Saturday, May 6, 2017

Betty MacDonald, new updates and a return

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Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
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mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT

Pippi, you're the best.    

 Hello 'Pussy' it's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking: 

What had first appeared to be a return to your hometown that would include an afternoon visit to the penthouse apartment where you lived before the White House and a few hours of meetings and motorcades through Midtown Manhattan, ended up shrinking to a blink-and-you-miss-it stop at an aircraft carrier in the Hudson River that lasted about as long as a commuter’s ride home.


Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration


Click images for alternate views
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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

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Happy Birthday dear Linde Lund  and Gwen Grant!

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We picked these very beautiful red roses for you!

We got many mails and birthday greetings from Betty MacDonald fan club fans from 5 continents.

Thank you so much! 

The question is: Who is the third personality we are looking for?

We are working on Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter May with many Betty MacDonald fan club surprises.

Wait and see!

More news about Dorita Hess and a new updated Who is Who? of Betty MacDonald's books.

That's such a great story of Vashon Islander Kay Longhi. 

Don't miss this very interesting story, please.

Reading this delightful story I'd like to move to Vashon Island. 

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Islander Kay Longhi and her twin sister were only 6 years old when they moved to Vashon from Chicago in the 1950s, but Longhi, now in her 60s and still living on Vashon, can vividly recall the move and the events leading up to it.

The decision to leave the Midwest was made by Longhi’s mother, Patricia Longhi, who Kay said was tired of living in cities and longed for the same kind of authenticity she witnessed on childhood vacations to a farm in Maine. Patricia found that opportunity in a 1954 radio interview with infamous island author Betty MacDonald.

“Arthur Godfrey interviewed Betty MacDonald on his radio program. She talked about her book ‘Onions in the Stew,’ and it intrigued Mother,” Kay Longhi said. “When Daddy came home, she announced that we were moving to Vashon.”

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( see article below ) 

I totally agree the author of an oustanding Betty MacDonald biography needs a very good sense of humor.
We will be able to offer you very witty and exciting stories because of our outstanding Betty MacDonald research and many  interviews with Betty MacDonald's family and friends by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.

We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald fan club items including new Betty MacDonald interviews by Wolfgang Hampel.

Work and life of Betty MacDonald had been honored by Wolfgang Hampel in Vita Magica.

More Betty MacDonald events will follow.

Betty MacDonald fan club fans from 5 continents enjoy these unique very witty interviews and new ones will follow.

We are looking for signed or dedicated first editions in great condition with dust jackets by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen for our fans.

Betty MacDonald Memorial Award Winner Wolfgang Hampel  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography and new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Join one of our Betty MacDonald fan club research teams, please. 

Thanks a million in advance for your outstanding support.

Let's talk about Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest.

You can vote for your favourite Betty MacDonald book cover.

Deadline: June 30, 2017

Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest winner will be  owner of a signed first edition of one of Betty MacDonald's books.  

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Send us your mail, please and maybe you'll be the winner of Betty MacDonald fan club surprise.

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 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 May.  

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.








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.

What had first appeared to be a return to his hometown that would include an afternoon visit to the penthouse apartment where he lived before the White House and a few hours of meetings and motorcades through Midtown Manhattan, ended up shrinking to a blink-and-you-miss-it stop at an aircraft carrier in the Hudson River that lasted about as long as a commuter’s ride home.
But a first visit back to New York is still a first visit, and hundreds of protesters responded to a day that was, for them, weighted with meaning far beyond what actually happened. President Trump, a New York City product whose identity is as woven into the place as the steel rebar in the buildings that bear his name, was, for the first time since taking office in January, back in town.

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

Poor World!    Poor America! 

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

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

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

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

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang!      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 very nice Saturday,


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Anne MacDonald Canham

best friends by mary bard

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

What had first appeared to be a return to his hometown that would include an afternoon visit to the penthouse apartment where he lived before the White House and a few hours of meetings and motorcades through Midtown Manhattan, ended up shrinking to a blink-and-you-miss-it stop at an aircraft carrier in the Hudson River that lasted about as long as a commuter’s ride home.
But a first visit back to New York is still a first visit, and hundreds of protesters responded to a day that was, for them, weighted with meaning far beyond what actually happened. President Trump, a New York City product whose identity is as woven into the place as the steel rebar in the buildings that bear his name, was, for the first time since taking office in January, back in town.

A Secret Service agent at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Thursday before Mr. Trump’s arrival there. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

The protests on Thursday were muted in comparison to those of the throngs who had gathered outside Trump Tower on many nights after the election. Some attributed the lower turnout to the president’s change of schedule; others, to apathy, a loss of energy after Mr. Trump’s absence. Those who showed up outside the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum watched and shouted as the president’s motorcade passed and turned into the aircraft carrier complex.
Mr. Trump was originally scheduled to spend a total of six hours at multiple stops in Manhattan, arriving around 3 p.m. and meeting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia in the Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue.

The president was then expected to make a homecoming at Trump Tower, a little over a block away. Finally, he, his wife, Melania Trump, Mr. Turnbull and his wife, Lucy Turnbull, were to attend a black-tie reception and dinner aboard the Intrepid in honor of veterans of the Battle of the Coral Sea, in which the United States and Australia fought side by side against the Japanese in May 1942.

