Friday, April 15, 2016

Betty MacDonald and a strange decision

Farndale Daffodils

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

Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

we are working on Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter April with many Betty MacDonald fan club surprises. 

Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett tells the most interesting stories in Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald Fan Club Interviews, especially about Betty MacDonald and her first husband Robert Eugene Heskett. 

Sister Dede, whose real name is Dorothea Bard Goldsmith, was very brave. 

It was a very diffcult time for Betty MacDonald and she can be very glad that she had a family and sisters like this.

As an other Betty MacDonald Fan Club member wrote: Alison Bard Burnett is a wordpainter like her famous sisters Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard. She paints very colourful portraits of the Bards, the Kettles and the real story of Nancy and Plum and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

I'd die to see Betty MacDonald's filmed interview and Betty MacDonald's interview on radio.

I hope we'll receive more info about these Betty MacDonald treasures in next Betty MacDonald Fan Club Newsletter.

Publish more Wolfgang Hampel Interviews, please. 

Wolfgang Hampel interviewed so many famous artists and writers. Truman Capote, Ingrid Noll and Maurice Sendak belong to our favourite writers.

It's a very good idea is to publish Wolfgang Hampel's satirical poems.

If they are as good as the ones we've read in Betty MacDonald Fan Club Newsletters they are outstanding. 

Betty MacDonald fan club ESC 2016 event in Stockholm will be very exciting. 

I can't wait to meet you again.

My Top 5 favourites in alphabetical order are Australia, France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine.

Take care,


Don't miss this very special book, please.

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

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

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

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  

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


Angela Merkel Draws Criticism for Allowing Turkey’s Case Against Comic


Angela Merkel on German Comedian

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany explained the reasoning for allowing Turkey’s case against a German satirist to proceed.
By REUTERS on Publish Date April 15, 2016. Photo by Markus Schreiber/Associated Press. Watch in Times Video »
BERLIN — Turkey’s president found himself in choice company when he fixed upon an obscure German law to attempt to punish a popular comic who had satirized him in crude terms. The same law, dating from 1871, had also been used to silence critics of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran and the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Designed during an era of ruffled majesties, the law allows prosecution in Germany for insulting a foreign leader, but only with the consent of the government. It also presented Chancellor Angela Merkel with a dilemma: She could either compromise on cherished values of free speech or risk further roiling relations with a leader she needs to stem another potentially chaotic flood of refugees to Europe again this year.
On Friday, Ms. Merkel gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey what he was seeking. She announced that prosecution of the satirist, Jan Böhmermann, could proceed — even as she added that the law allowing it would be repealed.
The attempt to split the difference did little to appease criticism that Ms. Merkel had blinked in the staring contest with Mr. Erdogan. “We just experienced the beginning of the end of Chancellorship #Merkel,” wrote another satirist, Oliver Kalkofe, on Twitter. “I am ashamed by the lack of spine.”
If anything, Ms. Merkel’s decision demonstrated how, by virture of geography and his swagger, the Turkish president has become all but indespensible to the security of Europe as it tries to calm war-ravaged Syria and deal with the conflict’s overflow of refugees and terrorism.

Ms. Merkel pushed hard for a deal at a European summit meeting last month, in which Turkey agreed — in exchange for billions of euros — to accept the return of illegal migrants and refugees who had made it to Greece.
At the time, the chancellor appeared relieved that the agreement offered a veneer of European unity and eased political pressure at home after months of dispute and German isolation over her refusal to impose a limit on migrants.
But putting key European interests in Mr. Erdogan’s hands came under immediate criticism in Germany, not least for its potential to compromise core European values of human rights and free speech — something jesters such as Mr. Böhmermann were quick to point out.
On March 31, the comic read what he has acknowledged was a crude poem designed to offend the Turkish leader, whose government has brought more than 1,800 criminal cases against Turks for insulting their president.
It was not long before Mr. Erdogan sent his representatives to the German Foreign Ministry with a formal request that Mr. Böhmermann be prosecuted under an obscure 19th century law once employed, in 1964, to penalize journalists at the newspaper Kölner Stadt Anzeiger for a caricature photo montage criticizing the Shah of Iran.
The shah tried again in 1967 to silence critics through the law, but was dissuaded during a visit to Tehran by the German interior minister, according to German media.

