Monday, April 24, 2017

Betty MacDonald and the island and I



onions_danish_1956_paperback - cleaned_FRONT



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.

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during April you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.



That's a beautiful book cover of Betty  MacDonald's Onions in the Stew.

Do you know the language?

The title is ' The island and I '.

Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club  surprise winner.

Good luck!

Have a very nice Monday,

Maurice


you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



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, Betty MacDonald fan club honor members and the truth
















mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT

Pippi, you're the best.  
Hello 'Pussy' it's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking: 



Last Monday, the sun rose in the east, the black-capped chickadee sang its spring mating song and you attacked American journalists in a tweet. This latest one read: “The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!”






Do you have any idea why we feel so ashamed? I do!  
trump-protests-13.jpg

 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
plague_German_1952_hardcover_bookjacket - cleaned_FRONT

The Egg and I Film Illustration























 


Click images for alternate views
Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas
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

Bild könnte enthalten: eine oder mehrere Personen und Personen, die sitzen



Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
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Kein automatischer Alternativtext verfügbar.

Bild könnte enthalten: 1 Person
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QhrEi5J_tZA/TevQmbgMMDI/AAAAAAAAAbk/aNKKQEaaWGg/s1600/bards.jpg



Betty MacDonald fan club fans,



we have the most wonderful Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

Two of them are going to celebrate their birthdays in May.

Could you please tell us who we are talking about?

Send us a mail, please and you might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club surprise winner.

Deadline: April 30, 2017

Good luck!  


Our most important research item is an updated Betty MacDonald documentary with  lots of new info and interviews with Betty MacDonald, her family and friends.


Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel  told us that Betty MacDonald fan club research team does an excellent job in supporting him with his several Betty MacDonald projects especially an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Reading this updated Betty MacDonald biography you'll learn the true story of many personalities in Betty MacDonald's books for example the mysterious and rather strange Ms. Dorita Hess from 'Anybody can do anything'.

Tell us, please what should a Betty MacDonald biography include?

Don't hesitate to send us your thoughts, please.

I'd say a real Betty MacDonald biography should also include fascinating info on Betty MacDonald's fascinating brother and sisters including adopted sister Madge.

As we can see Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett got so many fans because of her unique interviews with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.

We are going to offer some interviews by Wolfgang Hampel, never published before.



Many fans adore the new outstanding website of beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli. 



Don't miss it, please. 

 














Surprise, surprise!

We found new radio manuscripts and shows. 

We are working on Betty MacDonald fan club exhibit and an updated Betty MacDonald documentary.

Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter April  includes a letter by Betty MacDonald, mentioning Dorita Hess and other very important persons in her books.




Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel  told us that Betty MacDonald fan club research team does an excellent job in supporting him with his several Betty MacDonald projects especially an updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald fan club event team is very happy to hear from you and they got some really great ideas for the next International event. 

Thanks a lot! 


You can join Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club on Facebook.

Join us, please. We have lots of fun and joy and had several International ESC meetings in the past. 


Vita Magica with Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Letizia Maninco was outstanding.

The audience enjoyed it very much.
 
Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica is  fascinating because he includes Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

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 our Betty MacDonald fan club fans. 




We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017.


Join us in voting for your favourite city, please. 



Wolfgang Hampel's  Vita Magica guest was a very famous TV lady, author and singer and she is our new Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member.


I guess our Casanova adores our Betty MacDonald fan club honor member very much because author and TV moderator Tatjana Geßler is a very beautiful, charming and intelligent lady. 


Tatjana Geßler's books are outstanding. I've read several of them. 

Enjoy Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island, please.





Great Betty MacDonald fan club news!
 

You can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society

Vita Magica

 

on Facebook.

 

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

If you join Betty MacDonald fan club blog as a follower during March you'll receive a very special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift.

Send your email-address to our contact address, please. 


Great news!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back and his fans are delighted.

We'll have several International Betty MacDonald fan club events  in 2017. 

Don't miss Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica March, please. 

You'll enjoy it very much. 



You can see brilliant Brad Craft. 



"This is Me," by Bad Kid Billy. [Official Music Video]


Seems I'm in this for a hot second.  I remember being asked to participate one day on the street in front of the bookstore where I work.  I didn't think to ask what it was for, or even so much as the name of the song or the band.  Didn't want to be late coming back from lunch.  Silly bugger.  The very nice young woman with the green hair also featured herein happens to work at Magus Books.  She mentioned she'd seen me.  Told me the name of the band, and here we are.



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'. 
 





We got very interesting new info for updated Betty MacDonald biography.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to include all these new details and info in updated Betty MacDonald biography.

If you'd like to join Betty MacDonald fan club you only have to press the join button on Betty MacDonald fan club blog.


New Betty MacDonald fan club fans will receive a special Betty MacDonald fan club Welcome gift during April.  

Send us your email address to our contact address, please.


Wolfgang Hampel's Vita Magica February was outstanding and so was Vita Magica Betty MacDonald event with Wolfgang Hampel, Thomas Bödigheimer and Friedrich von Hoheneichen


 
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.



 


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.


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.



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.



Last Monday, the sun rose in the east, the black-capped chickadee sang its spring mating song and President Trump attacked American journalists in a tweet. This latest one read: “The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!”