Sanitation trucks filled with sand in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan on Thursday, one of the security measures put in place for the president’s visit to New York. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

The plan was scrapped as an eventful day played out in Washington, first with Mr. Trump’s signing of an executive order giving religious groups more latitude to be active in politics, and then with the passage of a Republican health care bill in the House.

By midday, the stops at the Peninsula and Trump Tower had been dropped from the schedule, and the trip had been shortened to Mr. Trump’s appearance aboard the aircraft carrier, his feet barely touching New York soil.
A planned protest at Trump Tower went on anyway; turnout was modest. Thousands of protesters expected at several simultaneous rallies and marches at the Intrepid failed to materialize.

“Go back to the tower!” protesters shouted, before Mr. Trump had even left Washington. “The people have the power!”

Guests at the Intrepid dinner, where 700 people were expected, began to arrive, their formal attire in stark contrast to the crowds gathered outside. Men in tuxedos were jeered by protesters who probably knew little about the event.

“Shame on you!” some shouted.
“But this isn’t a Trump event,” one guest, Bettyann Lemire, 50, said. “This is a veterans’ event, and I fear they’ve lost sight of that.”

Protesters marched in front of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Thursday during a visit by President Trump. Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

Police boats patrolled the Hudson near the Intrepid as protesters, in boats of their own, took to the water.
The president left Washington at 5 p.m. and arrived at Kennedy International Airport shortly after 6 p.m., stepping off Air Force One in his tuxedo, having changed en route. He traveled by helicopter to Lower Manhattan. From there, his motorcade drove up West Street and 12th Avenue, arriving at the Intrepid at 6:57 p.m.
“Is that him?” one protester asked. “The car’s stopping.”
“We don’t really know what’s happening,” another said. “He could’ve already passed; he could be coming any minute.”
On the river, the police intercepted two boats carrying activists from Greenpeace.
On the street, a wave of jeers and shouts went up. There were chants of “New York hates you!”

Mr. Trump was inside the Intrepid quickly and out of sight from the street. His shortened meeting with Mr. Turnbull was to take place immediately, to be followed by both men’s remarks to the veterans and other guests. Mr. Trump’s return to New York was expected to draw to a close after 9 p.m., three hours after it began, with a helicopter flight to his home at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Reporting was contributed by Annie Correal, Maggie Haberman, Patrick McGeehan, Emily Palmer, Sean Piccoli and John Surico.

A version of this article appears in print on May 5, 2017, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Returns Home After 3 Months Away To Stay for 4 Hours.

Middle East | News Analysis

Trump, Bullish on Mideast Peace, Will Need More Than Confidence

President Trump met with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Oval Office on Wednesday. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Ever since Britain declared 100 years ago that there should be a Jewish homeland in Palestine, harmony has eluded that dry, benighted land. Presidents and kings and prime ministers and diplomats and special envoys have labored for a century in a futile search for peace.
President Trump, however, is not daunted by the challenge of bringing together Israelis and Palestinians. “It’s something that, I think, is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years,” he said on Wednesday.
Whatever else may be said of him, Mr. Trump does not suffer from a confidence deficit. As he hosted the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Trump proclaimed that he would be the president who finally makes peace in the Middle East. “We will get this done,” he said. He even suggested that, with his leadership, “hopefully there won’t be such hatred for very long.”
Never mind that he also thought repealing and replacing his predecessor’s health care program would be “so easy.” Or that he predicted he would have no trouble bending North Korea to his will, or forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall. Then there was Mr. Trump’s assertion as a candidate that he knew more about the Islamic State than the generals. And his insistence that he could “fairly quickly” pay off the entire $19 trillion national debt accumulated over the last 182 years.

Braggadocio, of course, has been at the center of Mr. Trump’s persona for decades, and arguably helped make him into a swaggering celebrity real estate tycoon and reality television star with enough appeal to win the presidency. In the White House, though, it has historically been more problematic. Presidents who make bold predictions often come to regret them. All Mr. Trump would have to do is ask those who, for decades, have banged their heads against the Middle East brick wall.
“When the president says we’ll do this deal, he thinks in terms of a one-off real estate deal,” said Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator who spent years trying to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. “And while that’s partly true,” the specific issues dividing Israelis and Palestinians “transcend the ‘art of the deal’ in ways I’m not sure he can now even begin to imagine.”
Mr. Trump’s introduction to Mr. Abbas made that plain. The president said he would do “whatever is necessary” to negotiate an agreement without offering any sense of how he intends to do that, or what such an agreement might look like.
Mr. Abbas, by contrast, repeated the conditions the Palestinians have insisted on for years — the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on borders that existed before the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital; the right of return for refugees; and freedom for prisoners in Israeli cells. That formulation has been a nonstarter for Israel, which itself has shown no sign of backing off its own fixed positions.
Mr. Trump has made clear that details do not matter to him, abandoning the longtime American commitment to the so-called two-state solution. When he hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in February, Mr. Trump said he would be fine with either a two-state or a one-state solution if both sides agreed. Palestinians hoping he might be more supportive of the two-state plan with Mr. Abbas were disappointed when Mr. Trump made no mention of it on Wednesday.
“We want to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Mr. Trump said. “We will get it done. We will be working so hard to get it done.”
Turning to Mr. Abbas, he added, “I think there’s a very, very good chance, and I think you feel the same way.”
Mr. Abbas, 82, who was among the negotiators at the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993, indicated that he did feel optimistic that, nearly a quarter-century later, Mr. Trump might finally build on that initial agreement to forge a final resolution.

