You know "things other people don't know" about claims that the Russian government was behind the hacking of political groups during the U.S. presidential election, and are promising to spill the beans "Tuesday or Wednesday."
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 ' )
Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood
Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
Brian and Timothy and their Betty MacDonald fan club teams from Canada and UK did an excellent job.
Guys - thank you so much for this outstanding Betty MacDonald fan club event in London.
We tremendously enjoyed it and had a great time there.
It was very successful too because many new Betty MacDonald fan club fans joined us.
A very warm Welcome to all of you!
I know the fireworks in Sydney and other places but I'm convinced that the best one is in London.
It was unique and unforgettable.
We'll come again.
We met Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel who wants to travel to Edinburgh this year.
We are looking for your favourite city for International Betty MacDonald fan club event 2017.
Send us your votes please.
Deadline: January 31, 2017
What about an International Betty MacDonald fan club event in Edinburgh?
I know Edinburgh very well and it would be ideal for one of the next International Betty MacDonald fan club events.
Edinburgh is the first UNESCO city of Literature.
Don't miss them, please.
Betty MacDonald fan club letter collection includes a new very important letter Betty MacDonald describing her experiences during the law-suit with the ' real ' Kettles.
We are going to talk about it soon.
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.
You'll be able to read more info during January.
We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.
New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.
Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.
Very exciting Betty MacDonald fan club news!
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to present life and work of Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica January 2017.
You'll be able to read more info during January!
Vita Magica December was very successful.
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.
The visitors enjoyed Vita Magica very much.
A great event!
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.
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.
President-elect Donald Trump is warning that he knows "things other people don't know" about claims that the Russian government was behind the hacking of political groups during the U.S. presidential election, and is promising to spill the beans "Tuesday or Wednesday."
Trump, who has refused to acknowledge U.S. intelligence assessments that determined the hacking was directed by the highest levels in the Russian government, said he's been skeptical because he wants U.S. intelligence officials to be 100 percent sure.
Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.
My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.
I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.
Poor World! Poor America!
The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career
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!
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!
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:
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.
This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum.
Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans.
Many Betty MacDonald - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.
We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.
Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is beloved all over the World.
We are so happy that our 'Casanova' is back.
Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.
The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952.
Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.
Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.
Have a nice Wednesday,
Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German )
Betty MacDonald fan club
Betty MacDonald forum
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I
Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - cyclopaedia.net ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia ( English / German )
Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )
Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )
Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)
Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel
Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD
Betty MacDonald fan club items
Betty MacDonald fan club items - comments
Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I
Betty MacDonald fan club groups
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson
Betty MacDonald fan club and Heide Rose
Trump Says He'll Tell All on Hacking
Trump, who has refused to acknowledge U.S. intelligence assessments that determined the hacking was directed by the highest levels in the Russian government, said he's been skeptical because he wants U.S. intelligence officials to be 100 percent sure.
"I just want them to be sure because it's a pretty serious charge," Trump told reporters in an impromptu New Year's Eve press conference.
"If you look at weapons of mass destruction, it was a disaster, and they were wrong," he said. "So I want them to be sure. I think it's unfortunate if they don't know. I know a lot about hacking, and hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else."
"I also know things other people don't know," Trump added. "So they cannot be sure of this situation."
When a reporter asked Trump what he knew about the hacking situation, Trump said: "You'll find out Tuesday or Wednesday," with no explanation for the delay. His comments were made at Trump's Palm Beach estate.
The president-elect has said he plans to meet with intelligence officials in coming days to learn more about the allegations.
Trump, who says "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, said, "if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way."
President Obama ordered sanctions on Russian spy agencies last week, closed two Russian compounds and expelled 35 diplomats the U.S. said were really spies. The Russian government has denied the allegations.
|Headlines Featured Donald Trump Hackers Elections President Barack Obama Russia|
China’s State Media Has Been Mocking Donald Trump’s ‘Unpresidented’ Tweet
"Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month"
He took again to Twitter to add: “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!”
Both Washington and Beijing have sought to downplay the spat in official channels. On Saturday, China agreed to return the device, which was taken 57 miles northwest of the Philippine port of Subic Bay. China says the unmanned reconnaissance vehicle, which was apparently collecting unclassified scientific data, was seized to maintain the safety of passing vessels.
“China resolutely opposes these [reconnaissance] activities,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said, according to Chinese state newswire Xinhua.
On Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party–linked Global Times newspaper questioned Trump’s response in an editorial and highlighted his misspelling in the headline: “‘Unpresidented’ Trump adds fuel to fire.”