The natural order was intact.
Yet even as the shock effect wears off (should it ever?), Mr. Trump’s anti-media Twitter posts still serve as reminders of his campaign vows to “open” libel laws, his veiled threats to punish corporate owners of news organizations whose coverage he does not like and his occasional calls for leak investigations.
They took on a more ominous tone later in the week, as the Justice Department began considering whether to bring a case against WikiLeaks that the Obama administration decided against pursuing, fearing it would start a trend of prosecuting news organizations and criminalizing journalism.
If the Trump administration decides it has no such qualms — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in interviews last week that he was “not sure” it did — then the president’s tweets just might wind up being journalism’s great insurance policy.



His Twitter trail could be a gift to lawyers for the news industry during leak investigations into articles that made the president mad enough to pick up his Android and tap, Tap, TAP!

It could provide great grist for legal arguments that the investigations are less about prosecuting damaging leaks than they are about punishing journalists.


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 



mrs. piggle wiggle's magic_korean_2011_hardcover_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!  
  
 Bildergebnis für Donald Trump and Lady Liberty      




 Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?





I'm 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 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.
 

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 Monday - the question is: Are Mondays nice?

Yours,

Brigitte 


Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald and the Bishops

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Onions in the Stew

best friends by mary bard


la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014
Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald



Don't miss this very special book, please.

you can join 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald Society  

Vita Magica  

Eurovision Song Contest Fan Club 

on Facebook



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

 

 

Media

Floyd Abrams Sees Trump’s Anti-Media Tweets as Double-Edged Swords




 
Floyd Abrams at his Manhattan office. In his new book, “The Soul of the First Amendment,” he argues that the United States’ protections for free speech are the best in the world, at least for now. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Last Monday, the sun rose in the east, the black-capped chickadee sang its spring mating song and President Trump attacked American journalists in a tweet. This latest one read: “The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!”



The natural order was intact.
Yet even as the shock effect wears off (should it ever?), Mr. Trump’s anti-media Twitter posts still serve as reminders of his campaign vows to “open” libel laws, his veiled threats to punish corporate owners of news organizations whose coverage he does not like and his occasional calls for leak investigations.
They took on a more ominous tone later in the week, as the Justice Department began considering whether to bring a case against WikiLeaks that the Obama administration decided against pursuing, fearing it would start a trend of prosecuting news organizations and criminalizing journalism.
If the Trump administration decides it has no such qualms — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in interviews last week that he was “not sure” it did — then the president’s tweets just might wind up being journalism’s great insurance policy.





His Twitter trail could be a gift to lawyers for the news industry during leak investigations into articles that made the president mad enough to pick up his Android and tap, Tap, TAP!

It could provide great grist for legal arguments that the investigations are less about prosecuting damaging leaks than they are about punishing journalists.
That, at least, is the view of Floyd Abrams, the titan of free speech jurisprudence. He’s best known for successfully defending clients like The New York Times against the Nixon administration’s attempts to stop it from printing the Pentagon Papers, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art against Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s move to cut city support because of an exhibition he called sacrilegious.
Now Mr. Abrams is seeking to re-educate the public about the thing that stands between it and, say, becoming Russia: the First Amendment.
The occasion of my recent visit to his downtown Manhattan office was the publication of his new book, “The Soul of the First Amendment,” which he called “really a story of American exceptionalism.” It argues that the United States’ protections for free speech are the best in the world, at least as of now. (The book comes out on Tuesday.)
Mr. Abrams has a way of angering people all along the political spectrum. For all the points he has scored with liberals over the years, he helped argue the conservative side of the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations and unions to spend more freely in elections.
He is not forlorn about the prospects for free speech under the new administration. But he isn’t sanguine, either, especially after the news about a potential WikiLeaks prosecution. In his book, Mr. Abrams harshly criticizes WikiLeaks as irresponsible, but he said criminal charges against the group would be “a perilous step in terms of First Amendment protection.”
In other words: Be afraid, at least a little afraid.
With Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 playing softly in the background, Mr. Abrams, a hearty 80 years old, walked me through what he worries about and what he doesn’t.
If you want to start out by looking on the bright side, things have been much worse. There were days when censorship was rampant and real reporting could land you in prison, right here in the United States. For instance, as Mr. Abrams’s book notes, it was not all that atypical when, in 1901, a Chicago court sentenced the managing editor and a reporter at The Chicago American to jail for an article that was critical of one of its decisions.




 
Mr. Abrams holding a copy of the First Amendment. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Mr. Abrams said that by the second half of the last century, the courts had begun to view “the First Amendment in an expansive and generally highly protective way.” It started with liberal jurists and eventually spread to the conservative jurists as well, which Mr. Abrams called “one of the most remarkable developments of the last 20 years.”

That bodes well for news organizations in general, he said.
I wondered about Gawker, which a Florida jury hit with a $140 million verdict in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit last year. Without the financial wherewithal to fight on through the appeals process, its owners went into bankruptcy and sold to Univision.