Praising Mr. Trump’s “courageous stewardship,” “wisdom” and “great negotiating ability,” Mr. Abbas said, “We believe that we can be partners, true partners, to you to bring about a historic peace treaty.”
Mr. Abbas implored Mr. Trump to understand the Palestinian perspective. “It’s about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land after 50 years,” he said. “We are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom, our dignity and our right to self-determination.”

Echoing Israel’s position, Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Abbas to discourage Palestinian instigation against Israelis. “There cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate,” Mr. Trump said. He did not publicly mention Palestinian financial payments to the families of convicted terrorists, but his spokesman, Sean Spicer, said Mr. Trump raised the issue privately.

Mr. Abbas insisted that Palestinians were not preaching hatred. “I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace,” he said, a contention Israeli officials would reject.
By all accounts, Mr. Trump seems genuinely determined to pursue Middle East peace and has assigned his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his longtime lawyer, Jason Greenblatt, to lead the effort. The president may visit Israel this month before a scheduled trip to Europe.

Mr. Trump seems drawn to the idea of succeeding where others have failed. “Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Mr. Trump said. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong.”
Yet few think conditions are ripe. Aging and unpopular, Mr. Abbas may not have the clout to deliver even if he were willing to make concessions. Similarly, Mr. Netanyahu, now in his fourth term and under corruption investigations, faces significant pressure from his political right not to make a deal, and does not seem especially eager to do so anyway. Both leaders have an interest in making Mr. Trump think they are serious even if they are not.

“I think the Palestinian calculation is that they can follow this further than Netanyahu can,” said Grant Rumley, the co-author of “The Last Palestinian,” a biography of Mr. Abbas to be published in July. “I think they expect that when the time comes to resist or say no to Trump, as it inevitably will for both leaders, that Abbas can do so and still maintain his grip on power, while the same likely cannot be said for Netanyahu.”
John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as former Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, said failure has a cost. “The peace process is nothing if not a huge diplomatic time suck,” he said. “And the more time the president and his top advisers spend trying to push this particular rock up that hill, the less time they are focused on addressing the profound strategic challenges like Iran, ISIS and Al Qaeda.”
Still, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a pro-peace lobbying group in Washington, said “there’s a scenario where this falls into his lap later in his term, not necessarily because of the brilliance of his diplomacy.” With Sunni Arab states aligned with Israel in the regional struggle with Iran, he said, pressure may build for a resolution to the Palestinian question.

If nothing else, Mr. Ben-Ami said, not being steeped in the details has advantages. “People who’ve been hardened by 20 or 30 years of doing this may think they know it all and they come in with their preconceived approach and it doesn’t work,” he said. “So maybe this is better.”

Kay Longhi’s parents, Francis and Patricia Longhi, at their north-end home on Cowan Road in the 1960s. (Courtesy Photo)

