Friday, December 2, 2016

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald, Gammy, the sultan and the salesman


mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT

Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 
Your strongest allegiance is to your own
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

Betty Bard MacDonald's photo. 

The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

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Betty MacDonald's sister Alison Bard Burnett

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

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

December will be a very exciting month for Betty MacDonald fan club fans not only because of Xmas.

Britta and her Betty MacDonald fan club team are working on the new Betty MacDonald fan club item 'Christmas with Gammy'. 

Betty MacDonald's unique Grandmother Gammy will entertain you with very exciting and witty stories incld. golden memories and comments of Betty MacDonald and her family - never published before.

A new golden Betty MacDonald fan club treasure! 

You can order our new Betty MacDonald and Alison Bard Burnett CD and DVD!

DVD and CD are different. You can see Betty MacDonald, her sister Alison Bard Burnett and other family members and friends in front of the camera for the first time! 

We can offer you new wonderful Betty MacDonald Fan Club Items and a new Betty MacDonald and Alison Bard Burnett CD and DVD. 

More exciting news about Betty MacDonald's filmed interview will come soon. 
Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard was born March 26, 1907 in Boulder, Colorado, the second child of Sydney and Darsie Bard. Betsy and her three sisters and brother had an adventurous, somewhat unconventional childhood owing to the strong and creative personalities of their parents and Darsie's mother, "Gammy," and the many lessons in independence they survived gracefully. ( see story Betty and Gammy written by Wolfgang Hampel published by Betty MacDonald Fan Club and Interviews with Betty MacDonald and her sister Alison Bard published on CD/DVD . The interviews on CD and DVD are different )

When Betsy was 12 her father died of pneumonia, but the family's strong relationships and optimism remained intact through this sorrow and the ensuing financial trials.
Betsy (who later preferred the nickname Betty) said that for the Bard children, there were really only two household rules: "We were expected to be polite and to tell the truth, no matter how appalling. "Apart from that, the Bard children did as they pleased and went forth into the world with well-defined personalities, acutely-developed senses of humor and adventure, and a remarkable zest for life.

Betty married at 20 and went to live on a chicken ranch in the Olympic mountains. Her experiences there are chronicled in her first book, The Egg and I . ( see books The Kettles' Million Dollar Egg, The Egg and Betty, The Tragic end of Robert Eugene Heskett by Wolfgang Hampel published by BMC)

Life in such isolation and hardship palled after 4 years and she returned with her two small daughters to her Seattle family just as the Depression hit. The amazing stories of their survival and triumph are related in Anybody Can Do Anything. Betty and her family had a wonderful friend who supported them during this very difficult time.
( see Betty and Mike by Wolfgang Hampel published by BMC  and Wolfgang Hampel's interview with Alison Bard published by BMC )
Alison Bard tells some delightful treasure stories about this wonderful friend.

But Betty's career as a businesswoman was cut short when she contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and entered Firlands, an endowed sanitorium north of Seattle. Lying flat on one's back for 8 1/2 months doesn't seem the stuff of which humor can be made, but Betty did indeed spin gold out of straw, in The Plague and I.
( see Betty MacDonald's illness written by Wolfgang Hampel and published by BMC and comments of Betty MacDonald's family and friends incl. Betty MacDonald's wonderful friend Kimi )

After her recovery, Betty married Donald MacDonald and they moved their family to Vashon Island, leading an idyllic and interesting existence as portrayed in Onions in the Stew. While on Vashon Betty also wrote her works for children: the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series and Nancy and Plum.

Betty and her husband bought a ranch near Carmel, but illness forced her to move back to Seattle. She died of cancer at the age of 50 on February 7, 1958. ( see Betty MacDonald's illness by Wolfgang Hampel, published by BMC  and Wolfgang Hampel's interview with Alison Bard, published by BMC  )

Why is Betty's writing so beloved among so many people all over the world? 

The first and most obvious reason is that it's hilarious - sharp, sometimes irreverent. vivid and unexpected. Betty manages to find humor everywhere: on the early morning streetcar, in a hospital ward, in a home with two cranky adolescents, in job situations from farm work to secretarial duties. To read Betty's writing is to laugh -- often out loud, in public places, whether you want to or not. She has a terrific eye for the absurd and can paint a striking and side-splitting word picture in a few succinct strokes.

But Betty fans also love her optimism, her strength, her intense love for her family, her times of self-doubt, and the zest with which she approaches all of life and relishes simple pleasures.
( see many comments of Betty MacDonald Fans in books, stories and interviews with Betty MacDonald's family and friends published by BMC  )

Betty's indomitable sister Mary Bard, whom we encounter in all four books but meet most vividly in Anybody Can Do Anything, also went on to write (her first book is dedicated to Betty, "Who Egged Me On"). Mary's books, The Doctor Wears Three Faces, Forty-Odd, Just Be Yourself, and the children's series Best Friends, are also much beloved by Betty fans who find themselves quickly becoming Mary fans as well. ( see Wolfgang Hampel's interviews with Alison Bard)

Alison Bard Burnett shares the most interesting stories about Mary, Betty and the Bard family. 

CD and DVD interviews are different ones.

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 new project Vita Magica.

Enjoy a wonderful  breakfast with Brad and Nick, please.

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli needs strong nerves for his many girl friends and the very complicated political affairs.

Good guy we believe in you!!!!!!!!

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

This interview will be published for the first time ever.

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

We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 

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

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

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

Vita Magica was very witty and enjoyable.

We know the visitors had a great time there.

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

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

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

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

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

Thanks a million!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that Trump is going to destroy trade, cause millions of jobs to be lost, and cause the US dollar to collapse, there's very little reason for the coasts to remain part of a wholly dysfunctional, racist, backward, and inward-looking nation.
Meanwhile Canada is a country of liberal principles in which people are educated, less superstitious/religious, healthier, and happier. If California, Oregon, and Washington hold successful ballot initiatives over the next 24 months there's no reason why by 2020 we shouldn't have the United States of Canada and the Backward States of America emerging as two distinct nations. The former will be forward-looking, open, dynamic, and meritocratic while the latter will be backward-looking, closed, racist, stagnant, and based entirely around the politics of influence.
In the end it may well be the case that California shows the way, not to a Democratic electoral victory at some distant and implausible time in the future when the rest of the USA is less backward, racist, ignorant, and insular but rather to a future in which educated open-minded people decide to leave those who can't be saved in order to get on with the serious business of building a better world.