But Mr. Abrams said, “I think Gawker would have won if it had had a chance to go higher.”
Juries, he said, have always shown a willingness to punish journalists — who are down there with lawyers in the public esteem rankings — just as appellate courts are often willing to reverse those juries. Mr. Trump’s anti-press remarks, he acknowledged, certainly do not help with the jury pool.
That’s not, however, Mr. Abrams’s chief area of worry.
“My concerns on the Trump level are more in two areas,” he said. “One, the potential use of the Espionage Act against journalists reporting on national security-related matters, and the other is leak investigations in which the journalists are called to testify.”
The Obama administration set the tone by bringing more cases against leakers than all of the administrations that preceded it combined, often by using the Espionage Act, which it invoked, for instance, in its attempt to obtain emails from the Fox News reporter James Rosen.
The headline on an op-ed that the New York Times correspondent James Risen wrote late last year was pointed in its assignment of blame: “If Donald Trump Targets Journalists, Thank Obama.”
The last administration spent about seven years seeking to compel Mr. Risen to testify in a criminal leak investigation involving classified information in his 2006 book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”
Though it ultimately didn’t require him to testify — most likely for public relations reasons, Mr. Risen figures — it won the right to do so in the Fourth Circuit, where the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the First Amendment didn’t protect reporters from subpoenas to testify about “criminal conduct” that they “personally witnessed or participated in.”
In other words, Mr. Abrams said, the appellate court ruled that “there’s no protection for journalists at all in front of grand juries.” (The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.)

But that’s where the tweets come in, Mr. Abrams said.
He pointed to a concurring opinion in a Supreme Court case in 1972, Branzburg v. Hayes, which the press lost. It read, “No harassment of newsmen will be tolerated.”
That is, “the court will not allow the government to try to punish the press by the use of subpoena,” Mr. Abrams said.
So, if a reporter is swept up in a leak investigation over an article the administration doesn’t like, his or her lawyers would just have to log on to Twitter and search @RealDonaldTrump to find support for an argument that the government was misusing the legal system to punish journalists.
“‘Enemy of the people’ would be on page one” of any defense, Mr. Abrams said, referring to Mr. Trump’s post describing reporters as such.



Mr. Abrams said he wrote another book at age 80 to help people “understand how fortunate we are that we wound up with a Bill of Rights in the first place.”
The lesson: The 140 characters of Twitter are no match for the 45 words of the First Amendment of the Constitution. At least not so far.

 

 

 

Science

Scientists, Feeling Under Siege, March Against Trump Policies









Gathering at the Washington Monument before March for Science on Saturday. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Thousands of scientists and their supporters, feeling increasingly threatened by the policies of President Trump, gathered Saturday in Washington under rainy skies for what they called the March for Science, abandoning a tradition of keeping the sciences out of politics and calling on the public to stand up for scientific enterprise.
As the marchers trekked shoulder-to-shoulder toward the Capitol, the street echoed with their calls: “Save the E.P.A.” and “Save the N.I.H.” as well as their chants celebrating science, “Who run the world? Nerds,” and “If you like beer, thank yeast and scientists!” Some carried signs that showed rising oceans and polar bears in peril and faces of famous scientists like Mae Jamison, Rosalind Franklin and Marie Curie, and others touted a checklist of the diseases Americans no longer get thanks to vaccines.
Although drizzle may have washed away the words on some signs, they aimed to deliver the message that science needs the public’s support.
“Science is a very human thing,” said Ashlea Morgan, a doctoral student in neurobiology at Columbia University. “The march is allowing the public to know that this is what science is, and it’s letting our legislators know that science is vitally important.”




The demonstration in Washington — which started with teach-ins and a rally that packed the National Mall — was echoed by protests in hundreds of cities across the United States and around the world, including marches in Europe and Asia.

The March for Science evolved from a social media campaign into an effort to get people onto the streets.
Its organizers were motivated by Mr. Trump, who as a presidential candidate disparaged climate change as a hoax and cast suspicions on the safety of vaccines.
Their resolve deepened, they said, when the president appointed cabinet members who seemed hostile to the sciences. He also proposed a budget with severe cuts for agencies like the National Institutes of Health — which would lose 18 percent of their funding in his blueprint — and the Environmental Protection Agency, which faces a 31 percent budget cut and the elimination of a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 employees.
While traveling by motorcade to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday, Mr. Trump passed dozens of demonstrators from the march holding signs, including one that said, “Stop denying the earth is dying,” according to a pool report. Later, the White House released a statement from Mr. Trump for Earth Day that did not mention the March for Science by name, but appeared directed at its participants. Calling science critical to economic growth and environmental protection, he said, “My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.”
“As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate,” he added.









Organizers said they hoped the day’s demonstrations result in sustained, coordinated action aimed at persuading elected officials to adopt policies consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change, vaccines and other issues.
“This has been a living laboratory as scientists and science institutions are willing to take a step outside their comfort zone, outside of the labs and into the public spheres,” said Beka Economopoulos, a founder of the pop-up Natural History Museum and an organizer of the march.
Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who helped expose lead poisoning in Flint, Mich., and who spoke in Washington, called the protest the beginning of a movement to ensure that governments do not dismiss or deny science.