Coming Home: Betty MacDonald interview drew Longhis from Chicago

Editor’s Note: This story is the second in a series about the interesting ways current islanders came to end up on Vashon and how being on the island has changed the course of their lives.Islander Kay Longhi and her twin sister were only 6 years old when they moved to Vashon from Chicago in the 1950s, but Longhi, now in her 60s and still living on Vashon, can vividly recall the move and the events leading up to it.
The decision to leave the Midwest was made by Longhi’s mother, Patricia Longhi, who Kay said was tired of living in cities and longed for the same kind of authenticity she witnessed on childhood vacations to a farm in Maine. Patricia found that opportunity in a 1954 radio interview with infamous island author Betty MacDonald.
“Arthur Godfrey interviewed Betty MacDonald on his radio program. She talked about her book ‘Onions in the Stew,’ and it intrigued Mother,” Kay Longhi said. “When Daddy came home, she announced that we were moving to Vashon.”
Kay called the early 1950s the “go-go time,” as the interstate system was being built and car culture was catching on. So, a couple months after hearing the interview, the family packed up their canary, dog and belongings — Kay said her mother was a “great animal lover” — and drove the more than 2,000 cross-country miles to Washington.
“I remember crossing the border into Washington and remember standing in the back seat — those were the days where you could do that, no seat belts — and Dad stops the car in Spokane and says, ‘We’re here,’” she recalled. “I just remember thinking, ‘We came all the way for this?’ Spokane was not much to look at and didn’t quite meet the expectations I had.”
The family’s journey obviously had to go a little farther west, but ended at a motel on Seattle’s Aurora Avenue. Kay and her family stayed there a week while her father found a job. Shortly after, the Longhi family moved to West Seattle.
“A tiny house clinging to the hillside” is how Longhi recalled that first home.
She and her sister started first grade in West Seattle before the family moved to a home on Cowan Road at the north end of Vashon the following year, 1955. Her mother fell in love with the island and never looked back.
“We came to this island, which was secluded, out of the big city,” Longhi said. “We could see the mountains, as well as the sound. She would walk all over Vashon and loved being surrounded by water. She was very, very happy.”
The home was also not far from MacDonald’s, although Kay says her mother did not find that out until after she bought the home.
“I don’t know how she knew the house (Betty Macdonald’s) was close … but she was aware of it,” Kay Longhi said.
And while her mother never met MacDonald, she did meet her sister, Mary Bard.
Patricia Longhi went on to live in that same north-end home for 56 years. She moved out in 2011, three years before her death at the age of 91.
“Mother was very much a loner in her heart. She liked solitude and wanted to be in the rugged, great outdoors,” Kay Longhi said before explaining that her mother grew up in an affluent family in New York City and was expected to become a socialite.
“She abhorred the life,” Longhi said. “She loved the summers she spent on the coast of Maine. They always went to Laudholm Farm — a working farm with outbuildings that were rented out in the summer.”
It was a lifestyle similar to that of the farm that Patricia Longhi found on Vashon, and that authenticity and community is what has kept Kay Longhi here. Longhi attended college in Portland, moved to Seattle, then moved to North Carolina and Mobile, Alabama, but because her mother was here, she followed what was happening on the island and would always come visit.
“Because I was raised here, I never lacked a sense of home,” she said. “The community here has been my go-to place both mentally and physically. I’ve always been very centered. There’s a real sense of community and home I’ve never felt anywhere else.”
Longhi moved back to Seattle in 1997. By 2008, her mother was in her 80s and suffering from dementia, and Kay moved into a small cabin on her mother’s property to take of her. She was eventually moved to a memory care home in 2011 and died in 2014, but her mother’s dream of rural living in the north-end home continues to this day, as her great-grandchildren are growing up in the same house.
“My sister’s child, so my niece and her family, live there,” Longhi said. “Houses don’t come up for sale on Vashon because one generation leaves and another comes in.”
But the Vashon home is not the only lasting evidence of Patricia Longhi’s search for a more rural, authentic life. During her life on Vashon, she discovered the Washington coast, and Kay said her mother saw many similarities between it and the Maine coastline of her childhood. She and a few other island families bought land and primitive cabins in the mid-60s on a strip of coast that is now part of the Olympic National Park.
“The federal government came in and claimed eminent domain and declared it wilderness. There were two choices, either have the home torn down and take the money the government gives you, or have the government take it over when the owner dies. Mother put the home in her children’s names, so it’s still there.”

The three-story cabin has no electricity and no running water. It’s tall and skinny, perched on a cliff so her mother could see the water below her.
“For Mother, it was the ultimate solitude,” Longhi said. “It was just about where she wanted to be.”

The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist

Trump: Crazy Like a Fox, or Just Crazy?

President Trump on his way to a rally in Pennsylvania on Friday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Has the first 100 days of the presidency made Donald Trump nuts?
I don’t ask that question as a doctor. I don’t do medical diagnoses. I ask it as a newspaper reader. You read all of Trump’s 100-day interviews and they are just bizarre.
Out of nowhere Trump tells us he would be “honored” to negotiate directly with the leader of North Korea, after weeks of threatening war. Out of nowhere he says he would consider a gasoline tax to pay for infrastructure. Out of nowhere he says he is considering breaking up the nation’s biggest banks. He also insists that his Obamacare replacement legislation contains protections for people with pre-existing conditions that it doesn’t.
There’s barely a dictator in the world for whom he doesn’t have praise. And he repeats a known falsehood — that Barack Obama wiretapped him — and tells reporters they should go find the truth, when, as president, he could get the truth from the F.B.I. with one phone call, and when pressed whether he stands by that allegation, answers, “I don’t stand by anything.”
Is this a political strategy unfolding or a psychiatric condition unfolding? I don’t know — but it tells me that absolutely anything is possible in the next 100 days — both good and bad. Trump is clearly capable of shifting gears and striking any deal with any party on any issue.

Trump was always going to be an unpredictable work in progress because he did no homework before coming to office — which is why he now tells us that he’s finding so many problems more difficult than he anticipated — and because he didn’t know most of his cabinet members. They’re sort of a pickup basketball team, bound not by a shared vision but by a shared willingness to overlook Trump’s core ignorance, instability and indecency and serve in key jobs as much to restrain him as to be guided by him.
In his first 100 days, allies and adversaries saved Trump and the country from some of his most extreme, ill-considered campaign promises. His foreign policy team stopped him from tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
North Korea’s missile-loving dictator saved him from declaring China a currency manipulator and starting a trade war with Beijing, because Trump discovered he needed China to restrain North Korea and avoid a war.

Boeing and General Electric restrained Trump from getting rid of the Export-Import Bank, which would have left U.S. exporters at a big disadvantage. The federal courts prevented him from imposing his Muslim ban. Border-state Republicans blocked his Mexico wall and other Republicans are blocking his draconian replacement of Obamacare. U.S. farmers, whose exports to Mexico have soared since Nafta was signed, dissuaded him from walking out of that trade deal.