“He seemed emotionally upset, but no one knows what he wanted to say,” read the article. “Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month.”
During his campaign, Trump repeated accused China of currency manipulation and stealing American jobs, and vowed to slap 45% tariffs of Chinese imports. Since his election victory, Trump has further infuriated the Beijing leadership by accepting a phone call from the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen — breaking almost four decades of diplomatic protocol that saw no direct contact between American and Taiwanese leaders.
Beijing claims sovereignty over the self-governing island of 23 million and has vowed to retake it by force should Taipei ever declare independence. When Beijing lodged a formal complaint about Trump’s phone conversation, Trump said that American acknowledgement of China’s position that Taiwan is part of “one China” was up for negotiation.
“Since [Trump] has not taken office, China has kept a calm attitude toward his provocative remarks,” read the Global Times editorial. “But if he treats China after assuming office in the same way as in his tweets, China will not exercise restraint.”
Ordinary Chinese, however, are seeing the funny side of Trump’s spelling error. “Dude, you would have failed the Chinese college English exam,” posted one user on China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo.
“What if Trump just is pretending to be stupid?” posted another. “Businessmen shouldn’t be this dumb, and Trump is successful in business.”
— With reporting by Zhang Chi / Beijing
Trump’s Press Secretary Begs The American People To Stop Mocking Donald Trump
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer went on national television to complain that the American people are mocking Donald Trump and called on every American to support the president-elect instead of mocking him.
Video of Trump press secretary Sean Spicer on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos
Spicer was talking about Trump trying to take credit for jobs that were already announced when he claimed that the American people are mocking and undermining the president-elect:
So the idea is everyone wants to talk about the tweets he sent. But I would actually focus on the action he’s getting. Donald Trump is not president yet and he’s getting action, successes and wins, both abroad and here at home.
Everything he does right now, he gets — he speaks for the head of Sprint, gets 5,000 jobs moved from abroad. And everyone starts to mock him. Oh, those jobs were already announced. They weren’t. The sales jobs have been a previous announce. These jobs were coming from abroad to America.
And instead of trying to mock him or undermine him, it’s time that people started to give him credit for actually getting things done.
Trump is mocked because he isn’t getting anything done. The president-elect is taking credit for things that already happened, or the accomplishments of others. For example, Trump took credit for the good economic numbers in November despite the fact that the growing economy has nothing to do with him because he is not yet the president. Trump took credit for the horrible Carrier deal that Mike Pence negotiated, and Trump is trying to pass off the Sprint job announcement, which he had nothing to do with, as an accomplishment.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s Press Secretary was practically begging America to stop making fun of the incoming president. Trump isn’t going to find much popular support for his presidency because the majority of voters did not support him.
If Trump continues to act like a narcissistic and petty reality television star instead of a president, he is going to mocked.
One can only imagine the howls of laughter from Republicans if Obama’s press secretary would have gone on national television and complained about the American people making fun of him.
Trump isn’t even in office yet, but his team is demanding credit for things that they have not done, which is exactly why the American people will continue to mock the president-elect.
Trump’s Press Secretary Begs The American People To Stop Mocking Donald Trump added by Jason Easley on
View all posts by Jason Easley →
Joy Drewfs Keep mocking, he doesn't like it, too bad. Not my president.😡
In a piece of high diplomatic theatre, the Russian president defied expectations of a Cold War-style mutual expulsion and instead met the Obama administration's sanctions with a show of magnanimity.
Earlier Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, publically recommend that Russia expel 35 US diplomats and close down two US diplomatic compounds.
The move would have amounted to a tit-for-tat response to American sanctions.
The announcement provoked fury in Moscow, where many officials attacked Mr Obama personally for the move.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, wrote on Twitter that the current administration was "ending its term in anti-Russian agony."
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry wrote on Facebook: "Today America and the American people have been humiliated as their own President."
The Russian Embassy in London called it "Cold War deja vu", and said the US "wanted to destroy" ties with Moscow.
Mr Obama said the 35 expelled diplomats were "intelligence operatives".
He also announced it was closing two compounds owned by the Russian government, and used for intelligence operations, in New York and Maryland, from noon on Friday.
At the same time he ordered sanctions against Russia's GRU and FSB intelligence agencies, and six named Russian individuals.
They included Lt Gen Korobov, head of the GRU, and three of his deputies. The other two were Alexei Belan and Yevgeny Bogachev, two Russians wanted by the FBI for cyber crimes for years.
