle is meant to be a beautiful city, But where?”

I had at last reached the State Ferry terminal.

“No Madam, the ferry for Vashon Island doesn’t start from here,” one of the men in the ticket office tells me. ”Take a buss and go to the ferry terminal in West Seattle.”
Betty explained to me “The island lies in Puget Sound and not in Elliott Bay! It is opposite the airport. You must have seen it when you were landing!”
“Betty, when I am landing I shut my eyes and pray!”

It’s time for lunch. The weather is beautiful and warm. Who said to me that it always rains here?
“Sure to be some envious man who wanted to frighten you away from coming to Seattle. The city is really beautiful, you’ll see. Stay by the waterfront, choose the best restaurant with a view of Elliott Bay and enjoy it.”
“Thank you Betty!”

I find a table on the terrace of “Elliott’s Oyster House”. The view of the island is wonderful. It lies quietly in the sun like a green fleecy cushion on the blue water.
Betty plays with my words:
“Vashon Island is a big cushion, even bigger than Bainbridge which you see in front of your eyes, Letizia. The islands look similar. They have well kept houses and beautiful gardens”.

I relax during this introduction, “Bainbridge” you are Vashon Island, and order a mineral water.

“At one time the hotel belonging to the parents of Monica Sone stood on the waterfront.”
“Oh, of your friend Kimi!” Unfortunately I forget to ask Betty exactly where it was.

My mind wanders and I think of my mountain hike back to the hotel! “Why is there no donkey for tourists?” Betty laughs:

“I’m sure you can walk back to the hotel. “Letizia can do everything.””

“Yes, Betty, I am my own donkey!”

But I don’t remember that San Francisco is so steep. It doesn’t matter, I sit and wait. The waiter comes and brings me the menu. I almost fall off my chair!
“ What, you have geoduck on the menu! I have to try it” (I confess I hate the look of geoduck meat. Betty’s recipe with the pieces made me feel quite sick – I must try Betty’s favourite dish!)
“Proof that you love me!” said Betty enthusiastically “ Isn’t the way to the heart through the stomach?”

I order the geoduck. The waiter looks at me. He would have liked to recommend oysters.
“Geoduck no good for you!”
Had he perhaps read my deepest thoughts? Fate! Then no geoduck. “No good for me.”

“Neither geoduck nor tuberculosis in Seattle” whispered Betty in my ear!
“Oh Betty, my best friend, you take such good care of me!”

I order salmon with salad.

“Which salmon? Those that swim in water or those that run through Seattle?”

“Betty, I believe you want me to have a taste of your black humour.”

“Enjoy it then, Letizia.”

During lunch we talked about tuberculosis, and that quite spoilt our appetite.

“Have you read my book “The Plague and I”?”

“Oh Betty, I’ve started to read it twice but both times I felt so sad I had to stop again!”

“But why?” asked Betty “Nearly everybody has tuberculosis! I recovered very quickly and put on 20 pounds! There was no talk of me wasting away! What did you think of my jokes in the book?”

“Those would have been a good reason for choosing another sanitorium. I would have been afraid of becoming a victim of your humour! You would have certainly given me a nickname! You always thought up such amusing names!” Betty laughed.

“You’re right. I would have called you “Roman nose”. I would have said to Urbi and Orbi “ Early this morning “Roman nose” was brought here. She speaks broken English, doesn’t eat geoduck but she does love cats.”

“Oh Betty, I would have felt so ashamed to cough. To cough in your presence, how embarrassing! You would have talked about how I coughed, how many coughs!”

“It depends on that “how”, Letizia!”

“Please, leave Goethe quotations out of it. You have certainly learnt from the Indians how to differentiate between noises. It’s incredible how you can distinguish between so many sorts of cough! At least 10!”

“So few?”

”And also your descriptions of the patients and the nurses were pitiless. An artistic revenge! The smallest pimple on their face didn’t escape your notice! Amazing.”

“ I was also pitiless to myself. Don’t forget my irony against myself!”

Betty was silent. She was thinking about Kimi, the “Princess” from Japan! No, she had only written good things about her best friend, Monica Sone, in her book “The Plague and I”. A deep friendship had started in the hospital. The pearl that developed from the illness.
“Isn’t it wonderful, Betty, that an unknown seed can make its way into a mollusk in the sea and develop into a beautiful jewel?” Betty is paying attention.

“Betty, the friendship between you and Monica reminds me of Goethe’s poem “Gingo-Biloba”. You must know it?” Betty nods and I begin to recite it:


The leaf of this Eastern tree
Which has been entrusted to my garden
Offers a feast of secret significance,
For the edification of the initiate.

Is it one living thing.
That has become divided within itself?
Are these two who have chosen each other,
So that we know them as one?

The friendship with Monica is like the wonderful gingo-biloba leaf, the tree from the east. Betty was touched. There was a deep feeling of trust between us.
“Our friendship never broke up, partly because she was in distress, endangered by the deadly illness. We understood and supplemented each other. We were like one lung with two lobes, one from the east and one from the west!”
“A beautiful picture, Betty. You were like two red gingo-biloba leaves!”

Betty was sad and said ” Monica, although Japanese, before she really knew me felt she was also an American. But she was interned in America, Letizia, during the second world war. Isn’t that terrible?”

“Betty, I never knew her personally. I have only seen her on a video, but what dignity in her face, and she speaks and moves so gracefully!”

“Fate could not change her”

“Yes, Betty, like the gingo-biloba tree in Hiroshima. It was the only tree that blossomed again after the atom bomb!”

The bill came and I paid at once. In America one is urged away from the table when one has finished eating. If one wants to go on chatting one has to order something else.
“That’s why all those people gossiping at the tables are so fat!” Betty remarks. “Haven’t you seen how many massively obese people walk around in the streets of America. Like dustbins that have never been emptied!” With this typically unsentimental remark Betty ended our conversation.

Ciao! I so enjoyed the talk; the humour, the irony and the empathy. I waved to her and now I too felt like moving! I take a lovely walk along the waterfront.

Now I am back in Heidelberg and when I think about how Betty’s “Princessin” left this world on September 5th and that in August I was speaking about her with Betty in Seattle I feel very sad. The readers who knew her well (we feel that every author and hero of a book is nearer to us than our fleeting neighbours next door) yes we, who thought of her as immortal, cannot believe that even she would die after 92 years. How unforeseen and unexpected that her death should come four days after her birthday on September 1th. On September 5th I was on my way to Turkey, once again in seventh heaven, looking back on the unforgettable days in Seattle. I was flying from west to east towards the rising sun.



Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham

 




 









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