As for the next 100 days, who will protect us? Myself, I am not counting on the Democratic Party. It’s too weak. On the issues I care about most, I’m actually counting on California. I believe California’s market size, aspirational goals and ability to legislate make it the most powerful opposition party to Trump in America today.

How so? Trump wants to scrap Obama-era standards requiring passenger cars to average about 51 miles a gallon by 2025; today it’s just under 37 miles a gallon. But as The Los Angeles Times recently noted, under the Clean Air Act, California “can impose emissions standards stronger than those set by the federal government, and a dozen other states have embraced the California rules.”

More than one-third of the vehicles sold in America are subject to the rules California sets. Trump can deregulate U.S. automakers to make more gas guzzlers all he wants, but they can’t if they want to sell cars in California. Trump can sue, but that will take years.
Ditto California companies: Apple is now powering 96 percent of its operations around the world with renewable energy — 100 percent in 24 countries — including the U.S. and China. Trump’s pro-coal — make-America-cough-again — campaign will never get Apple back on coal.
Also, notes Energy Innovation founder Hal Harvey: “California has a renewable portfolio standard requiring that 50 percent of all electricity come from wind, solar and other renewables by 2030. Another 15 percent already comes from existing nuclear and hydro — so our grid will be 65 percent decarbonized in 13 years.”

As Kevin de León, leader of the California State Senate, told me: California has far more clean energy jobs than there are coal jobs in all of America, and California’s now nation-leading growth rate in jobs gives the lie to everything Trump says: You can have gradually rising clean energy standards, innovation, job creation and G.D.P. growth — all at the same time.

California is also leading the resistance to Trump’s draconian immigration policies, with a web of initiatives embracing tighter border controls while also creating health care, education and work opportunities for illegal immigrants who have been living here responsibly and productively.

“We have made it very clear — we will protect our economic prosperity and our values from Trump,” said de León, whose Legislature recently hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to defend it against Trump suits. Holder is California’s (and my) secretary of defense.

Asia Pacific

Trump Follows Instincts, Not Establishment, With Overtures to Kim and Duterte

A military parade last month in Pyongyang, North Korea. President Trump said Monday that he would meet with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, if the circumstances were right. Credit Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump continued his outreach to rogue leaders on Monday, declaring he would meet North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, provided the circumstances were right, even as the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, brushed aside the president’s invitation to visit the White House, saying he might be “too busy.”
Mr. Trump’s unorthodox overtures — to a nuclear-armed despot who brutally purged his rivals, and an insurgent politician accused of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects — illustrated the president’s confidence in his ability to make deals and his willingness to talk to virtually anyone.
Above all, they highlighted his penchant for flouting the norms of diplomacy, no matter his larger aim.
No sitting American president has met with a North Korean leader since Mr. Kim’s grandfather Kim Il-sung established a Stalinist state there after the Korean War. However vague and impromptu, Mr. Trump’s offer shook up an unsettled situation on the Korean Peninsula, which has been alarmed by the prospect of a military clash between the United States and the North.

“Kim Jong-un would be delighted to meet with President Trump on the basis of one nuclear leader to another,” said Christopher R. Hill, a career diplomat who was special envoy on North Korea under President George W. Bush. “If I were Trump I would pass on that.”
Mr. Duterte’s backhanded response to Mr. Trump, however, also showed the pitfalls of his personal brand of diplomacy. The president had already gotten fierce criticism from human rights groups for embracing a man viewed by many as being responsible for the deaths of thousands of people involved in the drug trade. Now he faces being snubbed by Mr. Duterte as well.
And he is working to keep open lines of communication with President Vladimir V. Putin, despite partially blaming the Russian leader last month for the continuing civil war in Syria. Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin are scheduled to speak by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced late Monday.
“The most serious risk with this series of uncoordinated and controversial statements is that they undermine the most important currency of U.S. power: the credibility of the president’s words,” said Evan S. Medeiros, who served as a senior Asia adviser to President Barack Obama.
Mr. Trump first broached the idea of sitting down with Mr. Kim during the 2016 presidential campaign. He revived it in an interview Monday with Bloomberg News, saying, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely; I would be honored to do it.”
The White House clarified that Mr. Trump would only consider a meeting if the North Korean leader met a series of conditions, starting with a sharp curtailment of his provocative behavior. North Korea carried out its most recent ballistic missile test, which failed, only last week.
“We want to hold out the possibility that if North Korea were ever serious about completely dismantling its nuclear capability and taking away the threat that they pose both to the region and to us,” the press secretary, Sean Spicer, said, “there is always going to be a possibility of that occurring.” But he added, “That possibility is not there at this time.”
For now, the Trump administration is pursuing a more traditional strategy of tightening economic pressure on the North — mainly through its neighbor, China — and backing that up with threat of military action. Mr. Trump said last week that while he wanted to solve the crisis with North Korea through diplomacy, a “major, major conflict” was possible.

Some experts said Mr. Trump’s openness to diplomacy reflected the influence of China, which has long urged the United States to speak directly to North Korea. Since Mr. Trump met last month in Florida with President Xi Jinping of China, he has praised Mr. Xi for what he insisted was China’s willingness to use its leverage over the North to curb its behavior.

