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Madeleine Albright served as secretary of state under President Clinton from 1997-2001. Timothy Greenfield Sanders/Harper Collins

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes herself as an “optimist who worries a lot.” And lately, it seems, there has been much to worry about.

Albright’s new book, Fascism: A Warning, starts by describing how Hitler and Mussolini came to power in the 20th century, then warns about today’s authoritarian rulers in Eastern Europe, North Korea, Turkey and Russia.

Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia and fled with her family after the Nazis occupied the country in 1939, notes that the United States has traditionally been viewed as a nation that opposes authoritarianism and supports democratic principles and human rights, but that perception is changing — in part because of President Trump.

While Albright does not call Trump a fascist, she says that he is “the most anti-democratic leader that I have studied in American history.”

“We’re not fulfilling the role that we’re supposed to,” she says of the United States today. “I believe very much that democracy in the United States is resilient [and] that people can be skeptical about things that are going on, but I really am afraid that we are taking things for granted.”

Interview Highlights >>>>

Amy Siskind is tirelessly trying to make sure we do not ignore the subtle and not-so-subtle changes we are seeing.

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It is not the first time I have spotlighted her.


Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women.

A century before the dawn of the computer age, Ada Lovelace imagined the modern-day, general-purpose computer. It could be programmed to follow instructions, she wrote in 1843. It could not just calculate but also create, as it “weaves algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.”

The computer she was writing about, the British inventor Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, was never built. But her writings about computing have earned Lovelace — who died of uterine cancer in 1852 at age 36 — recognition as the first computer programmer.


Obituary writing is more about life than death: the last word, a testament to a human contribution.

Yet who gets remembered — and how — inherently involves judgment. To look back at the obituary archives can, therefore, be a stark lesson in how society valued various achievements and achievers.

Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female.

Charlotte Brontë wrote “Jane Eyre”; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now.

Below you’ll find obituaries for these and others who left indelible marks but were nonetheless overlooked. We’ll be adding to this collection each week, as Overlooked becomes a regular feature in the obituaries section, and expanding our lens beyond women.

You can use this form to nominate candidates for future “Overlooked” obits. Read an essay from our obituaries editor about how he approaches subjects and learn more about how the project came to be.

Read more >>>>

Dear Alexi Frest,

You have succeeded. It must feel great! The power you have accrued is awesome. Now you administer Hillary’s Resistance with 165K followers (if they are real) and are able to ban from that page genuine American Hillary supporters who have spent time, money, and energy over decades in support of Hillary Clinton. Years, I should note, when you did not even acknowledge on your Facebook page (which does not identify your location) that HRC even existed. Where was your support of her in 2008? Or when she was Secretary of State?  I scrolled back. It is not there. You discovered Hillary Clinton in 2015. I’ll just leave that there.

Now you are an administrator at Hillary’s Resistance. That must be such a triumph for you! To be able to squash impertinent folks like my friends and me as if we were bugs when we question your qualifications to be an administrator there must give you such satisfaction. Wow. Heady. Isn’t it?

You must be elated!  You finally hit the big time!  You can ban anyone who questions your nationality and agenda, which some of us believe to be the division of the Democratic party in the United States. Each of us who has questioned your background and motives has been summarily dismissed. Banned.

But enough about us and our grievances.

What about your one-person campaign? You posted this.

Who authorized you, sitting there in Budapest without even a visa to enter this country, to run a presidential campaign here?

Alexi Frest

All my friends say that if Hillary runs again, they will support her, and I am so delighted to hear them, but it works the other way around: if WE support #HER, she will run again, the dutiful, caring mother she is. We need to stand beside #Hillary, she is our most popular candidate. She has been Most Admired Woman in America for 16 consecutive years, her book tour was a smash hit like a Beyoncé or Katy Perry tour, and wherever she appears, she is celebrated like the rock star who she is. Last time, this Monday, when Mama turned up in a restaurant and received a standing ovation. Which other candidate receives this enthusiastic outpour of love? #Hillary2020

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor and text

Maybe this post, also at Hillary’s Resistance, should have “woke” you.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, text

Hillary has passed the torch. We have new leaders.

Maybe when you no longer need a “mama” you can grow up to be like Emma Gonzalez  – who is about half your age. When you grow up. When you mature. When you no longer need a mama.

Americans are not infantile. Even when they are very young, they do not perceive political figures as surrogate parents.

Watch this little girl talking to and and about Donald Trump. This is how Americans, even from an early age, speak to political figures.

Hillary’s agenda is to get qualified Democrats to run for the changes she proposed. More than once she has affirmed that she will not run again.

Grow up!  Stop demanding that a grandmother that you call “mama” do the job that people half your age have stepped up to do.

Emma is not calling anyone “mama.” Hillary supports her and her friends. Emma has 600K followers on Twitter at last count. I think that counts as a larger “reach” (your word  – to me) than yours at Hillary’s Resistance.