Don't miss the article below, please. 

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

mrs. piggle wiggle, hello_english_cassette_FRONT

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

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

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

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

Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 

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

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

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

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

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 

Real vs. Ersatz

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

I totally agree with these comments:

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

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

That's it. 

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

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

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

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 

André Maurice Dayans Foto.

I found this in Wikipedia about her:

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

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

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

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

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

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

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

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

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

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

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

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

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  

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

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

Good luck!  

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

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

If so would you be so kind to share them?

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

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

Thank you so much in advance for your support.








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

More info are coming soon.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend is near!

Enjoy a great Friday,


Don't miss this very special book, please.




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Don't miss this very special book, please.


Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

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

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

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

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

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

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Greta Larson

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

The sultan and the salesman

All latest updates

Turkey’s Islamist president is embracing Donald Trump

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s enthusiasm may not last long

IN JUNE, a few months after Donald Trump, then a candidate for the Republican nomination, called for a ban on Muslim immigration, Turkey’s Islamist leader objected. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Mr Trump’s name be removed from Trump Towers in Istanbul. “The ones who put that brand on their building should remove it immediately,” he said.
Mr Erdogan appears to have changed his mind, both about the towers and about the man whose name appears on them. Although polls show that most Turks would have preferred to see Hillary Clinton as America’s new president, Mr Trump’s election has been greeted in Ankara with a mix of schadenfreude and hope. “We were suffering from [American] policies towards the Middle East and Turkey under the Democrats and Obama,” says Yasin Aktay, a deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party. “This opens a new page.” The Turkish president has been even more emphatic, calling protests against Mr Trump’s election in America and Europe “a disrespect to democracy”.

Flattery may have gotten Mr Trump somewhere: according to Diken, a Turkish news portal, he told Mr Erdogan over the phone that his daughter, Ivanka, admired him. In any case, Turkey is giving him the benefit of the doubt. For months, its government has pressed America to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based preacher whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt in July that claimed some 270 lives. Turkish officials now believe Mr Trump will be more responsive to such exhortations than Mrs Clinton would have been. (Her campaign accepted donations from followers of Mr Gulen.) Mr Erdogan seems to think that the president-elect, a fellow populist who has expressed admiration for autocrats like Vladimir Putin, will look the other way as he locks up opponents and panders to his Islamist base.He is not slowing down. Earlier this month AK tabled a bill pardoning statutory rapists who marry their victims, before shelving it following a popular outcry. Had it passed, the law would have allowed as many as 3,000 convicted sex offenders to walk free. That would have freed up room inside Turkey’s teeming prisons for some of the 37,000 people, including soldiers, bureaucrats, academics, journalists and a dozen Kurdish MPs, who have been arrested for political reasons since the July 15th coup. Over 120,000 others, including nearly 16,000 last week alone, have been sacked or suspended from office for alleged links to Mr Gulen or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Mr Trump is expected to nag foreigners less about human rights than some American presidents have, though no one knows for sure. That would suit Turkey just fine. Mr Erdogan respects Western interests, but not Western norms. Last week he suggested that Turkey should join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a Eurasian political, economic and military bloc that includes Uzbekistan, Russia and China, as an alternative to the European Union.
He may not be bluffing. Relations with the EU are worse than at any point since it accepted Turkey as a candidate for membership, almost two decades ago. Mr Erdogan has called for a referendum on ending Turkey’s application in 2017. He has proposed reinstating the death penalty, which would be incompatible with membership. And he has, ridiculously, accused the West as a whole of siding with Islamic State (IS). His foreign minister recently bragged about refusing to answer phone calls from his German counterpart.
The EU’s patience is starting to fray. Last week the European Parliament voted to recommend suspending Turkey’s accession talks. The vote is non-binding, and is unlikely to lead to anything: Germany fears that a snubbed Turkey might scrap its agreement to block human-smuggling across the Aegean Sea, allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants once again to flow into Greece. But with Europe’s populist parties growing stronger, and Mr Erdogan mobilising public opinion against the West, a showdown will be hard to avert.
If Turkey hopes to trade worsening relations with Europe for a new friendship with Mr Trump, it will be disappointed. The new president may be sympathetic to Turkish concerns about Mr Gulen, but then again he may not. And in any case, the cleric’s fate rests with America’s courts. Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s team wants to list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group, roll back the nuclear deal with Iran, and continue arming the PKK’s Syrian wing against IS. Mr Erdogan opposes all these measures vehemently.
Moreover, the officials named so far to the incoming administration are no great fans of Mr Erdogan. Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s pick for national security adviser, penned an op-ed this month praising Turkey as “a source of stability”, but Turkish officials were troubled to find that a video shot on the night of the coup shows Mr Flynn cheering on the mutinous generals against Mr Erdogan’s government. In a tweet posted on the same date, Mr Trump’s choice for the head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, called Turkey an “Islamist dictatorship”. Some in Ankara are already growing disillusioned. “This sounds like a crusader discourse,” says Mr Aktay. The relationship between Mr Erdogan and Mr Trump has gotten off to a good start. It may not last. 

Trump Calls for Revoking Flag Burners’ Citizenship. Court Rulings Forbid It.

An American flag was burned outside the White House after Donald J. Trump was elected president this month. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, politicians have periodically announced with fanfare that they would introduce a bill to strip the citizenship of Americans accused of terrorism. The idea tends to attract brief attention, but fades away, in part because the Supreme Court long ago ruled that the Constitution does not permit the government to take a person’s citizenship against his or her will.
But on Tuesday, President-elect Donald J. Trump revived the idea and took it much further than the extreme case of a suspected terrorist. He proposed that Americans who protest government policies by burning the flag could lose their citizenship — meaning, among other things, their right to vote — as punishment.

Mr. Trump wrote the post shortly after Fox News aired a segment about a dispute at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, which removed the American flag from its campus flagpole after protests over his election victory; during one demonstration, someone burned a flag.
Even if Mr. Trump were to persuade Congress to enact a criminal statute, a dramatic shift in the balance between government power and individual freedom, anyone convicted and sentenced could point to clear Supreme Court precedents to make the case for a constitutional violation.

The obstacles include the precedent that the Constitution does not allow the government to expatriate Americans against their will, through a landmark 1967 case, Afroyim v. Rusk. They also include a 1989 decision, Texas v. Johnson, in which the court struck down criminal laws banning flag burning, ruling that the act was a form of political expression protected by the First Amendment.
David D. Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who co-wrote the Supreme Court briefs in the flag-burning case and who is about to become national legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said he wondered if Mr. Trump’s strategy was to goad people into burning flags in order to “marginalize” the protests against him. But he also called Mr. Trump’s proposal “beyond the pale.”