“If we want to prevent future Flints, we need to embrace what we’ve learned and how far we’ve come in terms of science and technology,” Dr. Hanna-Attisha said in an interview.
What began as a movement by scientists for scientists has drawn in many science enthusiasts, young and old.
William Harrison, 9, from Washington, held up a waterlogged cardboard sign he drew with markers of a shark pleading with humanity to save him from global warming. He said science is important because without it, “we basically will not exist.”
On the West Coast, Penelope DeVries, 69, carried a sign at the march in San Francisco that said, “Love your mother,” with a blue and green Earth, the paint still wet from when she made it on her kitchen floor.
“I have three grandchildren, and I want them to have a beautiful life like I have,” she said.
She was one of thousands of upbeat demonstrators who marched through the city’s downtown under mild weather.
A volunteer at that march, Bryan Dunyak, 28, was motivated to help improve science outreach and improve public understanding of science.
“The vast majority of people will never have the chance to ask a scientist, ‘Why do you do what you do?’” said Dr. Dunyak, who is a postdoctoral researcher in neurodegenerative disease at the University of California, San Francisco.
Fearing that Mr. Trump may undermine public support for the sciences, many scientists at the marches said they believed now was the appropriate moment to express themselves politically.








People gathered at the Washington Monument before marching on Constitution Avenue on Saturday. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
“I can’t think of a time where scientists felt the enterprise of science was being threatened in the way scientists feel now,” Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard University, said in an interview this week.

Dr. Oreskes said the closest parallel to Saturday’s protests were the demonstrations for nuclear disarmament in the 1950s and ’60s. But scientists were then marching against the use of science to build weapons of mass destruction.
Thousands converged on the Boston Common in a cold rain, and children danced to a brass band. Students from Harvard and M.I.T. marched over the bridge from Cambridge, and a contingent from Boston University chanted, “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!”


In a city and state where many work in hospitals and biomedical firms, Mr. Trump’s proposals to cut the National Institutes of Health’s budget were on the minds of many marchers there.
Dr. George Q. Daley, the dean of Harvard Medical School, said in a speech that the proposed cuts would have a “cataclysmic effect” on the economy in Massachusetts.
“This is a shortsighted decision that will set the biomedical enterprise on a path toward devastation,” Dr. Daley said.
Julian Arthur, a product scientist who works on antibody production, agreed.
“I feel that science funding should not be up to the whims of a frugal government,” he said.
In New York, demonstrators stretched for 10 blocks along Central Park West, wedged between the park and a line of buildings on a gray and dreary day.
Underlining the connection in the minds of many marchers between the science march, Earth Day and global warming, one participant, Christine Negra, 49, a chemist who works as a consultant on climate change issues, said she would attend next week’s People’s Climate March, too.

“In the U.S., we’re lagging in our recognition about how important climate change is,” she said. “These public events are meant to shake people out of their daily lives so that people see how urgent the problem really is.”
Many messages at the New York rally took on a political hue. One demonstrator carried a sign with a diagram. “Before you dismiss science, Mr. President,” it said, “here is the molecular formula for hair spray.” Another said, “Fund science, not walls.” And along the marching route, some were heard chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” as they passed the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle.








Live From the March for Science

Nicholas St. Fleur, a Times reporter, spoke to those who gathered in Washington, D.C. at the March for Science on Saturday.

By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR and EMMA ORME 
 April 22, 2017. .
     

For many marchers, especially those in the sciences who were demonstrating for the first time, political settings can be a source of discomfort. And critics of the march who are in the sciences expressed concern that such displays could be damaging.
“I worry the march would drive the wedge deeper,” said Robert S. Young, a coastal geologist at Western Carolina University who wrote a New York Times Op-Ed article in January expressing misgivings about the march.
Although Dr. Young planned to support friends at a satellite demonstration, he said it would be easy for conservatives to say the march was really about supporting liberal policies.
“Going to a march is easy,” he said. “Spending the next couple of years reinventing how we communicate with red-state America, that’s hard.”
In energy-rich Oklahoma, the home state of Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief who repeatedly sued the agency when he was the state’s attorney general, a crowd estimated at more than 2,000 by law enforcement officials chanted “science is real.”
The demonstrators gathered on a stone plaza before the State Capitol, which is fenced and scaffolded for renovation. They marched on a route that took them around a park that includes two restored oil derricks that once pumped oil from a source beneath the Capitol.

Many at the Oklahoma City march seemed motivated by local issues. Lisa Pitts, a teacher, said she was marching because of concerns about the state’s education budget and to support science education.
“We are not a poor state,” she said. “We should not be 50th in everything.”
But concerns about the country’s direction under Mr. Trump were present there, too.
“I don’t want to go back to having dirty air and water,” said Rene Roy, who formerly worked for the state’s environmental regulator and was concerned about Mr. Pruitt’s plans for the E.P.A.
Back in Washington, Denis Hayes, who was the principal organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, said concerns like Mr. Roy’s were an important source of motivation for the science march, which was coordinated with the Earth Day Network.
“You have a clear enemy,” he said. “You’ve got a president who along with his vice president, his cabinet and his party leadership in both houses of Congress have a strong anti-environmental agenda. He’s basically trying to roll back everything that we’ve tried to do in the last half-century.”
Correction: April 22, 2017 Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly described when the White House put out a statement for Earth Day. It was after President Trump’s motorcade left the White House, not before.