Jan Böhmermann at an awards ceremony in Düsseldorf, Germany, in January. The German comedian faces a lawsuit over his lampooning of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Credit Rolf Vennenbernd/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
In 1977, the Chilean ambassador won a case after claiming he was offended by a banner “Band of Killers” hung outside his embassy in Bonn, at the time the capital of West Germany.
The provision requiring German government approval was designed to protect German diplomatic interests — by explicitly giving the government a say in a legal proceeding.

But it turned into a fateful obligation for the chancellor, said Konstantin van Lijnden, a legal expert who writes for several German publications.
Ms. Merkel and her supporters argued that her decision on Friday put the matter back where it belonged — in court. “Not the government, but courts and the legal system will have the final word,” she said.
But even her government — a coalition of her center-right bloc and center-left Social Democrats — was not united, and Ms. Merkel made clear that the choice to let the courts decide the matter was hers.
Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Justice Minister Heiko Maas, both Social Democrats, stressed the overarching value of free expression, culture and media. Mr. Maas said the chancellor should have simply allowed Mr. Erdogan to proceed with a private lawsuit that he has also brought against Mr. Böhmermann.
Some three million Turks live in Germany — a fact the Chancellor stressed in her statement emphasizing close bonds with Turkey, a NATO ally now seeking to join the European Union.
Gökay Sofuoglu, a leader of the Turkish community in Germany, said the Chancellor had to choose between “a crisis in her coalition and a crisis affair of state.” The coalition crisis was the easier option, he said.
Mr. Böhmermann has won broad support, particularly from media and cultural figures, while Ms. Merkel was subjected to heavy criticism on Twitter. The comic Harald Schmidt, a mentor of Mr. Böhmermann, mocked up a message saying Moscow was offering exile to the satirist.
Most legal experts consulted by German media in recent weeks have suggested that Mr. Böhmermann is unlikely to go to jail, though he could face up to three years, and that his poem probably qualifies as satire and free speech protected by the constitution.

Mr. van Lijnden, a legal expert based in Düsseldorf, said that Ms. Merkel had faced an impossible choice.
“She said, I am allowing this because I think these things should be resolved by the judiciary, and not by the German executive.” he said. “When the law specifically gives her power to decide, that is a kind of circular reasoning.
“But it would have been an even tougher sell for the public if she had said, ‘I am allowing this because I don’t want to harm relations with Turkey even further.’ ”
Continue reading the main story

Related Coverage

Turkey demands Germany prosecute comedian for Erdogan insult

Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians
Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians Credit: Alamy 
Angela Merkel is facing a political dilemma after Turkey demanded one of Germany’s most popular comedians face prosecution for insulting its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The row could jeopardise the EU’s controversial migrant deal with Turkey.
The German government confirmed on Monday it had received a “formal request” from Turkey over the weekend indicating it wishes to press charges in the case.
If Mrs Merkel agrees to allow the prosecution, she will face accusations of limiting free speech to placate the authoritarian Mr Erdogan.
But if she refuses it could put the migrant deal with Turkey, which she personally brokered, at risk.
Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians, faces up to five years in prison over a poem in which he referred to Mr Erdogan as a “goat-f*****” and described him as watching child pornography.
Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.
Any prosecution also requires the express authorisation of the German government — leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela Merkel
Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Angela Merkel Credit:  Axel Schmidt/AP

Turkey was previously thought to be prepared to let the matter lie after Mrs Merkel personally intervened with a phone call to Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, and issued a public condemnation of the poem.
But the demand to press charges makes it clear Turkey intends to force her government to make a decision over the case.
A spokesman said the German government would “consider the request carefully” before coming to a decision.
Any impression the government is willing to sacrifice free speech to placate Mr Erdogan could prove highly damaging to Mrs Merkel.
Mr Böhmermann is hugely popular in Germany and could quickly become seen as a popular martyr.
He has defended his poem as a satirical response after Turkey summoned the German ambassador to complain about a song mocking Mr Erdogan that was aired on German television.

He said it was intended to show the Turkish president the difference between satire and slander.
“This kind of attack, including insults and rude statements to a country's president and also targeting a society, has nothing to do with freedom of expression or with press freedom,” Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Mr Erdogan claimed.
Mrs Merkel’s spokesman  said it would take her government several days to consider the request, but stressed her commitment to freedom of  speech. “Free speech is not negotiable, either at home or abroad,” Steffen Seibert told a press briefing in Berlin.
“I am saying this to counter the impression freedom of opinion and no longer important for the chancellor just because she, along with other Europeans, wants to resolve the refugee question in partnership with Turkey.” 

Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.


Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

„The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“!