“To me it is deeply troubling that the person who is going to become the most powerful government official in the United States doesn’t understand the first thing about the First Amendment — which is you can’t punish people for expressing dissent — and also doesn’t seem to understand that citizenship is a constitutional right that cannot be taken away, period, under any circumstances,” he said.
The 1967 case involving the stripping of citizenship traces back to a 1940 law that automatically revoked the citizenship of Americans who took actions like voting in a foreign country’s election or joining its military.
The case centered on a man who had been born in Poland, became a naturalized American citizen, and later went to Israel and voted in an election there. When he subsequently tried to renew his American passport, the State Department refused, saying he was no longer an American citizen, and he sued.


Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s the Latest List.

A list of possibilities and appointees for top posts in the new administration. 

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In a 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court called citizenship and the rights that stem from it “no light trifle to be jeopardized any moment” by politicians’ attempts to curtail it. The court said that the 14th Amendment, which guarantees due process of law, does not empower the government to “rob” someone’s citizenship. Americans, the ruling explained, can only lose their citizenship by voluntarily renouncing it.
“The very nature of our free government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship,” Justice Hugo L. Black wrote.
In a case in 1980, Vance v. Terrazas, the Supreme Court extended that precedent by a vote of 6 to 3. That case concerned a man who was born with both American and Mexican citizenship, and who as a student took an oath of allegiance to Mexico, renouncing his American citizenship in order to obtain a Mexican citizenship document.
When the State Department said he had thus surrendered his American citizenship, he sued. The court majority said he was still a citizen because the government had to prove that he specifically intended to relinquish it, rather than having said those words with a different motivation, like fulfilling his desire to obtain the certificate.
The 1989 flag-burning case was also decided by a vote of 5 to 4. It centered on a protester who had burned a flag outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas as part of a political demonstration against Reagan administration policies. The protester, Gregory Johnson, was charged under a state law that criminalized desecrating the flag and appealed his conviction.


20 Things Donald Trump Said He Wanted to Get Rid of as President

Some of the parts of the government that Mr. Trump promised to dismantle if he was elected.
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The majority ruled that Mr. Johnson’s act was symbolic speech protected by the Constitution, effectively striking down state laws against flag desecration across the country. In response, Congress swiftly enacted a federal law against such desecration, but in 1990 the same five-justice majority struck it down, too.

Just one of the justices who participated in the flag-burning cases, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, is still on the court today; he sided with the majority that struck down the bans. Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February and whose seat Mr. Trump will get to fill because Republican senators refused to hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the vacancy, was also in the majority.
After the 1989 decision, supporters of a flag-burning ban tried to enact an amendment to the Constitution to make an exception to the First Amendment, but it twice fell short in the Senate.
The issue flared again a decade ago. In 2005, Hillary Clinton, a senator from New York at that time, co-sponsored the Flag Protection Act. Arguing that desecration of the symbol “may amount to fighting words or a direct threat to the physical and emotional well-being” of onlookers, the bill would have banned flag burning if abusing the symbol was “intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement.”

The crafters of that bill sought to frame it as a compromise and an alternative to an amendment, saying “the Bill of Rights is a guarantee of those freedoms and should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom, a course that is regularly resorted to by authoritarian governments which fear freedom and not by free and democratic nations.”
But Congress did not act on the legislation. The following year, when the Senate again tried to approve a constitutional amendment to empower Congress to ban flag desecration and it fell one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority, Mrs. Clinton was among those who voted against that measure.

Follow Charlie Savage on Twitter @charlie_savage.

Donald Trump's Republican Fascist Party. Puppets for Putin.

Why I refuse to sit down, shut up and get over it

This is not about sore losing, sour grapes or the lack of a sense of humor after a devastating, stunning travesty of an electoral injustice. 
The egregious, dog whistling reality is that twice in my recent lifetime the Electoral College and Supreme Court (in 2000) elected two Presidents that clearly lost the popular vote. In 2000 Al Gore won 500,000 votes over W. who, as we all well remember, is one of the most destructive Presidents in recent U.S. history. We can hardly forget what happened under W.’s watch. 
Two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich, at the expense of middle and working class Americans, and a global financial meltdown that nearly matched that of the Great Depression in 1929 dealt a crushing economic blow to the majority of us.  Hard working Americans lost their jobs, their homes while their retirement savings accounts went poof!  College graduates in 2009 and 2010 had a tough time finding well paying jobs.  Jobs that could sustain them as the recent graduates struggled to pay off their college loans. The lack of economic opportunities forced too many college graduates to move back at home with their parents. Who, by the way, also struggled during the bleak W. years of unpaid wars and tax cuts for the 1%. 
Meanwhile the GOP’s donor class, the rich, got richer. Its wealth never did trickle down to the lower masses, a Republican fraudulent myth that has been promoted since the Reagan Administration. 
There is no way in hell that I will roll over and passively watch the ensuing nightmare that is about to unfold. The right wing shit show ahead promises to be even worse than anything W./Cheney visited upon we the wee ones during the dark Bush years. 
 I will not get over it because Trump is a fraud. He may be a favorite play thing and puppet for Vladimir Putin, global oligarchs and U.S.  warmongers, but he's no President of mine.  Trump lost over 2 million American votes. And counting. 

You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.
I don’t believe you care much at all about this country or your party or the American people. I believe that the only thing you care about is self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. Your strongest allegiance is to your own cupidity.
I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.
My sentiments exactly.   And the real crook at hand turns out to be Trump, himself.  Lock him up. 
Hillary Clinton leads by two million votes so far.  But she is not our President.  
This should be appalling. 
We “sore losers” are literally terrified that Trump will make W. look somewhat competent.  There is already talk of dismantling Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Dodd-Frank will soon be toast, no doubt.  Wall Street will become a venue for reckless gambling casinos all over again.  And when the casinos crash and burn, for they will, you and I will pick up the tab.
And so it will go. 
Ironically and yes, sadly, Trump and U.S. House Speaker Ryan’s economic plans will punish Trump’s working class voters the most. 