Politics

Trump Vows to Unveil Tax-Cut Plan Next Week, Surprising Staff












 
President Trump signed an executive order on tax reform at the Treasury Department on Friday. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump promised on Friday that he would unveil a “massive” tax cut for Americans next week, vowing a “big announcement on Wednesday,” but he revealed no details about what is certain to be an enormously complicated effort to overhaul the nation’s tax code.
Mr. Trump offered his tax tease in an interview and again during remarks at the Treasury Department on Friday afternoon as he raced to stack up legislative accomplishments before his 100th day in office at the end of next week.
His announcement surprised Capitol Hill and left Mr. Trump’s own Treasury officials speechless as he arrived at the Treasury offices to sign directives to roll back Obama-era tax rules and financial regulations. Earlier in the day, when reporters asked Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, how far away a tax overhaul proposal was, he said he could not give an answer. “Tax reform is way too complicated,” he said.
Mr. Trump told The Associated Press in the interview that his tax reductions would be “bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever.” But he faces an enormous fight among clashing vested interests as Congress tries to rewrite the tax code.


Starting that fight next week is further complicated by Mr. Trump’s hopes to revive the Republican health care plan that collapsed last month. And it would mean trying a tax overhaul as his White House faces the prospect of a government shutdown if lawmakers cannot agree on a funding bill by April 28.
The details of Mr. Trump’s tax plans remain the subject of intense speculation, with stock markets regularly gyrating when White House officials discuss the subject. Since taking office, the president has suggested that he wants to enact the deepest cuts to individual and corporate tax rates in history.
But despite Mr. Trump’s statement on Friday that his tax overhaul “really formally begins on Wednesday,” White House officials quickly cautioned against high expectations that Mr. Trump would provide the legislative text of a detailed tax plan next week.
Instead, a senior administration official said the president would release only the “parameters” that Mr. Trump expected a tax plan to follow in the long congressional debate that would surely follow. Another official said the information released next week would be more like a “broad” outline. Wall Street, which tends to celebrate tax cuts, barely reacted; the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 0.3 percent Friday.
The administration has maintained that middle-income tax cuts, a simplification of personal income taxes, and making business taxes more competitive with other countries are the top priorities. Mr. Trump insisted that his plans were on track and that his strategy to remake the economy would change history.
“This is really the beginning of a whole new way of life that this country hasn’t seen in many, many years,” Mr. Trump said as he sat at the desk of Mr. Mnuchin, near a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary.
He said, “We’ve lifted one terrible regulation after another at a record clip from the energy sector to the auto sector.”
Despite Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm, the directives he signed at the Treasury Department on Friday to review measures put in place by the Obama administration were largely preliminary. As business groups cheered the moves, some skeptics were left questioning whether Mr. Trump was keeping his campaign promises to give working-class Americans a higher priority than Wall Street bankers.
“From our perspective, it is a direction that is dramatically backwards on financial stability,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.
The presidential order asks Mr. Mnuchin to review the tax regulations imposed by President Barack Obama in 2016. Those include efforts to clamp down on “corporate inversions” — in which American companies merge with foreign companies to take advantage of lower tax rates abroad.
Viewed alone, undoing the rules would appear to be at odds with Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to reduce incentives for companies to move overseas to minimize taxes.
Last year Mr. Obama’s Treasury Department, concerned about Pfizer’s $152 billion bid to acquire Allergan, which makes Botox, issued rules to thwart the practice. Among those efforts were regulations to prevent moves like “earnings-stripping,” in which an American subsidiary borrows from a parent company and uses the interest payments on the loans to offset its earnings. It was intended to make the financial relocations less attractive.


The uproar over inversions dogged a number of transactions over the last five years including Burger King’s takeover of the Canadian chain Tim Hortons and the drug maker AbbVie’s planned acquisition of an Irish rival, Shire.
But the major target of the outrage was the Pfizer-Allergan deal, by far the biggest effort by a company to give up its American citizenship to cut its taxes. Pfizer executives braced themselves for opposition from the Obama administration — but were surprised by how aggressively the White House fought the deal. Within a few months, Pfizer and Allergan surrendered and ended their agreement.
Robert Willens, an independent tax consultant, said reversing these rules would be a gift to Wall Street bankers and lawyers who have complained that they have hampered international deal making.
“They’ll be dancing in the streets and jumping for joy,” Mr. Willens said.
Memorandums with the executive order ask Mr. Mnuchin to review the Orderly Liquidation Authority, a tool created by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010 for unwinding financial institutions that are on the verge of collapse. Many banks have hoped that Congress will repeal the system. The administration is examining whether it encourages excessive risk-taking or exposes taxpayers to potential liabilities.
The Treasury is also reviewing the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which designates financial institutions as “systemically important,” better known as “too big to fail.” It requires them to hold more capital in reserve in the event of financial emergencies.