“The Chinese have told Trump, ‘You’ve got to talk to these people,’” said Joel S. Wit, an expert on North Korea at Johns Hopkins University, who was involved in diplomacy during the Clinton administration that led to a nuclear agreement with North Korea in 1994.

“They’re trying to create the right circumstances for talks,” Mr. Wit said, “ramping up the pressure on the Chinese, ramping up the pressure on the North Koreans, and then opening up an escape route.”
But the timing of Mr. Trump’s overture, analysts and diplomats said, was hopelessly premature. In these types of negotiations, American presidents typically function as closers — taking over the process, after all the spadework has been done, to bridge the last gaps. So far, Mr. Kim has displayed no interest in even beginning such a negotiation.

Mr. Trump has spoken generously of Mr. Kim in recent days, noting that he survived the treacherous political circles in Pyongyang after he first assumed power as a young man. Mr. Trump suggested that Mr. Kim repelled an effort by an uncle to take power back from him. In 2013, Mr. Kim purged his powerful uncle, Jang Song-taek, who was later executed.
Human rights groups also suspect Mr. Kim was behind the assassination of his exiled half brother, Kim Jong-nam, who was accosted in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by two assailants wielding a liquid containing the nerve agent VX.

Beyond the palace intrigue, the Kim family has presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes, leaving the country in tatters and its people in misery.
Asked to explain why Mr. Trump would consider it an honor to meet such a leader, Mr. Spicer said, “I guess because he’s still a head of state.” He noted that there were “a lot of potential threats that could have come his way, and he’s obviously managed to lead a country forward.” Mr. Spicer added, “He is a young person to be leading a country with nuclear weapons.”

For his part, Mr. Duterte appeared unimpressed by Mr. Trump’s invitation to the White House, which the president made during a phone call on Saturday, to the surprise of his own staff. The Philippine leader said he and Mr. Trump had an amicable conversation, but he was noncommittal about visiting Washington, saying he had a busy schedule.

“I cannot make any definite promise,” Mr. Duterte said to reporters after touring Chinese warships in Davao City, his hometown. “I’m supposed to go to Russia, I’m also supposed to go to Israel.”
If Mr. Duterte rejected Mr. Trump’s invitation, he would spare him further criticism for playing host to a leader with a toxic reputation. On Sunday, senior officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council to resist a White House visit. But on Monday, an official said the White House did not pass word to Mr. Duterte to demur.

Mr. Spicer defended the invitation, saying the Philippines were important to isolating North Korea diplomatically and economically. Mr. Trump, he said, had been briefed about Mr. Duterte’s record before he made the call.

Josh Kurlantzick, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, said he expected Mr. Duterte would still come to the United States, but might not want to seem too eager to do so. The Philippine leader has made a show of his independence from the United States, a treaty ally.

“Even though he welcomes a better relationship with this U.S. president, he wants to be cautious that he does not appear to be embracing the U.S. too much,” Mr. Kurlantzick said, “given that he has devoted a fair amount of diplomatic resources to courting China.”

SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist

Lessons From 100 Days of President Trump

Here are a dozen things we have learned in President Trump’s first 100 days.
1. Trump has had the worst beginning of any president since, oh, perhaps William Henry Harrison (who died a month after his inauguration). Trump has had no legislative triumphs, and he has by far the lowest public approval of any new president in polling history. Large majorities say he is not honest, does not keep promises and does not care about ordinary people.
2. Trump distinguishes himself in one area: incompetence. The debacle of the travel ban was followed by the collapse of the G.O.P. health care bill, and I doubt we’ll ever see passage of a tax reform package, a health bill or even a major infrastructure spending bill. Trump has made no trips abroad (at this juncture, Barack Obama had visited nine countries), and he has fewer than half as many nominees confirmed for senior positions as Obama did at this point.
3. New presidents typically grow into the job, but Trump remains a bully and a charlatan. In my career, I’ve never known a national politician as mendacious, ill informed, bombastic and dangerous as Trump. His tweets are as immature as ever, and The Washington Post calculates that he has issued 452 false or misleading claims since assuming office, churning them out at a rate of more than one every six hours around the clock (no wonder he seems so busy!).
4. The opposition to Trump has been ineffective in reaching Trump voters, and he remains deeply popular with his base. Only 2 percent of Trump voters say they regret their choice in November, and an ABC/Washington Post poll suggested that if 2016 voters filled out their ballots today, Trump would be elected by the popular vote as well as by the electoral vote. Even more people say that the Democratic Party is out of touch with ordinary voters than say the same of the Republican Party. Trump’s popularity among Republicans means that the liberal aim of removing Trump by impeachment or the 25th Amendment is probably fantasy — and all this should prompt some hard reflection among progressives.
5. Trump systematically betrays his supporters. Elected in part on working-class anger at elites, he keeps proposing giant tax cuts for the rich financed by cutting health care for the needy, and his tax “plan” would in effect borrow from China to reward billionaires like himself. His “deregulation” includes letting chemical companies peddle an insecticide, chlorpyrifos, linked to brain damage in children.
6. Trump has built a colossal swamp in Washington, hiring lobbyists to craft policies governing the very companies that previously paid them. To cover up abuses, the White House issues secret waivers of its own ethics rules! The denizens of this swamp are also like nothing previously seen in the White House: One counterterrorism aide, Sebastian Gorka, founded an extremist political party in Hungary and allegedly has ties (which he denies) to a Nazi-allied group there.
7. Bless the American people: Scapegoating and bigotry carry a political price. Trump has demonized some of the most vulnerable people — refugees and unauthorized immigrants — but large majorities of Americans disapprove of his policies on immigration (57 percent to 41 percent, according a CNN poll).

