Monday, February 22, 2016

Betty MacDonald, Monica Sone and smiling courage

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone ( Kimi in Betty MacDonald's The Plague and I )  is the author of Nisei Daughter. 

Monica Sone (September 1, 1919 – September 5, 2011), born Kazuko Itoi, was a Japanese American writer, best known for her 1953 autobiographical memoir Nisei Daughter, which tells of the Japanese American experience in Seattle during the 1920s and 1930s, and in the World War II internment camps and which is an important text in Asian American and Women's Studies courses.  more from Wikipedia

Monica Sone and her family had run a hotel in Seattle before Executive Order 9066 sent all West Coast Japanese Americans into exile.

With charm, humor, and deep understanding, a Japanese American woman tells how it was to grow up on Seattle's waterfront in the 1930s and to be subjected to "relocation" dring World War II. Along with some 120,000 other persons of Japanese ancestry-77,000 of whom were U.S. citizens-she and her family were uprooted from their home and imprisoned in a camp. 

In this book, first published in 1953, she provides a unique personal account of these experiences.

"Monica Sone's account of life in the relocation camps is both fair and unsparing. It is also deeply touching, and occasionally hilarious."-New York Herald Tribune

"The deepest impression that this unaffected, honest little story made on me was of smiling courage."-San Francisco Chronicle

Wolfgang Hampel, Monica Sone's friend -  author of Betty MacDonald biography and winner of first Betty MacDonald Memorial Award - wrote:

Copyright 2011 by Wolfgang Hampel

Dearest Monica,

I was rereading your book Nisei Daughter and I have to tell you that I agree with your many international fans. I wished I could read many more books written by great author and unique personality Monica Sone.

I also agree with the New York Herald Tribune review of Nisei Daughter: Monica Sone's account of life in the relocation camps is both fair and unsparing. It is also deeply touching, and occasionally hilarious.

Yes, that's it! Deeply touching, also occassionally hilarious! When I'm reading your great book ( Nisei Daughter belong to the VERY few books I'm reading over and over again ) I'm really deeply touched. I'm with you and your great family. I adore your outstanding book and even much more I adore your unique personality. You are a genius but very human and warm with a deep understanding and a golden heart.

The first time I heard your very warm voice I was lost. To me it's the most beautiful voice in the whole world. Voice and personality fit together in just a perfect way.

Thanks a million for your friendship.

Although we are far away you and your family are always in our thoughts. 

All our love,


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Monica Sone and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'. 

Wolfgang Hampel's next Vita Magica guest is a famous politician.
Wolfgang Hampel's stories and satirical poems will be published in Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter March and future newsletters.

We hope Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is well.

We can imagine how very busy our darling is because of many very important politicial problems all over the world. 

Don't miss new breakfast with Brad and Nick, please.

This video of Mount Rainier National Park is really magical. 

Take care,



Vita Magica

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - 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 organizer Linde Lund 

POLITICO Brussels Playbook, presented by Google: Boris or David? — Merkel looks into benefit ban — TTIP talks resume