It is these very voters—less educated, struggling to get by on low incomes—who will bear the brunt of unified Republican government under Trump.
The GOP Congress may give Trump his “infrastructure plan,” but that looks like it will consist of a bunch of tax cuts for investors to sink into toll bridges and toll roads. It will definitely give him the rest of his huge tax cuts, but those are skewed toward those at the top and won’t bring much relief to the “forgotten men and women of this country,” as he promised when campaigning.
If the GOP repeals the Affordable Care Act, as it’s vowed to do since it was enacted, many of these voters will lose their subsidized health insurance. Block-granting Medicaid and privatizing Medicare will dramatically increase these their economic insecurity.
They’ll lose food stamps and Head Start slots. They’ll lose access to reproductive health care. They can forget about a hike in the federal minimum wage. According to one estimate, 20 million Trump voters will lose out on a big raise when Republicans kill Obama’s overtime rule.
And if the GOP doesn’t get rid of it entirely, they’ll at least hobble the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which reined in the kind of predatory lending schemes that often indenture the working poor. It’ll be death by a thousand cuts.
Trump will not bring back working class jobs. Technologies will continue to do the work of humans in most factories. For unfettered capitalism thrives on personal greed for those at the top.  Jobs will continue to be outsourced to countries that exploit cheap labor. Coal mines will continue with strip mining and mountaintop removal that requires fewer workers than under the ground mining.  CEO’s will continue to receive huge bonuses on the backs of their employees. Libertarian billionaires like the Koch boys will continue to influence the destruction of labor unions that once protected workers. 
There will be no doubt some voter’s remorse pretty soon when folks realize Trump conned them.  We should not demonize these voters.  No one can blame anyone for voting to climb out of minimum wage jobs,  poverty and the misery it brings. Unfortunately, a bait and switch con artist should not have been the struggling working class’s main man.   
Donald Trump is correct when he bleated “the election is rigged.”  That it is.  It is rigged for Trump, thanks to the Electoral College. Our Founding Fathers apparently implemented this system in order to protect slavery in 1787 and 1803.

Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery.
Right.  As in when the South fought the civil war in order to protect slavery.  Slavery as in some human beings literally owning other human beings is thankfully gone. The Electoral College should have been abolished along with slavery since its original goal was to protect human enslavement.  

If the system’s pro-slavery tilt was not overwhelmingly obvious when the Constitution was ratified, it quickly became so. For 32 of the Constitution’s first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the presidency.
Southerner Thomas Jefferson, for example, won the election of 1800-01 against Northerner John Adams in a race where the slavery-skew of the electoral college was the decisive margin of victory: without the extra electoral college votes generated by slavery, the mostly southern states that supported Jefferson would not have sufficed to give him a majority. As pointed observers remarked at the time, Thomas Jefferson metaphorically rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.
Disgusting. Nor does it help that Donald Trump has nominated three white supremacists into his administration (Bannon, Sessions and Flynn) for starters. White supremacists now replace former slave owners? How fitting. 
We are in for some very rough times ahead all right.  But we cannot curl up and hide under our beds for the next four years.  While there is talk about an election audit we’re likely stuck with Trump for now. We must stay engaged.   For now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent.

Dan Rather is spot on correct in his assessment. 
And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started - a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times. This is not about tax policy, health care, or education - even though all those and more are so important. This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption. 
Like most members of this community the outcome of this election all but destroyed me. My husband I reeled in shock, unable to eat for two days. I skipped a class that I take at Rice University. I cancelled a swimming date with a friend on Wednesday. Both of us were afraid we’d sink to the bottom of the 7’ deep pool and never re-emerge.  My siblings, relatives and friends from New York City to Seattle are still speechless. Some of us among Texas bloggers were too shocked to write for several days after the election.  It took me over two weeks.  When I learned that a few Catholic members of my large family voted for Trump b/c the right to lifers got to them, I wanted to scream.  
When I visited my mother in Cincinnati days after the election I saw Trump/Pence and Choose Life signs in too many yards.  These are neighborhoods with a large Catholic population. My mother knows that her daughters are highly upset with her.  Our Catholic mother is 91 years old. I had to say “No one will blame you for voting for your religion, Mom.”  She hated voting for Trump, she admitted, but she felt she had to because of abortion.  I sucked it up and hid my tears out of love and respect for our mother.  
None of us felt so hopelessly ravaged before because we know this election has gone terribly wrong.  We didn’t lose to a McCain, Romney, Jeb Bush or John Kasich.  Though we would have been distraught and disappointed, we could have moved on because these men don’t terrify us. 
But we “lost” (not) to a plain spoken hate master, bigot, misogynist, xenophobic, self-serving narcissist and fascist instead. Who essentially said a President can do anything he wants and get away with it.  As if he is a King or CEO. 
Moving on and getting over it are not viable options.
Playing the blame game at this point in time is counter productive. No more talk about Bernie vs. Hillary.  We are well past this point in the political dialogue. We are down to the basic survival of our country’s democratic process. 
Citizen bloggers like me and members of our community must continue our activism, no matter the challenges.  Our local Democratic Parties must stay focused on and shout out about the forthcoming abuses of power as well as an era of unsurpassed government kleptocracy and intimidation.  
We should make sure to donate to organizations such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center. For these are groups that can put the legal brakes on the right wing shit show that lies ahead. 
But as I stand I do not despair, because I believe the vast majority of Americans stand with me. To all those in Congress of both political parties, to all those in the press, to religious and civic leaders around the country. your voices must be heard. I hope that the President-elect can learn to rise above this and see the dangers that are brewing. If he does and speaks forcibly, and with action, we should be ready to welcome his voice. But of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise. 
​Birds of a feather flock together. Trump has chosen three white supremacists to serve in his government so far.  Non-Christians have much to fear in a Trump administration, as well. 
To all of you I say, stay vigilant. The great Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that even as a minority, there was strength in numbers in fighting tyranny. Holding hands and marching forward, raising your voice above the din of complacency, can move mountains. And in this case, I believe there is a vast majority who wants to see this nation continue in tolerance and freedom. But it will require speaking. Engage in your civic government. Flood newsrooms or TV networks with your calls if you feel they are slipping into the normalization of extremism. Donate your time and money to causes that will fight to protect our liberties. 
Many of us became political activists during the Bush Administrations.  The results of the 2000 (stolen) election had stung so many of us to the core. In my case, while working for a private academic institution in Houston, a colleague courageously sent an email to those whom she thought would be open to serving as grassroots activist watch dogs of the Bush Administration.  Sarah had reserved a conference room on campus and about 30 of us met there for a couple of hours.  We met once a month.  Sarah and another colleague are well seasoned organizers (supporters of the former Kucinich progressive movement) and they got us started.  We joined our neighborhood’s Democratic clubs and Civic Clubs.  If we had kids we ran for PTO school board posts. We became voter deputy registrars in our home counties.  We joined forces with our local party as well as with Battleground TX in 2014.  Some of us are bloggers. We know how to use social media.  The good news in this ongoing horror show is that Hillary swept Houston/Harris Co. The Tea Party has been put to bed.  For now.
The fight never ends especially for those of us who live in Republican controlled states. The US government is about to become another Koch boy owned Kansas if we don’t fight back. 
The battle ahead is like none other so far.  We are literally fighting for our basic democratic rights as well as for our country’s future. 
I must add, in the sixteen years that I have served as a political activist I never cease to be amazed by voters who will routinely vote against their best interests.  I understand how it happens (right wing media, online fake news sites, religious beliefs, dog whistles, the fear, the evil doing “other” cards) but what will it take, finally, to wake folks up?  
And when will hard working Americans end their romanticization and worship of billionaires like Trump?   Billionaires like Trump don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.  Nor will Trump, et al  allow their vast wealth to trickle down to a bunch of “undeserving, dumb morons” who are poor and lazy. Former President Ronald Reagan’s demonization of the “welfare queens” is still in play within the Republican Party. 