8. After initially tussling with allies like Australia and Mexico, and apparently refusing to shake Angela Merkel’s hand for a photo, Trump has partially adapted to reality on foreign policy, abandoning his positions on two Chinas, on China’s currency and on the Iran nuclear program. He has replaced an awful national security adviser (Michael Flynn) with a good one (H. R. McMaster) and now has a respectable national security team.

9. Perhaps the greatest single risk of a Trump presidency is what he calls a “major, major conflict” erupting on the Korean Peninsula. I don’t think this is likely, but it would be cataclysmic. The problem is that Trump’s existing policy won’t succeed in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear stockpile — and one can’t help worrying when two inexperienced and impulsive leaders face off.

10. Democrats should be careful to avoid Trump Derangement Syndrome. A survey of Dartmouth students found that 45 percent of Democrats would be uncomfortable with a roommate of opposite political views, compared with only 12 percent of Republicans. Meanwhile, the passions to block conservative speakers at Middlebury and the University of California, Berkeley, should also give us pause: Liberalism mustn’t be illiberal.

11. Let’s avoid the temptation to chase the latest shiny thing. Focus on what’s truly important: health, tax and housing policy, the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, the efforts to undermine women’s health programs, and the effort to slash foreign aid just as 20 million people face possible famine.

12. The Republic stands. Checks and balances have constrained Trump, courts have blocked his travel ban, journalists have provided oversight, and the public has hounded members of Congress. Alarm that the U.S. might slip into a fascist dictatorship has diminished — but it’s a long three years and nine months still ahead of us.

Trump Tells N.R.A. Convention, ‘I Am Going to Come Through for You’

President Trump received a warm welcome at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Atlanta on Friday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

ATLANTA — President Trump received a thunderous welcome from thousands of gun lovers as he appeared here on Friday at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention to thank the group for its unwavering support of his presidential campaign.
A supporter of restrictions on guns before he entered politics, Mr. Trump became a fierce champion of gun rights during his bid for the White House, earning early backing — and $30 million in campaign support — from the powerful lobbying group.
“Only one candidate in the general election came to speak to you, and that candidate is now the president of the United States, standing before you,” Mr. Trump said. “You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.”
The president was received as a hero, in part for successfully installing a conservative Supreme Court justice, Neil M. Gorsuch, who is seen as a likely protector of the Second Amendment. Mr. Trump in turn treated the gun convention like a political rally, joyfully recalling his election victory and mocking the journalists and Democrats who were confident that he would lose.

“Remember, they said there is no path to 270,” he said, referring to the number of electoral votes a candidate needs to win the presidency. “There is no route — there is no route to 270. We ended up with 306, so they were right.”
He predicted that he would have no problem dispatching any rival during a 2020 re-election campaign, suggesting at one point that Democrats might nominate Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. He referred to her as he did during the campaign, derisively calling her Pocahontas, a reference to claims she once made about being part Native American.
“It may be Pocahontas, remember that,” he said, prompting laughter in the cavernous room. “She is not big for the N.R.A., that I can tell you.”
Before the president’s arrival, attendees watched hours of videos assailing former President Barack Obama, Democrats and anyone who has advocated gun control measures. The crowd erupted in boos when the large screens showed campaign commercials from last year attacking Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
They also laughed as television clips showed members of the news media, Hollywood stars and even Mr. Obama predicting confidently that Mr. Trump would never be elected president.
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” Mr. Trump told the crowd after assailing Mr. Obama’s record on guns. Now, he said, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

Mr. Trump, just shy of Saturday’s 100-day milestone in his presidency, stepped in front of the friendly audience amid a flurry of activity back in Washington. In just the past few days, his administration has released a tax plan and made and then rescinded a threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, while Republican lawmakers reignited their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Congress passed a short-term spending bill needed to keep the government running.

In addition to his Supreme Court pick, Mr. Trump has made some modest moves in support of gun rights. He signed legislation that reversed an Obama-era rule that would have required the Social Security Administration to provide information about mentally ill people for background checks on gun purchases.
Leaders of the N.R.A. heaped praise on Mr. Trump. Chris Cox, the executive director of the group’s political and lobbying arm, called Mr. Trump the “most proudly pro-gun presidential candidate” in history and accused the news media of lying about the number of people who watched Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

“The only number that mattered was the number who watched Hillary Clinton’s inauguration — zero!” Mr. Cox said.

Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the N.R.A., predicted that Mr. Trump would help wage war against elites in academics, politics and the news media. He called members of the news media “public relations flacks for the destruction of our country.”
Gun control organizations accused Mr. Trump of supporting what they call the “extremist” agenda of the N.R.A. In a statement on Thursday, two of those groups — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action — vowed to oppose efforts by the gun group to “allow more guns for anyone, anywhere, no questions asked.”