By Florian Eder | Tips to | To read on your desktop click here
SYRIA TERROR: More than 140 died yesterday in Homs and Damascus, with ISIL claiming responsibility for bomb attacks just as a ceasefire between the regime and the opposition appeared to become reality. A telephone call between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama is expected to take place in the coming days, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
ET TU, BRUTE? Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and most influential politician on the In-Out referendum question after the prime minister according to a recent poll, joined the Out campaign yesterday: “After a great deal of heartache … I will be advocating vote ‘Leave,’” he said. It’ll be Johnson or David Cameron as top Tory dog after June 23. The Sun calls Johnson’s decision a “blond bombshell.” Robert Colvile previews the battle of the Old Etonians:
Boris Johnson, two weeks ago: “In favour of staying, it is in Britain’s geo-strategic interests to be pretty intimately engaged in the doings of a continent that has a grim 20th-century history, and whose agonies have caused millions of Britons to lose their lives … [Leaving] would dismay some of our closest friends, not least the eastern Europeans for whom the EU has been a force for good: stability, openness, and prosperity.”
Who got into Number 10 faster, Boris or the Camerons’ cat? Yes, we at POLITICO do sometimes care about cat videos:
U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May stays in, which leads to some questions about who’ll be best placed to succeed Cameron if things go wrong. Other cabinet ministers opt for Out, showing that Cameron’s power may not be as robust in London as the self-confidence he showed in Brussels.
The City of London got exactly what it wanted from the deal in Brussels, writes Francesco Guerrera: “No, they didn’t get the mythical ‘carve-out’ from European rules that the City’s critics in Paris and Berlin, with some help from the Belgians, had suggested, but clear rules of engagement on financial matters between members of the eurozone and those on the outside.”
GOOD MORNING and welcome to Playbook’s two-week interregnum. Ryan is taking a well-deserved break, so let me guide you through your Monday in Brussels and beyond. I’m Florian Eder, POLITICO’s Managing Editor for Expansion. You can reach me at for any complaints or other issues. I can be found tweeting at @florianeder. Some of my other colleagues will also be filling in for Ryan later this week.
**A message from Google: With Friends of Europe, we’re inviting dozens of SMEs to Brussels to discuss digital skills on Feb 24. Adrian Simpson said “I do” to AdWords, the perfect match which helped his wedding speechwriting business go global:**
WHAT DOES THE UK DEAL MEAN FOR EUROPE? Angela Merkel made it clear it was a favor to Cameron that she spent two days of her life negotiating a deal that wasn’t as important for anyone as it was for the British prime minister: “I think we gave David Cameron a package at hand that allows him to campaign for the U.K. to remain,” Merkel said Friday night. Read: Over to you, David, it’s your job now.
Germany’s Die Zeit, a center-left publication, argues: “While Aleppo is being bombed, David Cameron forces the EU to deal with the British social welfare laws. His battle is mistimed… The British prime minister is not the only one in the EU questioning the European community. But very rarely has a head of state expressed his egoism as openly as Cameron. If he sets an example for others, the EU will not become stronger but much, much weaker.”
Now everyone wants into the act, unsurprisingly: France’s National Front immediately promised a “Franxit,” should it ever come to power. Le Figaro:
Will the eurozone integrate further? “David Cameron has never held up further steps of integration,” Merkel said, meaning that Franco-German debates on why, when and how to integrate further still remain. In case you’re keeping track, here’s a handy scorecard of what Cameron asked for and what he got:
Blood, sweat and fears: Paul Dallison looks at how the fight over the British deal unfolded:
Will others use the social benefit ban? The Germans, yes: Merkel announced her government would look into capping child benefits. The idea got momentum in the German debate over the weekend, with senior figures from Merkel’s coalition partners SPD and CSU backing the chancellor.
EU, compose yourself! Tim King sees evidence from the Brexit discussions that the EU is “emotionally dysfunctional:”
The changed EU-U.K. relationship: “Although the staged brinkmanship of the marathon two-day summit produced little in the way of technical changes to Britain’s relationship with the EU — ‘the sweat mattered more than the substance,’ in the words of one French diplomat — the drama itself will have a long-lasting impact both on Britain and the EU,” writes Pierre Briançon.
EUCO snippets, ICYMI: Summit highlights included a breakfast that became brunch, then lunch, then an undefined “meal,” and was eventually served around 9:30 pm on Friday. Craig Winneker followed the morphing menu: But it was not only the British issue that held up proceedings; once the summit was already delayed, Donald Tusk granted French President François Hollande time to honor a commitment he had previously made for a two-hour French radio interview.
While some leaders passed the time by talking to journalists, others decided to drop into the real world: Angela Merkel was not the only leader to visit the celebrated Maison Antoine frites stand during a break in the proceedings. Mariano Rajoy strolled down to Place Jourdan, too, and like a true local he took his fries to a bar to have a beer with aides, well-placed sources say. Others, a source from the leaders’ floor told me, gathered around a TV screen and watched a Louis de Funès movie.
Reform! In! France! It’s the labor market we’re talking about, and Hollande, speaking from a plane to Polynesia, said he wished he could secure a majority for a modernization of the labor law in the Assemblée.
Isn’t it ironic? A European Council meeting is penciled in to EU leaders’ agendas for Thursday, June 23.
Russia willing to help: The Central Election Commission declared itself ready to travel to the U.K. to monitor the referendum (if invited):
MEANWHILE, ON MIGRATION — TURKEY SUMMIT: A special European Council will be held on March 6, said European Parliament President Martin Schulz yesterday. Expect two weeks of frenetic EU and foreign politics by the Commission and by Germany. Merkel needs to achieve three tasks by the extra summit or, at the latest, by March 13 when her party has to face elections in three German states: Secure a planned deal with Turkey to get refugee numbers down; increase pressure on the Balkans, from Greece through Macedonia to Austria, to stop the policy of waving through migrants; and eventually find a few friends willing to take in Syrian refugees directly from Syria, even if only a few thousand. EPP group chairman Manfred Weber proposed that every EU country should take in “around 1,000 refugees from Aleppo.”