Also sanctioned were three computer companies alleged to have provided "material support" to the GRU.
Mr Obama accused Russia of "aggressive harassment" and said "all Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions". He said hacking "could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government".
Mr Obama said: "These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behaviour. Such activities have consequences."
A US official added: "By imposing costs on the Russian diplomats in the United States, by denying them access to the two facilities, we hope the Russian government reevaluates its own actions."
It was understood that Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, will not be one of those expelled.
It comes after the the CIA and FBI concluded that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic Party and releasing embarrassing emails with the intention of helping Mr Trump to win the White House.
Mr Trump said he would meet intelligence officials next week to hear evidence of the Russian hacking.
He said: "It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.
"Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation."
The US State Department said the expelled diplomats had been "acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status".
The Russian Embassy in London added in its 'lame duck' memed tweet: "Everybody, including the American people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless administration."
According to one US official there are a total of about 100 Russian spies in the US, so about one third of them are being ejected.
The Kremlin accused the US of an "aggressive foreign policy" and behaving "like a bull in a china shop".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said: "There is no alternative here to the principle of reciprocity. We will deliver significant discomfort to the US side in the same areas.
"We consider this decision and these sanctions unjustified and illegal under international law."
Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry's spokeswoman, denied reports about the school closure on Friday morning.
Lisa Monaco, Mr Obama's homeland security adviser, said: "These 35 individuals were basically collecting intelligence. They were intelligence officers operating here and using these compounds for intelligence collection.
"We are expelling those 35 intelligence officers and their families and shutting down that intelligence collection activity."
She added: "We are prepared for retaliatory steps the Russian government may take."
The Russian Embassy in Washington said a plane was being sent from Moscow to pick up those who had been expelled.
How could Russia respond?
Vladimir Putin has ruled out direct retaliation for now, but he also says Russia "reserves the right" to respond. Here are a number of options he and his advisers could be considering.
- Expel US diplomats. Sending American officials home would be a traditional tit-for-tat response more or less in line with the rules of international diplomacy. The Russians could up the ante by kicking out Ambassador John Tefft (the US has said it is not expelling Russia's ambassador), which would leave a key post for Donald Trump to fill when he takes power on January 20.
- Shut down US diplomatic compounds. The foreign ministry has denied plans to close the American School in Moscow, which is popular with expat families. However, it could close the Embassy holiday dacha at Serebryany Bor on the Moscow outskirts.
- Something else. Previous "asymmetric" responses to American moves have included banning US citizens from adopting Russian orphans and banning food imports from countries that sanctioned Russia over its annexation of Crimea.
- Do nothing. With Donald Trump entering the White House on January 20, the Kremlin could decide it is worth refraining from countermeasures as a goodwill gesture to the new president. Instead it may confine itself to insulting Tweets about Barack Obama.
The Opinion Pages | Letters
Obama, Trump and Russian Hacking
Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for US election hacking
Lauren Gambino and Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington and Shaun Walker in Moscow
Trump wants to ‘move on’ but says he will meet intelligence officials
- FBI and Homeland Security detail Russian hacking in new report
The Obama administration on Thursday announced its retaliation for Russian efforts to interfere with the US presidential election, ordering sweeping new sanctions that included the expulsion of 35 Russians.
US intelligence services believe Russia ordered cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other political organizations, in an attempt to influence the election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.In a statement issued two weeks after the president said he would respond to cyber-attacks by Moscow “at a time and place of our choosing”, Obama said Americans should “be alarmed by Russia’s actions” and pledged further action. “I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners,” Obama said in the statement, released while he was vacationing with his family in Hawaii. “Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations. “In addition, the secretary of the treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information.” He also announced the closure of two Russian compounds in the US.Obama added that more actions would be taken, “some of which will not be publicized”. On Thursday, Trump, who has previously dismissed reports of Russian interference in the election, said in a statement: “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.”
He added, however, that “in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”
In a conference call with reporters, senior White House officials said the president-elect’s transition team was informed of the sanctions before they were announced on Thursday. Trump and Obama spoke on Wednesday, they said.
The officials added that the actions were a necessary response to “very disturbing Russian threats to US national security”.
“There has to be a cost and a consequence for what Russia has done,” a senior administration official said. “It is in a extraordinary step for them to interfere in the democratic process here in the United States of America. There needs to be a price for that.”
In Moscow, a Putin spokesman said Russia regretted the new sanctions and would consider retaliatory measures.