Those gun control groups are planning a rally for Saturday in Atlanta to demonstrate their willingness to “stand and fight back against the N.R.A. leadership’s dangerous ‘guns everywhere’ agenda that contributes to the more than 90 Americans shot and killed and the hundreds more injured every day.”
In a statement after Mr. Trump’s speech, Gabrielle Giffords, a former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in the head in 2011, criticized Mr. Trump for not confronting the problem of gun violence in America.

“It’s time for our elected officials to listen to the American people, protect our communities and reject the gun lobby’s extreme agenda,” Ms. Giffords said.
After the event, Mr. Trump attended a fund-raiser for Karen Handel, the Republican House candidate in Georgia who will compete in a runoff in June to replace Tom Price, who left his seat to become health and human services secretary in Mr. Trump’s administration.
For Ms. Handel, who has been a poor fund-raiser, Mr. Trump’s help is a boon as she competes against Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who is receiving enormous financial support from around the country.

Ms. Handel also needs to energize Republicans to support her in a primary that is likely to have low turnout. Her willingness to be part of a high-profile fund-raiser involving Mr. Trump suggests that she believes rallying his supporters is her best bet to defeat Mr. Ossoff.

Asia Pacific

Trump Warns That ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea Is Possible

President Trump during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea” if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve a dispute over that country’s weapons programs, Mr. Trump said. Credit Carlos Barria/Reuters

HONG KONG — President Trump warned Thursday of the possibility of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea, in an interview in which he said he was seeking a diplomatic solution to concerns that Pyongyang was preparing to conduct another nuclear test.
In the interview with Reuters, Mr. Trump praised President Xi Jinping of China for his efforts to resolve the dispute over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, but he cautioned that diplomatic efforts might fail.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” he said. “Absolutely.”
Mr. Trump’s remarks came amid signs that North Korea might soon conduct another underground detonation at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site despite Mr. Trump’s warning not to do so. China has played a mediating role in the crisis, as Mr. Trump has urged Mr. Xi to use Beijing’s leverage with North Korea, a longtime ally, to persuade it not to conduct a test.

“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Xi. “He is a good man. He is a very good man, and I got to know him very well.”
In the interview, Mr. Trump actually offered some grudging praise for North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime,” he said. “So say what you want, but that is not easy, especially at that age.”
“I hope he’s rational,” Mr. Trump added of Mr. Kim.
The United States has been pressing the United Nations to impose more sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. The diplomatic efforts have coincided with military maneuvers by the United States and South Korea in Pocheon, northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where the allies have demonstrated some of their latest weapons. In addition, the Michigan, a submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan. And a Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been sent to the Sea of Japan, which borders the Korean Peninsula.
Earlier this month, as tensions with North Korea were flaring, the Carl Vinson was said to be sailing north, toward the peninsula, when it was actually heading south, toward the Indian Ocean.
To protect against a North Korean attack, the United States is on the verge of making a new antimissile system operational in South Korea. Mr. Trump said in the interview that he would seek to have South Korea pay for the system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or Thaad, putting its cost around $1 billion.
Under its arrangement with Washington, South Korea was to provide land and build a base for the Thaad system, while the United States would pay for it and cover its operational costs.

In South Korea, Mr. Trump’s comment shook the election campaign to choose a successor next month to Park Geun-hye, the ousted president. Ms. Park’s decision to accept the Thaad deployment has been one of the most contentious issues on the trail, and Moon Jae-in, the leading candidate, seized on the remarks and, through a spokesman, called for a halt to the deployment.
“We must consider whether it conforms to the spirit of the alliance,” the spokesman, Youn Kwan-suk, said on Friday, accusing Mr. Trump of “demanding unilaterally and without close bilateral consultations that South Korea pay the cost” of the missile defense system.
Rebuffing Mr. Trump, the South Korean Defense Ministry said on Friday that it had no plans to pay for operating the system.

Mr. Trump also said that because of the United States’ sizable trade deficit with South Korea, he intended to renegotiate or end a trade pact with the country. That free trade agreement, called Korus, went into effect in 2012. It contains a framework for trade in both goods and services, and it covers environmental issues as well.

Like all free trade deals, it is designed to remove barriers to commerce. South Korea is America’s sixth-largest trading partner in goods, with $112.2 billion worth of commerce between the two in 2016, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. South Korea has a $10.7 billion trade deficit in services with the United States, but a $27.7 billion trade surplus in goods.
In the Reuters interview, Mr. Trump also rejected an overture from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, for further discussions. His telephone call with her in December alarmed China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.

“My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” Mr. Trump said. “I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him.”
On Thursday, Ms. Tsai had raised the possibility of talking with Mr. Trump again. “We have the opportunity to communicate more directly with the U.S. government,” she said in an interview. “We don’t exclude the opportunity to call President Trump himself, but it depends on the needs of the situation and the U.S. government’s consideration of regional affairs.”
Mr. Trump also used the Reuters interview to reflect on his three-month-old presidency, saying, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”


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!


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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