But will anybody agree to it? Schulz said on German television ZDF Sunday evening that Hungary would not agree to take in a contingent of refugees, while Portugal and, maybe, Spain would. EPP sources had suggested on Thursday that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán opened up to that possibility during a closed-door meeting of EPP leaders ahead of the summit — “if and only if,” as one source said, the total number of irregular migrants coming into the EU would go down.
GERMANS IN TOWN: Some of Merkel’s harshest critics from her own camp are in Brussels today when the heads of CDU groups in German state parliaments pay a visit to EU institutions. On Sunday, they met with their EP counterparts Herbert Reul and Angelika Niebler as well as EPP group chairman Manfred Weber. One participant said there were vivid debates on whether Germany needed to take its own measures at its borders, rather than trying to secure the EU’s external borders. Which is somehow not surprising given the numerous ideas by CDU spitzenkandidaten like Julia Klöckner that come out of regional campaigns on a daily basis.
The failing state of Saxony. A mob of around 100, some equipped with pitchforks, protested two dozen refugees arriving in a bus in the little village of Clausnitz. Police reacted forcefully… against the refugees, who were dragged out of the bus and into the accommodation, which is run by a member of the far-right party AfD. Police promised they would investigate… a teenage boy on the bus who they suspect showed the middle finger to the crowd outside, thereby, surely, contributing to the escalation. Meanwhile in Bautzen, still in the German state of Saxony, people applauded a fire in a future refugee home Saturday, and prevented firefighters from getting to the blaze.
ITALY — WHAT DOES RENZI WANT? Giuliano Ferrara on how Italy’s prime minister has picked a fight with Europe to hold on to power in Rome.
IRELAND — ‘WHINGERS’ READY TO DUMP INCUMBENTS: “Ireland may have the fastest-growing economy in the EU, but the Irish electorate is unlikely to reward the ruling coalition for this dramatic turnaround in fortunes at the polls Friday,” writes Jennifer Duggan.
TTIP — AS TALKS RESUME, COMMISSION TO DISCARD BALLAST: The mechanical engineering industry is concerned about “current considerations of removing the proposed chapter on mechanical engineering from the negotiations” on the EU-U.S. trade deal, their German lobbying association VDMA said in a statement yesterday. It’s a particularly technical chapter, with “different technical regulations at a State or even a local level” in the U.S., VDMA’s Thilo Brodtmann said. The chapter is particularly hard to negotiate, a Commission source said. With time pressure increasing, expect more of the high-hanging fruit to be left alone.
It’s crunch time: “By the end of this round, or shortly thereafter, we anticipate having specific agreement language under discussion in nearly all areas,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative. The aim is to have an almost fully consolidated TTIP text by the end of July, so that negotiations can be closed before the end of the Obama administration, the Commission source said.
12th TTIP round starts today in Brussels. For the first time in more than two years, negotiators will approach the highly controversial chapter that would grant investors the right to sue states over regulations that allegedly damage their investments. The Commission had taken this “ISDS” arbitration mechanism off the negotiation table in January 2014, fearing a growing opposition to it in Europe could sink the whole deal. Now, negotiators will discuss a revised, more transparent and accountable system the EU proposed last year — and the talks will be tough, as the U.S. seems less than enthusiastic about some of the proposed changes. The other tricky issue to be discussed this week and during a next round in early March is public procurement.
UKRAINE: French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is headed to Berlin for a first official visit to his confrère Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Both are traveling to Ukraine later today, after chaos broke out in Kiev last week. Linda Kinstler deplores the West’s lack of attention towards Ukraine: “What is most remarkable, if heartbreaking, about all this is that it was only the news of the failed no-confidence vote in parliament that turned the world’s attention back to Ukraine, and only for a moment at that.”
GOOGLE CEO IN TOWN: Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai will travel to Brussels this week to meet with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the company confirmed Friday to POLITICO. “Pichai will also meet Thursday with Günther Oettinger, the EU’s digital commissioner, and Martin Selmayr,” Carrie Budoff Brown writes.
ALSO IN BRUSSELS TODAY: Mayors from major European cities are meeting Commissioners Marianne Thyssen and Elżbieta Bieńkowska to discuss employment policies.
REASSESSING THE GREEK CRISIS and how it got resolved. Wait a minute — wasn’t there Portugal, wasn’t there Spain, wasn’t there actually trouble with the review of the Greek bailout? Well. The piece in question is a mildly amusing attempt by Barry Eichengreen to say: “I told you so, Mr. Schäuble.”
THIS MAN HAS A POINT. One, at least: My colleagues Sara Stefanini and Kalina Oroschakoff interviewed Brian Ricketts, secretary-general of coal lobby group Euracoal. “I’m talking about pollutant emissions…You work on the most disgusting street in Europe,” and not because there was a coal plant in the neighborhood, he told them, referring to the location of our offices on traffic-choked rue de la Loi.
Thanks to Craig Winneker, Teresa Stiens, Hans von der Burchard, Doug Palmer and Daniel Lippman.
**A message from Google: Getting married is a big commitment. Making a speech on the day can be frankly terrifying. Former TV presenter Adrian Simpson has written hundreds of speeches for best men, grooms and fathers of brides all over the world — from the comfort of his home in the English countryside. In his first six months, he sold 170 speeches, all but three of which sales came via AdWords. “The help has just blown me away — I’m my own agency,” he says. “Google’s given me complete and utter freedom!” We wish them a long and happy future together. To find out more, meet Adrian and his fellow digital success stories at Google and Friends of Europe’s event this week:**