Trump falsely claims 'millions of people who voted illegally' cost him popular vote

Story highlights

  • Trump won the Electoral College
  • But he trails Clinton in the popular vote by about two million
Washington (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump alleged Sunday, without evidence, that "millions of people" voted illegally for Hillary Clinton and otherwise he would have won the popular vote. It's an unprecedented allegation by a president-elect.
Trump won the Electoral College and thus the White House, but the Democratic nominee leads him in the popular vote by about two million ballots.
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump tweeted.
"It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4- states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!" he added.
This is the first time he has alleged voter fraud in his own victory and there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud. 
Trump could be referencing a series of fake stories on conspiracy websites that said he actually beat Clinton in the popular vote count. Trump's transition team did not return requests for comment Sunday afternoon.
He later added: "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!"

Recount efforts

donald trump jill stein recount comments sot nr_00000017

Trump has been railing over the weekend against a recount effort led by the Green Party, that he has dubbed a "scam." Green Party officials filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday after reports of possible voting discrepancies in areas that used paper ballots versus those where electronic voting took place.
Wisconsin Green Party co-chairman George Martin said the party is seeking a "reconciliation of paper records" -- a request that could go further than a simple recount, possibly spurring an investigation into the integrity of Wisconsin's voting system. "This is a process, a first step to examine whether our electoral democracy is working," Martin said.

Election Recounts 2016: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

votes counted

The 2016 presidential election recounts are about to begin, plunging an already chaotic election into more scenes of drama.
Now that Green Party nominee Jill Stein has raised more than $6 million for recounts in three battleground states – Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania – it looks likely that they will happen.
Stein formally requested a recount in Wisconsin first because that state’s deadline was on November 25. On November 26, Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign said she would join the Wisconsin effort, which starts next week, and will possibly join subsequent recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is defending the election results, according to Politico, saying, “it has seen no evidence of hackers tampering with the 2016 presidential election” and adding, “We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people.”

Stein has telegraphed her intentions to also seek recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and she wrote on her fundraising website that she had raised enough money as of November 26 to fund the Pennsylvania recount too; the deadline for filing for a recount in Pennsylvania is November 28, and the deadline in Michigan is November 30.
Unprocessed ballots in the 2016 presidential race were still being counted as of November 26, especially in populous blue California, although they won’t change the Electoral College math because Clinton already won that state. According to the Cook Political Report, here are the popular vote election results:

Clinton: 64,637,503
Trump: 62,409,389
Others: 7,190,133

Trump leads in the swing states by a popular vote margin of 22,171,924 to 21,342,561, according to Cook Political Report. That gave Trump his Electoral College victory of 306-232. Clinton would win the Electoral College if she flipped Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania into her column but – underscoring the immense difficulty of the task – she would need all three states.
Even her own campaign lawyer acknowledges the challenge, noting that no recount has overturned a presidential vote total even as large as Michigan’s, the tightest of the three states.
For his part, after initially staying silent about the Stein recount crusade, Trump, who prevailed in all three states and criticized the election as rigged before he won it, has decried the recount efforts as a “scam,” pointing out that Clinton has already conceded. Some others have also criticized Stein for what they see as a money-wasting quixotic effort; her vote total in Michigan surpassed Trump’s margin, and some believe the stronger presence of third-party candidates hurt Clinton this election year (with Stein and Gary Johnson playing the Ralph Nader role).
Here’s what you need to know:

1. Wisconsin’s Recount Will Proceed Next Week but the Other Two State Recounts Haven’t Formally Been Requested Yet

The three states share a lot in common: They were part of a Midwestern narrative of white working class voters with economic angst shifting to Trump, while Clinton did not rally urban support to the degree Barack Obama had. The three states had not voted for a Republican for president since the 1980s, although Wisconsin has a GOP governor. Pennsylvania elected a slate of Democratic officials to statewide positions while also electing Trump.
Wisconsin’s Election Commission released a statement saying that it had received Stein’s request for a recount as well as one from Reform Party nominee Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente. Wisconsin has until December 13 to complete its recount and is still estimating costs and how they will be charged to campaigns.
The Wisconsin Election Commission “is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States,” Administrator Michael Haas said in a written statement on November 25, the recount deadline.
The deadline to seek a recount is November 30 in Michigan. Michigan conducts automatic recounts in elections with margins of less than 2,000 votes (not the case here), but allows any candidate to request one if the candidate “believes that the canvass of the votes cast on the office may be incorrect because of possible ‘fraud or mistake’ in the precinct returns may petition for a recount of the votes cast in the precincts involved.”
Pennsylvania’s recount deadline is November 28. The state is unique in lacking a paper trail for its voting. Pensylvania’s election has the largest margin, and, with 20 electoral votes, the state is also the largest prize of the three.