Both provisions, which were part of the Dodd-Frank law, are delayed by a 180-day review by the Treasury.
Democrats warned that Mr. Trump was putting vulnerable middle-class Americans in danger. “Simply eliminating these regulations and putting nothing in their place leaves a hole in the tax system that sophisticated corporations will continue to take advantage of, to the detriment of the country,” said David Kamin, a New York University law professor who worked on the Obama administration’s National Economic Council.
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, assailed Mr. Trump for trying to undermine rules that were put in place to protect the economy. “Any actions to undermine these protections encourage Wall Street’s risky behavior and leave taxpayers and our economy exposed to another catastrophe,” he said.
Mr. Brown said that Mr. Trump appeared to be breaking a campaign promise by making it easier for companies to use inversions. “We should be working to lower taxes for hardworking families and workers across Ohio, not helping multimillion-dollar corporations cheat the system to avoid paying their fair share,” he said.
Mr. Mnuchin insisted that would not be the case and argued the tax overhaul legislation plan that they would propose will address the problem of companies moving overseas.
Mr. Trump has shown an affinity for tariffs. He proposed a “reciprocal” tax this month that matches the import taxes other countries impose on American goods.
It remains unclear if Mr. Trump is on board with the “border adjustment” tax that is central to the plan being promoted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Republicans. The concept would allow Republicans to raise more than $1 trillion of revenue, making it possible for them pass legislation without adding to the deficit.
Mr. Trump has been cool to that plan in interviews, and recently his advisers have been making the case that a surging economy, rather than Mr. Ryan’s border adjustment tax, will pay for deep rate cuts.

“The plan will pay for itself with growth,” Mr. Mnuchin said an Institute for International Finance conference on Thursday.
Mr. Trump’s economic team had initially set an August deadline to get tax legislation passed, but that target was delayed to the end of the year after Republicans expended time on their failed health plan.
After The Associated Press reported on Mr. Trump’s accelerated timeline to put out their tax plan, Treasury officials who were awaiting Mr. Trump’s visit to their office smiled broadly and chuckled nervously as they digested news on their smartphones.
But during his visit, Mr. Trump expressed confidence that Mr. Mnuchin and his team were ready to move on a tax overhaul, a mammoth legislative undertaking that has not occurred since 1986. After a brief tour of the building, Mr. Trump praised his Treasury secretary’s financial acumen and said he was sure that Mr. Mnuchin would be among the best to do the job.
“I think Hamilton is tough to beat, but maybe you can do that too,” Mr. Trump said.




Politics

Trump Adviser’s Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.’s Attention

















 
Carter Page criticized American policies toward Russia at the New Economic School in Moscow in July, echoing the positions of President Vladimir V. Putin. Credit Anton Denisov/Sputnik, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Ever since F.B.I. investigators discovered in 2013 that a Russian spy was trying to recruit an American businessman named Carter Page, the bureau maintained an occasional interest in Mr. Page. So when he became a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign last year and gave a Russia-friendly speech at a prestigious Moscow institute, it soon caught the bureau’s attention.
That trip last July was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into connections between Russia and President Trump’s campaign, according to current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials.
It is unclear exactly what about Mr. Page’s visit drew the F.B.I.’s interest: meetings he had during his three days in Moscow, intercepted communications of Russian officials speaking about him, or something else.
After Mr. Page, 45 — a Navy veteran and businessman who had lived in Moscow for three years — stepped down from the Trump campaign in September, the F.B.I. obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing the authorities to monitor his communications on the suspicion that he was a Russian agent.

From the Russia trip of the once-obscure Mr. Page grew a wide-ranging investigation, now accompanied by two congressional inquiries, that has cast a shadow over the early months of the Trump administration. At a House Intelligence Committee hearing last month, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, took the unusual step of publicly acknowledging the investigation of Russian interference in the election, which he said included possible links between Russia and Trump associates.


Developments beyond Mr. Page’s trip may have heightened the F.B.I.’s concern about Russian meddling in the campaign. Paul Manafort, then Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, was already under criminal investigation in connection with payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. WikiLeaks and two websites later identified as Russian intelligence fronts had begun releasing emails obtained when Democratic Party servers were hacked.

















When the F.B.I. opened its investigation in late July, agents were just beginning to explore whether Mr. Trump’s advisers had contacts with Russian government officials or intelligence operatives, according to the current and former American officials, who spoke about the continuing inquiry on the condition of anonymity. In the months that followed, they said, more evidence came to light, including intercepts of Russian officials discussing Mr. Page and other Trump associates.
In his talk at the New Economic School in Moscow, Mr. Page criticized American policy toward Russia in terms that echoed the position of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, declaring, “Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” His remarks accorded with Mr. Trump’s positive view of the Russian president, which had prompted speculation about what Mr. Trump saw in Mr. Putin — more commonly denounced in the United States as a ruthless, anti-Western autocrat.
Mr. Page’s relationship with Mr. Trump appears to have been fleeting. According to former Trump campaign officials, the two men have never met, though Mr. Page has said he attended some meetings where Mr. Trump was present.
But last spring, when Republican foreign policy experts were distancing themselves from Mr. Trump, Mr. Page served a purpose for the flailing Trump campaign. Dismissing the notion that his campaign was bereft of foreign policy expertise, the candidate read aloud a list of five people who had offered to advise him on world affairs — including “Carter Page, Ph.D.”
Mr. Page was unknown in Washington foreign policy circles. But his doctorate and his Russian experience were real. He had worked as a junior investment banker for Merrill Lynch for a time, living in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.
He subsequently started his own investment firm, Global Energy Capital L.L.C., and partnered on some deals with a Russian businessman, Sergey Yatsenko. Mr. Yatsenko had been deputy chief financial officer for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the government and has close ties to Mr. Putin.
Mr. Page’s role in the Trump campaign appears to have been minimal. Papers he wrote on energy policy languished unread. Former campaign officials play down his significance almost to the vanishing point, saying Mr. Page had no ID badge, desk or email address from the campaign.