This country turned a corner last week just like we did on 9/11/2001. There is a pre-9/11 USA and post 9/11 USA.

Now there is a pre-Parkland USA and a post-Parkland USA. You are stuck in pre-Parkland USA calling Hillary “mama.” Like a baby! Meanwhile, kids half your age and younger are talking to all of us as adults.

The kids have taken over the fight, and they are not calling anybody “mama.” They are telling us what to do, and we are doing it. They have strategies.

You are supposed to be an adult and are acting infantile while the kids here have grown up fast over a few weeks and are facing down the adults who failed them. They have plans. They have ideas.

Aspire to be like Emma Gonzalez. Wake up. Grow up. You are twice her age and speak like a helpless infant. “Mama come save us!”

What does Hillary endorse? Run for something. These kids can, and I bet they will.

Stop begging Hillary to run. YOU do it!

Oh, wait! You can’t run here. You aren’t here, and you aren’t even American! That’s your big secret.

Get out of U.S. politics.

We know who our new leaders are. You are not one of them.

Admit your identity to your Facebook friends before someone more powerful and influential than I does. That is not a threat. It is an eventuality. You are breaking the law. You can fix that now by admitting the truth on Facebook.

Best wishes for Hungary,

The authentic American Hillary supporters

P.S. REAL Hillary supporters who put in time, sweat, and tears, are on the campaign rosters (as you are not), and have been disenfranchised by you at Hillary’s Resistance. I never trusted the Bros to be vetting very carefully. Just goes to show that we cannot trust the men – even the ones who appear trustworthy. Not a new lesson. Even throughout the campaign, I did not trust them. I see now that I was correct.

P.P.S. It’s all moot anyway. There will not be another Hillary campaign, and I will not need all these connections. So who cares? Except that you, Alexi, will not accept any other candidate in 2020. And you will do your best to divide the Dems so Trump can win another term. I know your game. Wow! You are not even American and have never been here. SMH. Your current path is insidious. Not to be trusted.

 

 

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Rarely does an artist have the opportunity to recreate a magical moment. Patti LuPone mesmerized Grammy viewers in 1981. Last night, she did it again – in the original key!  Brava! Love you so much, Patti!

This made me snicker.

She was trending on Twitter into early morning as was #Evita! Hope you read all these tweets in the morning, Patti! You rule!

The Navajo Code Talkers are heroes sine qua non. Without them, the War in the Pacific might have been lost. Probably would have been. But these very young guys, teenagers many of them, stepped up when we were at war and gave everything they had.

Everyone knows what Donald Trump did at a ceremony meant to honor them this week. It was – I will use Hillary Clinton’s term – deplorable.

Here is a story about them and not about the occupant of the Oval Office.

The incredible story of the Navajo Code Talkers that got lost in all the politics

Who were the Navajo code talkers?

Story highlights

  • The Navajo Code Talkers used their native language to invent a secret military code
  • The code was vital to the US victory in the Pacific in World War II

(CNN)When Peter McDonald, Fleming Begaye and Thomas Begay joined the elite fraternity of Navajo Code Talkers during World War II, they had no idea what they were getting into.

That was by design. The top-secret program they joined wouldn’t even be declassified until more than two decades later — long after the secret Navajo code language had played a vital role in the American war effort.
All they knew at the time was that the Marines were recruiting and needed help from the Navajo people. “So we all volunteered. That’s how he went in, that’s how he went in, that’s how I went in,” said McDonald, now 90, of his two comrades. McDonald, Begaye and Begay were at the White House on Monday to receive praise for their service.
The three were among the Navajo troops who learned a secret, unbreakable code language that was used to send information on tactics, troop movements and orders over the radio and telephone.
The code was indecipherable to the enemy and a key factor in the American military victories at Iwo Jima, Saipan, and several other major battles in the Pacific theater.

When I was in Haiti, I was privileged to meet two young Navajo sent by the Phelps-Stokes Foundation. In turn, my thesis advisor, Dr. Jeanne Philippe, was sent to visit the Navajo at Window Rock.

Very little is done for the native tribes in this country. Much is asked, and they always have come through. Nobody is more American. Nobody!

The individual occupying the Oval Office chose to use the venerable venue and the honorees of the day for a sleazy political comment. Hillary Clinton’s baskets aside, was she so wrong about the deplorable part?

The Navajo Nation responded.


trump_navajo

Trump addresses Navajo veterans in front of portrait of Andrew Jackson, a US president nicknamed “Indian killer.”

By S Nicholson, Revere Press, November 28, 2017

A number of Native American activists and leaders condemned President Donald Trump’s racist comment during a ceremony honoring Navajo veterans of World War II on Monday.