Wisconsin Recount Filed 2016: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A Wisconsin recount will occur into 2016 presidential election results that showed a Donald Trump victory over Hillary Clinton after the Green Party's Jill Stein filed for one after crowdfunding millions.
Click here to read more

2. Clinton’s Campaign Says It Investigated Allegations of Outside Interference in the Election but Found Nothing Actionable

Donald Trump, Registered voters, How many voters voted, 2016 election numbers
Clinton let Stein drive the recount train until November 26, the day after a recount was granted in Wisconsin. Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Marc Elias, then penned a widely quoted post on that said Clinton’s campaign had vetted the election’s integrity and found no actionable evidence of outside interference in the election.
But Elias wrote that Clinton would now participate in recounts, saying, “It should go without saying that we take these concerns extremely seriously. We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.”
Elias noted, “This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the ‘fake news’ propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election.”

AFP/Getty Images
ON ELECTION DAY, when polls suggested Donald Trump was headed for defeat, the candidate loudly questioned the integrity of the process, arguing on Fox News that reported problems with electronic voting machines made it impossible to be sure that the results would be fair.
Just 12 hours later, after projections showed him narrowly winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, and hence the electoral college, Trump made no mention of his qualms about the voting machines in his victory speech.

Despite Trump’s sudden lack of outrage at what he had previously called evidence of “a rigged system,” he is now ideally positioned to clear away the doubts he helped to amplify about the votes cast and counted on those poorly secured computers. He can do so simply by acting on his legal right to demand and pay for recounts in the three states that swung the election, to ensure that the vote count was not distorted by any accidental computer glitches or intentional malware infections.
While Trump often casts himself as a victim of powerful forces conspiring against him — like news organizations, the Internal Revenue Service, or the cast of “Hamilton” — his standing as the winning candidate endows him with the unimpeachable authority to demand recounts, to see if the rigging he complained of really took place.
A comprehensive audit of the vote was suggested on Wednesday by Alex Halderman, a respected researcher in computer security at the University of Michigan who explained on Medium that he has approached Hillary Clinton’s campaign with a persuasive case for at least double-checking the results in those critical states.
“We’ve been pointing out for years that voting machines are computers, and they have reprogrammable software, so if attackers can modify that software by infecting the machines with malware, they can cause the machines to give any answer whatsoever,” Halderman wrote. “I’ve demonstrated this in the laboratory with real voting machines — in just a few seconds, anyone can install vote-stealing malware on those machines that silently alters the electronic records of every vote.”
In 2006, researchers at Princeton, including Alex Halderman, showed how easy it would be to infect an electronic voting machine with vote-stealing malware.
As Halderman argued, although there is no evidence that any such hacking took place in the Trump-Clinton contest, there is broad agreement among security experts that election results provided by computers should be routinely audited: by looking at paper records of votes, where those exist, or examining the machines themselves for signs of tampering.
The case for doing so this year would appear to be strengthened by widespread consensus in the U.S. intelligence community that hackers directed by the Russian government were working against Clinton, by stealing emails from Democratic party officials and providing them to WikiLeaks.
But even though Wisconsin and Michigan, and several Pennsylvania counties, “predominately use optical scan paper ballots, which can be examined to confirm that the computer voting machines produced an accurate count,” Halderman noted that no American state “is planning to actually check the paper in a way that would reliably detect that the computer-based outcome was wrong.”
For that reason, he and other experts argue, at least one of the candidates in the presidential election should exercise their right to request recounts.
Given that Clinton spent the final weeks of the campaign criticizing Trump for hedging on whether or not he would accept the results, it would be hard for her to do this, despite having received over two million more votes than Trump nationwide.
Although Jill Stein indicated on Wednesday that she would request recounts in those three states, she needs to first raise $2.5 million to pay for them by Friday, the deadline for making such a request in Wisconsin, where Trump’s margin over Clinton is less than 23,000 votes.
It is important to realize that there is a clear, non-partisan case for post-election audits of voting machines to be routine, rather than exceptional, and that there are alternatives to full recounts. As Ron Rivest an M.I.T. cryptographer, and Philip Stark, a professor of statistics at Berkeley, explained in USA Today last week, carrying out what’s known as a “risk-limiting” audit, in which a random sample of just 1 percent of the paper ballots cast would be examined, “could give 95% confidence that the results are correct in every state.”
But since there is no legal procedure in place to do such an audit of this year’s results, at least one of the candidates should take action to dispel the kind of doubts about ghosts in the machines Trump expressed on election day, which only grow with each viral anecdote of computer malfunction.
“Examining the physical evidence in these states — even if it finds nothing amiss — will help allay doubt and give voters justified confidence that the results are accurate,” Halderman argued. “It will also set a precedent for routinely examining paper ballots, which will provide an important deterrent against cyberattacks on future elections.”

Michigan preparing for potential hand recount of 4.8M presidential votes

Just in case, the State of Michigan is preparing for a recount of nearly 4.8 million votes cast in the 2016 presidential race.
Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, has raised more than $5 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. She filed a formal recount request Friday afternoon with the Wisconsin Elections Commission and faces a Monday deadline in Pennsylvania and Wednesday in Michigan.
►Related: Jill Stein files for recount in Wisconsin
A recount won’t be cheap, and it will be a monumental task for the Secretary of State and 83 county clerks around Michigan.
She can’t request a recount in Michigan until the vote is certified, which is scheduled to happen at 2 p.m. Monday, when the Board of Canvassers meets to make the results — which show Republican Donald Trump with a 10,704-vote lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton — official. After the certification, she has until Wednesday afternoon to make the recount request.
►Related: Michigan elections director casts doubt on vote-hacking concerns
RelatedThe numbers are in: Trump wins Michigan by 10,704

“What we’re doing is standing up for an election system that we can trust. We deserve to have votes that we can believe in,” she said in a video on her Facebook page. “This is a commitment that Greens have expressed that we stand for election integrity, that we support voting systems that respect our vote.  We demand voting systems that are accurate, that are publicly controlled, that are not privatized.”
Her campaign manager, David Cobb, said the recount request in all three states is a given because of: Michigan's close election results; the fact that the vast majority of pre-election and exit polls in the state showed a lead for Clinton; and that there was a significant under-vote on Nov. 8, when an estimated 85,000 people cast ballots but did not make a selection in the presidential race.
"It is great that there are paper ballots in Michigan, but the only way to confirm the results is to do an audit or a recount," Cobb said.
The state has some experience with statewide election recounts, although not in nearly five decades, said Chris Thomas, director of elections at the Secretary of State office. One was done after one of Soapy Williams' races for governor, as well as the daylight saving time vote in 1968, when voters rejected the issue by 490 votes. Voters passed daylight saving time when it came back to the ballot in 1972.
“Our plans are being drafted,” Thomas said. “We’re on top of it. We’ve got some blueprints on how it will be done.”
If a recount happens, all the ballots — all 4,799,284 presidential race votes — will be counted by hand at the county level under state supervision. It’s a process that Thomas said will happen quickly. It has to be done before the 16 members of Michigan's electoral college meet on Dec. 19 to cast their votes for the winner of the presidential race.
“We’re fast,” he said. “We do all of our state recounts by hand.”
And it will be expensive. Under laws passed in Michigan in 2014, which are intended to make it more difficult to recall lawmakers, recounts are costly for the people requesting them. When the margin of the race is more than 0.5%, the cost to recount is $125 per precinct. There are 6,300 precincts in Michigan, which translates into a whopping recount price tag of $787,500.
► Related: What you should know about Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education sec. pick
► Related: Ben Carson mulls Donald Trump's offer to be HUD secretary