“If the Russians were attempting to collude with him, they were attempting to collude with someone who had no influence on the Trump campaign,” said Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump. “I think he’s a self-promoter — not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
But for Mr. Page, temporarily wearing the title of adviser to the man who would become president appears to have been gratifying. “The half year I spent on the Trump campaign meant more to me than the five years I spent in the Navy,” he said in an interview last month.
He denies that there was ever any possibility of his being recruited to spy for Russia, including his 2013 encounter with the Russian intelligence officer. “Zero risk then or ever in my life,” Mr. Page said.
After The Washington Post broke the news last week of the court warrant the F.B.I. had obtained, Mr. Page went on a Trump-like media blitz, defending his bona fides and asserting that he was the victim of a smear campaign by Obama administration officials and Hillary Clinton aides.
“You talk about fake narratives,” Mr. Page said on Fox News. “When you introduce false evidence in a court of law, including the FISA court,” he said, referring to the court that issued the warrant targeting him, “that is illegal. So, let’s see what happens.”
He added, “I’m very encouraged that all of the lies that have been a drag on this administration are finally coming out into the open.”
Few who have met Mr. Page during his career appear to have pegged him as a likely prospect for either suspected spy or statesman. Born in 1971 in Minnesota and raised in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated in 1993 from the Naval Academy, where he was in the selective Trident Scholar Program, but left the Navy before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He earned an M.B.A. at New York University and completed a doctorate a decade later at SOAS University of London.

















 
Sam Clovis, a Tea Party activist in Iowa, with Donald J. Trump in August 2015. He suggested Mr. Page as a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump. Credit Daniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Richard Guerin, who was in his academy class and remains in regular touch, said Mr. Page had “a complicated mind.” “He’s genuinely one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” Mr. Guerin said. “I get a bit offended when I read reports of people calling him an ‘idiot.’”

Mr. Guerin also said that, ever since Mr. Page’s Navy days, when he drove a black Mercedes, his friend had reveled in lavish spending that sometimes seemed to exceed his means.
Oksana Antonenko, a senior political counselor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who was friendly with Mr. Page in London while he earned his Ph.D., said, “I think he is a nice, decent and perhaps a bit naïve guy.”
While the biographical sketch Mr. Page has used highlights his work at Merrill Lynch with Gazprom and a Russian electric power conglomerate called RAO UES, he appears not to have played a leading role in major deals. He later ran an international affairs program at Bard College in New York before founding Global Energy Capital. The private equity firm operates out of a co-working space in a Manhattan high-rise that Mr. Page has described, accurately though perhaps misleadingly, as “around the corner from Trump Tower.”
American businessmen in the tight-knit expatriate community in Moscow say they did not know Mr. Page and were not familiar with his business activities in Russia. “People I deal with on my board of directors just shrug their shoulders,” Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, said in an interview. “They’ve never heard of him.”
In April 2013, Mr. Page was caught on an F.B.I. wiretap in an investigation of suspected Russian intelligence officers in New York. Victor Podobnyy, one of three men later charged with being unregistered agents of a foreign power, had met Mr. Page at an energy symposium and was recorded describing him as “an idiot” with dreams of lucrative deals. There is no evidence that Mr. Page knew the man was an intelligence officer.
In 2014 and 2015, in articles for an online journal, Mr. Page mixed quirky observations with praise for Russia and criticism of American policy. The war in Ukraine, he wrote, was “precipitated by U.S. meddling.” And Igor Sechin, a close Putin ally and chief executive of the oil company Rosneft, Mr. Page wrote, “has done more to advance U.S.-Russian relations than any individual in or out of government from either side of the Atlantic over the past decade.”

















 
Michael McFaul, President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Russia. Mr. Page’s talk in Moscow prompted derision from Mr. McFaul, who wrote on Twitter, “Echo of Kremlin line on U.S.” Credit Misha Japaridze/Associated Press

In March of last year, Sam Clovis, an economics professor and Tea Party activist in Iowa, was asked by the Trump campaign to line up some foreign policy advisers. He produced the list that included Mr. Page.

After several tries, Mr. Page got the campaign’s permission to speak at the New Economic School, where Mr. Obama spoke in 2009. Denis Klimentov, a spokesman for the school, said some alumni knew of Mr. Page’s work at Merrill Lynch in Moscow. But his role as a Trump adviser also played into the decision to invite him, Mr. Klimentov said in an email.
“We did not arrange any meetings for Mr. Page outside of the school, and we were not aware then if he had any further meetings or contacts,” Mr. Klimentov added. “Our strong recollection is that there was simply not enough time for Mr. Page to have any meetings outside of the school.”
In recent months, Mr. Page has often seemed to revel in the attention he has drawn. In December, he gave another speech at the New Economic School, complaining that “fake news” had hurt United States-Russia relations.
His conduct has disturbed some who know him. Mr. Guerin said it was “disheartening” to hear that Mr. Page rated his time at the margins of the Trump campaign more highly than his Navy service. “I thought we were both patriotic,” Mr. Guerin said. “I would like to assume that as well right now. But events are unfolding that make you question that.”