Diplomatic expulsions are normally met with exactly reciprocal action. In this case, however, Moscow may pause for thought. With Trump, who has spoken positively about Russia and Vladimir Putin, just three weeks away from the White House, Russia may feel it is inadvisable to kick out 35 US diplomats.
However, Russian authorities on Thursday ordered the Anglo-American School of Moscow closed, according to CNN, citing a US official briefed on the matter. The school serves children of US, British and Canadian embassy personnel, and would effectively make a Russian posting difficult for US diplomats with families.
Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying the US move represented “the death throes of political corpses”.
The Twitter feed of the Russian embassy in London, meanwhile, called the Obama administration “hapless” and attached a picture of a duck with the word “LAME” emblazoned across it.
On the White House call, officials were asked about the prospect of Trump overturning the sanctions. They acknowledged that a future president could reverse course but warned against such an “inadvisable” step.
“We have no reason to believe that Russia’s activities will cease,” a senior official said. “One reason why I think it is necessary to sustain these actions is because there’s every reason to believe Russia will interfere with future US elections.”On Capitol Hill, Democrats applauded the president’s action, called for further measures and emphasized bipartisan support for a thorough investigation into Russian hacking.“I hope the incoming Trump administration, which has been far too close to Russia throughout the campaign and transition, won’t think for one second about weakening these new sanctions or our existing regime,” incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “Both parties ought to be united in standing up to Russian interference in our elections, to their cyber attacks, their illegal annexation of Crimea and other extra-legal interventions.”
Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, called for further sanctions from the new Congress when it convenes in January.
GOP leaders were quick to frame the new sanctions as too little, too late.
“While today’s action by the administration is overdue,” House speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, “it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia. And it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world.”
Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two of Russia’s fiercest critics, echoed Ryan but also called for tough Congressional sanctions.
“Ultimately, [the sanctions] are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy,” the two men said in a joint statement. “We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia.”
The 35 Russian diplomats being expelled are “intelligence operatives”, Obama said. The state department has declared them “persona non grata” and they will be given 72 hours to leave the country.Starting on Friday at noon, the White House said, Russia will be denied access to compounds in Maryland and New York that have been used for intelligence-related purposes.A statement from the state department said the diplomatic expulsions were a response not only to hacking but to “a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas, that has increased over the last four years, including a significant increase in the last 12 months”. The statement said the harassment has included “arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on state TV of personal details about our personnel that put them at risk”.For some time, US diplomats in Russia have anecdotally reported being followed and harassed by police.In June, a US diplomat was wrestled to the ground by a policeman as he scrambled to get inside the embassy. Russian authorities said the man was a CIA agent operating under diplomatic cover.
Organizers Hope Women's March On Washington Inspires, Evolves
Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle - by Nicholas KristofQuicklink submitted By Susan Lee Schwartz Permalink
Trump Is Not the Problem
For at least the last half century, we have lived in a culture not of self-awareness, but of self absorption — a culture in which concern for the greater good has been replaced by a “what’s in it for me?” attitude. Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are ingrained in our culture. We have just covered it over with political correctness so we can deny how extensive an issue it really is. But just like an alcoholic, we can’t begin to recover unless we admit we have a problem.
Just try to hint that the US is not the greatest country in the world and you’ll be labeled a traitor, despite the fact that we are number 1 in some of the worst statistics possible. We are first in rates of obesity, divorce, incarceration, gun deaths per capita, infant mortality, rape, murder, and student loan debt, to name just a few. Meanwhile, we are last in paid sick days, paid maternity leave, income equality, and programs that reflect a society that cares for its people.
Far too often, the poor, working-class white population votes against their best interests. It’s easier for them to believe that an immigrant or a person of color is stealing their livelihood than to accept that a wealthy white billionaire doesn’t have their best interests in mind, and that there is no such thing as The American Dream.
The reality is that the system is set up to ensure there will always be a huge gap between the rich and the poor because the elites want it that way and most people don’t care enough to do anything about it. We are a country that does not like to take personal responsibility for anything, particularly if it requires effort. We would rather have someone else take care of everything so we can go back to watching Monday Night Football.
The average American barely gives a passing thought to the suffering we are causing to innocent civilians around the world in the 7 countries on which we are currently dropping bombs. Unless it’s in their own backyard, they just don’t care. Imagine just a single one of those bombs suddenly dropping on your home while you are in the middle of dinner, killing your children, husband, wife. What is unimaginable for us is daily life for some.