Since Stein  got only 51,643 votes in Michigan compared with more than 4.5 million for Trump and Clinton combined, the cost per precinct for Stein would be $125 because her margin is not within 0.5%. If Clinton had asked for a recount, her cost would be $25 per precinct because she lost by such a slim margin. Stein also has estimated that she needs to raise several million for legal costs.
Stein said she’s not requesting the recount because she thinks it will change the outcome.
“This initiative is not about helping one candidate and hurting another,” she said. “We said over and over, we don’t support either of them. In this recount effort, we’re not attempting to overthrow Donald Trump, and I don’t expect that will be the outcome.”
Instead, she said she picked the three states where the vote was the closest to ensure the integrity of the election.
“We don’t have a smoking gun that there was voter fraud going on here,” she said. “But we do not have to prove that there was fraud to justify the need for a voting system that we have confidence in.”
Scott Hagerstrom, director of Trump's campaign in Michigan, said he's confident in the presidential tally in the state. But if a recount does occur, the campaign will have a significant presence in watching the recount.
"I’ve been involved in some recounts in the past. And you want to make sure you have representation there and make sure the proper procedures are followed," he said.
People in Michigan are clamoring to help. A request from Stein for volunteers to be observers during a recount in the state elicited hundreds of responses in the last two days.
The prospect for fraud in Michigan’s voting system is unlikely because the system is not connected to the Internet, and the state does operate with paper ballots that can be recounted, state election officials said.
Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, or on Twitter @michpoligal.

Spill details on Russia hack: Gabriel Schoenfeld

Retaliation is a bad idea, but Obama should order a full accounting before Trump takes the oath.

In his remaining time in office, perhaps the most difficult decision President Obama will face is how the United States should respond to the stunning Russian cyberattack on our electoral system: the penetration of Democratic National Committee servers and the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

For an extraordinary reason, this is not something Obama can leave to his successor. Donald Trump, despite having received classified briefings on the Russian cyber threat, has refused to accept the intelligence community’s judgment that such an attack took place. His most notable public comment about it came at the second debate with Hillary Clinton, where he tossed a word salad of doubt over the matter: “Maybe there is no hacking,” Trump said, “but they always blame Russia.”

If Obama does not act in his final weeks, it is a virtual certainty that President Trump will not act either. As the beneficiary of the hacking, and as an admirer of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, Trump would have every reason to let it slide.

Options for a response have already been outlined in a paper that has made its way to Obama’s desk. They are, of course, top secret, but last month Vice President Biden told NBC’s Meet the Press that we would be “sending a message” to Putin, one that “will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

That was tough talk, but an unfortunate axiom applies to Obama administration pronouncements: the tougher the talk, the lower the likelihood commensurate action will follow. That rule is especially likely to pertain in this instance because all the imaginable options are so unattractive.

Among other capabilities, the Pentagon’s cyber command or the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence could send signals into Russian computers that could wreak destruction. Already back in the Cold War, the CIA planted “Trojan horse” computer chips in turbine technology the KGB was stealing from the West to control the flow of natural gas in Siberian pipelines. When the doctored chips performed their special task, the largest non-nuclear explosion ever seen from outer space was the result celebrated in CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.

The way the world is wired today, we could undoubtedly repeat such a feat with the right sequence of key strokes on a laptop in Langley, causing major pieces of Russia’s infrastructure to fail catastrophically. But the Russians could retaliate just as easily, and they probably would. Given how computerized our economy is, we stand to lose a lot more than we would gain from engaging in such kinetic action. Mutual assured destruction applies to the cyber age just as it did (and does) in the nuclear age.

A non-kinetic alternative, already much discussed, is to make public some portion of the enormous trove of documents the CIA undoubtedly possesses that demonstrate massive corruption by Putin and his cronies. This would have some salutary consequences. But every Russian already knows that the denizens of the Kremlin have pillaged the country’s treasure for personal gain. The trouble is, Russia is not a democracy and there is nothing its citizens can do about it. The major effect of such a U.S. action would be to induce a collective yawn.

Indictments? Sanctions? Both have been employed in response to past bouts of North Korean and Chinese hacking, and both would induce more yawns. Moreover, whatever punitive economic measures Obama puts in place today, President Trump could reverse on Jan. 20. Unless we settle for engaging in some petty retaliatory hacking of little moment, it would seem that we’re out of tricks. Indeed, given Biden’s swaggering threat, we might be witnessing a repeat of the Syrian chemical weapons fiasco in which Obama drew a red line, Syria promptly crossed the red line, and Obama — contemplating the unknown cost of launching a military operation — chickened out and said sorry, never mind.

Still, even if there is no effective means of retaliation, there remains one thing that Obama absolutely must do, though it comes at a price.