Last Thursday, Mr. Page appeared on “Good Morning America” for questioning by George Stephanopoulos. He seemed feisty but upbeat, denying any impropriety and complaining about “a ton of false evidence.”
“These same lies keep swirling around,” Mr. Page said, “having a really negative impact on U.S.-Russian relations.”















la_conner_daffodil_festival_photo_winner_2014

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald fan club Spring

 

In the Garden: A Welcome Sign of Spring


By Charles Kidder

 



Perhaps the first plant I could recognize and name as a child was the daffodil, a welcome sight and fragrance after a long New York winter. And although native to the Mediterranean, daffodils (Narcissus species) have been in Virginia since at least the middle of the seventeenth century.
Beginning in the 1890s, Gloucester County became a center of daffodil production for much of the eastern United States. Much of this revolved around “wild” or naturalized daffodils that were cut and shipped north. By the middle of the twentieth century, this industry was rapidly dying off for a variety of reasons. But Gloucester County still has one daffodil breeder of note and continues to celebrate its floral heritage with the Daffodil Festival on the last weekend of March. More on that later.
The various Narcissus species, hybrids and cultivars are commonly referred to as either daffodils, jonquils or even simply narcissus, the latter especially when referring to the paper whites commonly forced indoors. The term jonquil is commonly used in certain regions for any daffodil, but technically refers only to one group that has narrow reed-like foliage. The various daffodils are divided into 13 divisions—or 12, if you believe some sources—that are based on flower shape and heritage. For example, Division 1 daffodils are called Trumpets, since the central portion or trumpet is quite long. Regardless of division, colors range from yellow to white, perhaps with some pink or orange in the trumpets. If you seek out specialty nurseries, hundreds of cultivars are available.



All daffodils have similar cultural requirements. As for the amount of sun they want, the more the better. Part sun, or about six hours per day, is sufficient, but less sun than that will lead to reduced blooming, even though the plants may soldier on for a long time. And sunlight in a deciduous woodland does not really count as full sunlight. As for soil, good drainage is important to avoid bulb rot. If your soil is unusually sodden, either amend it with gravel or put daffodils in a raised bed.
Daffodil bulbs should be planted at a depth equal to about three times their diameter, so a two-inch bulb should be six inches deep. Six inches is also a good distance between bulbs. Farther apart and they lose visual impact; closer, and they will require division sooner. Bulbs will look funny planted like soldiers in a straight line, so if you have ten bulbs, better to either plant them in two groups of five, or in a staggered double row. If you are planting a very large number, you can avoid an overly orderly appearance by picking up a handful and tossing them to the general area in which you wish to plant.
There are any number of “new, improved, back-saving!!” bulb planters out there. Use whatever works best for you, which might just be an ordinary trowel or even a garden shovel. And remember: nothing says you have to plant one bulb at a time. You can take a spade and dig up a good-sized hole with one or two punches, and then throw in three to five bulbs. For even larger areas, a rototiller might be the quickest option. And do the bulbs have to be pointy-side up? That’s the ideal, but the shoot will always get turned around and pointed toward the sky anyway. If you’re in a hurry, ensuring that the bulbs are at least on their side would be a good compromise.


Amending your soil with compost will definitely give your daffodils a boost, but there’s no need to fertilize when planting—which of course is not now, but in mid-to-late fall. In very early spring, a balanced fertilizer—about 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 is best—should be sprinkled around the plants just as their foliage emerges. (You can also do this in the fall, but that assumes you’ll remember where your daffodils are!) And speaking of feeding your daffodils, we all know what to do with their foliage, which is there to provide nutrients for the bulb, right? Doing nothing is perfectly okay. Or when the foliage turns yellow and lies on the ground, you can throw some mulch on it if the sight offends you. Do not cut the foliage off while it’s still green or tie it up in cutesy knots! That prevents movement of nutrients down to the bulb; plus, it takes a lot of valuable gardening time.


But back to Gloucester County. The annual Daffodil Festival takes place on the last weekend of March and includes the usual attractions: a parade, a queen, entertainers, a race, a car show, and of course, daffodils. (A full schedule is available on the county’s website. There’s also a link to the history of daffodil farming in this corner of Virginia.) On Saturday they will be running frequent buses over to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for tours and shopping. Brent and Becky Heath own a business that has been in the family for several generations, at one time operating as the Daffodil Mart. Although they now sell many other types of bulbs, daffodils are still a specialty, with over 200 varieties available.



Once planted, daffodils tend to naturalize, meaning they spread slowly, but never seem to become invasive. Part of their secret to longevity might be their poisonous nature: deer and other critters don’t bother them, so you can enjoy your host of daffodils for many years.

 






















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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