For centuries, Western culture has been dominated by white men obsessed with empire-building. They feel it is their God-given right to invade less developed countries, steal their resources at will, and then expect the conquered to be grateful to us for “liberating” them from their backward ways. We commit mass murder around the world and don’t think twice about it. The hubris is astounding, and like Rome, it will ultimately be the instrument of our downfall.
Fears of Trump becoming the next Hitler are unnecessary because we’re already there. Hitler may have gathered the Jews into extermination camps to systematically murder them, but we have been systematically murdering Muslims in their own countries for at least the past 26 years. An estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed due to our wars. The genocide is the same, just under a different façade.
The very founding of our country is a prime example. White Europeans arrived here in the 17th century and began to commit genocide against the indigenous Americans practically from day one. Those atrocities continue to this day in the form of government-approved militarized mercenaries violently attacking peacefully protesting Native Americans with rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound cannons and concussion grenades.
We seem to have forgotten that we were once the immigrants here. Every US citizen, unless they are from one of the many indigenous tribes that were here far before the first pilgrims, has an immigrant ancestor. Yet it’s amazing how many people say it’s the immigrants who are hurting our country. Like your own great-grandparents once did, most immigrants work hard to establish their lives here. A long-term study has shown that immigrants do far more good for the economy than harm; however, the oligarchy wants to distract you from knowing who the real welfare queens are: the banks and our corporate-owned government.
Congress doesn’t want you to know that they are the reason why you have unaffordable health care. They are the reason our youth are drowning in student debt, and could never dream of making nearly as much money as their parents did — all while they find money to bail out the banks. Congress never has a problem funding more than 50% of the annual budget for the benefit of the military industrial complex, and never have to worry about losing their 100% government-paid health insurance.
As Noam Chomsky and Martin Luther King said, America is socialist for the rich and capitalist for the poor. We allow our government to bail out the banks while working people lose their homes. The wealthy like to maintain a comfortable gap between themselves and everyone else. If everyone is wealthy, nobody is. How could they continue to feel superior? The far-right white supremacists (often oddly called alt-right) have massive fears of immigrants and minorities, believing they are the ones responsible for the disappearance of what they always believed to be their racially guaranteed upward mobility.
Our educational system is a joke; the oligarchy does not want an educated population. If Americans were actually taught to think for themselves, they might begin to question government policies. For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know that our income taxes do not fund federal spending. So any government official claiming there is not enough tax money to fund universal health care, higher education, etc. is either ignorant or flat-out lying.
But even if it’s not your “hard-earned dollars” that would pay for these vital programs, what type of person thinks that any human being does not have the right to decent health care? Universal health care is not even a question in every other Western country, all of which have some form of it. People in these countries almost universally state that health care is an inalienable human right.
It’s no wonder the Kardashians and reality TV shows like The X Factor and American Idol are so popular, not to mention Trump’s own show, The Apprentice. We glorify unbridled wealth, cutthroat competition, and cruelty. The meaner and more demeaning, the better. We shore up our huge insecurities by belittling others, whether they are TV contestants, women, or minorities.
None of this will change until we make significant changes to our ethical code. We need to learn from the Native Americans and adopt a different way of looking at our existence on this planet. Much can be learned from what’s happened at Standing Rock. The indigenous peoples of this country understand that everyone is their relative. What harms one of us harms all of us. They have respect for the earth upon which we all must live and which provides us with food and water. They have astoundingly met brutal violence with only love and compassion.
Privatization must end. The earth’s natural resources should be owned by all of humanity collectively. Nobody should have the ability to make a profit on a natural resource. Along with a minimum wage, there also needs to be a maximum wage. No more allowing a small handful of people to hoard money in amounts so large they could never possibly spend it all, when meanwhile their fellow citizens are struggling to feed their children.
We seem to have lost our sense of compassion for other human beings. Yet we wonder how Donald Trump won the presidency? We need to take a serious look in the mirror and see the ways in which Trump is simply a reflection of the darkest parts of ourselves and examine where it comes from, rather than running from it. At that point, we can make conscious changes and become a better people.
A striking example of this is the stirring ceremony that occurred at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in early December, in which US military veterans asked forgiveness from the Native Americans for the numerous crimes the military had committed against them. Recognizing and admitting our part in these atrocities allows for a beginning in healing the world instead of harming it.
We must always try to remember that we are all members of the same human race living on the same fragile planet. When we make significant changes to our outlook on others and on the world around us, we will finally stop getting leaders like Trump.
SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist
Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle
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Mr. Tigerli in China
Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
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