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

The Russia-WikiLeaks assault on our electoral process was one of the most consequential influence operations in modern history. The public deserves a full accounting of exactly what happened. The intelligence community should lay out what it knows. Even if this means disclosing sensitive sources and methods, a timeline, a list of players and a description of the technology involved, and any and all relevant evidence should be put into the public domain in a report prepared and signed by trusted blue-ribbon names.
The stakes here could not be higher. If we do not obtain a documented account before Inauguration Day of what we have just witnessed, the incoming Trump administration will have every incentive to erase the evidentiary trail and bury the truth. Trump has exhibited no compunctions about falsifying far more trivial things. His designated national security adviser, retired general Michael Flynn, is a brazen Putinophile who has taken money from RT, Moscow’s principal English-language propaganda organ. Flynn will only be too happy to go along.
As we draw closer to the moment Trump takes the oath of office, the American people deserve an accounting that clears up as thoroughly as possible all questions about one of the many extraordinary aspects of the 2016 presidential campaign: how a candidate favored by Russia, and who favors Russia, was helped by Russia to ascend to the most powerful position in the world.
Gabriel Schoenfeld, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeschoenfeld
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @USATOpinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To submit a letter, comment or column, check our submission guidelines.
Five years ago, I warned about the risk of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Most people laughed. They thought it inconceivable.
I was not particularly prescient; I come from Italy, and I had already seen this movie, starring Silvio Berlusconi, who led the Italian government as prime minister for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011. I knew how it could unfold.
Now that Mr. Trump has been elected president, the Berlusconi parallel could offer an important lesson in how to avoid transforming a razor-thin victory into a two-decade affair. If you think presidential term limits and Mr. Trump’s age could save the country from that fate, think again. His tenure could easily turn into a Trump dynasty.
Mr. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for as long as he did mostly thanks to the incompetence of his opposition. It was so rabidly obsessed with his personality that any substantive political debate disappeared; it focused only on personal attacks, the effect of which was to increase Mr. Berlusconi’s popularity. His secret was an ability to set off a Pavlovian reaction among his leftist opponents, which engendered instantaneous sympathy in most moderate voters. Mr. Trump is no different.

We saw this dynamic during the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton was so focused on explaining how bad Mr. Trump was that she too often didn’t promote her own ideas, to make the positive case for voting for her. The news media was so intent on ridiculing Mr. Trump’s behavior that it ended up providing him with free advertising.
Unfortunately, the dynamic has not ended with the election. Shortly after Mr. Trump gave his acceptance speech, protests sprang up all over America. What are these people protesting against? Whether we like it or not, Mr. Trump won legitimately. Denying that only feeds the perception that there are “legitimate” candidates and “illegitimate” ones, and a small elite decides which is which. If that’s true, elections are just a beauty contest among candidates blessed by the Guardian Council of clerics, just like in Iran.

Silvio Berlusconi in Milan last year. Credit Flavio Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency
These protests are also counterproductive. There will be plenty of reasons to complain during the Trump presidency, when really awful decisions are made. Why complain now, when no decision has been made? It delegitimizes the future protests and exposes the bias of the opposition.
Even the petition calling for members of the Electoral College to violate their mandate and not vote for Mr. Trump could play into the president-elect’s hands. This idea is misguided. What ground would we then have to stand on when Mr. Trump tricks the system to obtain what he wants?

Have you changed anything in your daily life since the election? For example, have you tried to understand opposing points of view, donated to a group, or contacted your member of Congress? Your answer may be included in a follow up post.
The Italian experience provides a blueprint for how to defeat Mr. Trump. Only two men in Italy have won an electoral competition against Mr. Berlusconi: Romano Prodi and the current prime minister, Matteo Renzi (albeit only in a 2014 European election). Both of them treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character. In different ways, both of them are seen as outsiders, not as members of what in Italy is defined as the political caste.
The Democratic Party should learn this lesson. It should not do as the Republicans did after President Obama was elected. Their preconceived opposition to any of his initiatives poisoned the Washington well, fueling the anti-establishment reaction (even if it was a successful electoral strategy for the party). There are plenty of Trump proposals that Democrats can agree with, like new infrastructure investments. Most Democrats, including politicians like Mrs. Clinton and Bernie Sanders and economists like Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman, have pushed the idea of infrastructure as a way to increase demand and to expand employment among non-college-educated workers. Some details might be different from a Republican plan, but it will add credibility to the Democratic opposition if it tries to find the points in common, not just differences.
And an opposition focused on personality would crown Mr. Trump as the people’s leader of the fight against the Washington caste. It would also weaken the opposition voice on the issues, where it is important to conduct a battle of principles.

Democrats should also offer Mr. Trump help against the Republican establishment, an offer that would reveal whether his populism is empty language or a real position. For example, with Mr. Trump’s encouragement, the Republican platform called for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which would separate investment and commercial banking. The Democrats should declare their support of this separation, a policy that many Republicans oppose. The last thing they should want is for Mr. Trump to use the Republican establishment as a fig leaf for his own failure, dumping on it the responsibility for blocking the popular reforms that he promised during the campaign and probably never intended to pass. That will only enlarge his image as a hero of the people shackled by the elites.
Finally, the Democratic Party should also find a credible candidate among young leaders, one outside the party’s Brahmins. The news that Chelsea Clinton is considering running for office is the worst possible. If the Democratic Party is turning into a monarchy, how can it fight the autocratic tendencies in Mr. Trump?

Luigi Zingales, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, is the author of “A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity.”
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Ein lyrisches Portrait von Hilde Domin
Anne MacDonald Canham



Beijing Airpot

Mr. Tigerli in China

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

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

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

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

So the little man was disappointed?

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

The poor cat!

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

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

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

And what did he say to that?

“Men are hunters” was his answer.

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

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

The Airbus is very loud.

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

Did he understand you?

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

And he?

He was so happy.

No problem going through the immigration control?

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

Fur in exchange for shoes…

Don’t be so cynical Betty!

Cat meat in exchange for shoes?

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

He came through the pass control with no trouble!

photos and graphics betty family betty and friend

Is this Mr. Tigerli?

Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald
Betty MacDonald ART Photos of ICONS Amazing Ladies Pinter Betty MacDonald Quotes Famous Quotes by Betty MacDonald Quoteswave 1950s showing Betty MacDonald descending a staircase and other images  betty macdonald betty bard macdonald wurde 1908 in boulder colorado  photos and graphics betty family betty and friend photos and graphics betty family betty grandchild photo of Betty MacDonald and two children in 1950 costumes Click images for alternate views BETTY MacDONALD PHOTOGRAPH SIGNED DOCUMENT 281143  photos and graphics betty family betty and don on vashon  

Betty MacDonald

Take an illustrated day trip through Washington state’s largest city with artist Candace Rose Rardon.

Linda White yes,if my health allows.I have a few problems but is something I have always wanted to do,especially as I reread her books.

Linde Lund

Linde Lund Dear Linda I'll keep you posted.

Bella Dillon

Bella Dillon · Friends with Darsie Beck
I still read Mrs Piggle Wiggle books to this day. I love her farm on vashon.

Lila Taylor

Lila Taylor Good morning...Linde Lund
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