Trump had, without saying her name, referred to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” using the name as an insult in response to Warren’s claims of Native American heritage. Why he felt this was necessary to say while honoring Navajo “code talkers” who served in the Marine Corps and are now in their 90s is anyone’s guess.

That he did so in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson — who was nicknamed “Indian Killer” and signed a law to forcibly relocate tens of thousands of indigenous people from their homes — only added insult to injury.

“We have a representative in Congress who has been here for a long time … longer than you. They call her Pocahontas!” Trump said to the veterans.

The Navajo Nation issued a statement in response to the incident, which strongly condemned Trump’s comments.

Read the statement >>>>

Every time we think Donald Trump cannot drag the Presidency lower, we find the floor is lava. Here is a reaction from a tribal union.

Pocahontas and the President

posted Nov 27, 2017, 1:41 PM by John Norwood   [ updated Nov 27, 2017, 1:43 PM ]

submitted by Dr. J.R. Norwood, ACET General Secretary

In a ceremony at the White House honoring Native Code talkers, who are known to have been vital to the success and victory in World War II (and a lesser known fact is that code talkers even were used to aid the victory in World War I), President Trump decided to deviate from the focus on their valiant service to take a swipe at a political opponent, once again making a reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” (see link below).  After his initial use of this reference during his campaign, numerous American Indian organizations denounced the manner in which the name was used. There are some who ignored the response from Indian Country and defended Mr. Trump, both then and now, with the excuse that the name “Pocahontas” is not a racial slur. When honorably referencing the actual historic figure, this indeed is true. However, the name becomes a derogatory racial reference when used as an insult. American Indian names, whether they be historic or contemporary, are not meant to be used as insults.  To do so is to reduce them to racial slurs. There are many in Indian Country who have given various perspectives on Senator Warren’s claim of an American Indian ancestor. There are many non-tribal Americans who make similar claims of indigenous ancestry. Sometimes it is a matter of documented genealogical fact and sometimes it’s merely a matter of family lore. Such private claims, when not used to claim the legal protections or benefits of the citizens of American Indian Nations, cause little or no harm to tribal people. However, degrading an American Indian name or historic tribal reference by using it as an insult is making a racial slur, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The right to determine if it is a slur belongs to those who have been insulted, not the one who made the insult.  The appropriate and mature response when one is made aware of such an insult to an entire race of people is to apologize and to not do it again. An even better response after the apology is to try to understand and learn more of the proud heritage of the people that were insulted and why the manner in which you used the reference may be viewed as an insult.  Such a response would unite instead of divide.  It would heal instead of hurt.  This is a “teachable moment” that could be transformed into something positive, if America and its president are willing to learn.  We can only hope.


– Trump calls Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at event honoring Native Americans http://nbcnews.to/2zJNqjn
– World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) tweeted at 2:52 PM on Mon, Nov 27, 2017: MOMENTS AGO: Pres. Trump at White House event honoring Navajo code talkers, makes joke about “Pocahontas” Sen. Elizabeth Warren. https://t.co/PgdhbxBrfT
(https://twitter.com/ABCWorldNews/status/935234798045446144?s=09)

I should not have to be defending American heroes against the POTUS. I should not have to be defending them from us, the invaders – my 11 times great grandfather did that long before Independence. He knew the wisdom of elders. Of the Sachem.

The day was meant to thank and honor those who stepped up and served. They are among the last of their amazing generation.

We should always look to our elders. They remained composed, wise, and tolerant of puppies nipping at their heels.

This is a great country – not in the least because of our native forefathers. They have exemplified grace and industry in the face of danger.

We honor you, our Native Fathers, for your courage, wisdom, and forbearance. We apologize for Donald Trump’s clumsy handling of your special day.

Please know that we love and cherish you as National Treasures!

 

Back to the Future?

It feels like the #MeToo grenades are exploding left and right. Yesterday was especially active. Additional Roy Moore accusers stepped forward, and then came an accusation – with some photographic evidence – against Senator Al Franken who is trending on Twitter as I type.

The incident occurred in 2006 before he was a senator. He issued two apologies yesterday and said that he would cooperate with an ethics committee investigation. Nevertheless, there is a hue and cry for him to resign. It must be noted that many of the #FrankenShouldGo tweets are saying that if Franken should go Trump also should go.

With sexual misconduct, harassment, abuse, and assault being the hot topic everywhere this week, women in government have stepped forward. Jackie Speier is especially active on this front having shared her own story of an assault when she was a congressional aide.


WASHINGTON — Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said she knows of two current members of Congress who “have engaged in sexual harassment,” while another congresswoman, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) recounted a member who exposed himself to a female staffer.The members were not named.The lawmakers spoke at a House Administration Committee hearing on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, and about pending legislation to require training for all members and their staffs, and whether further actions are necessary to establish uniform policies.Read more >>>>


Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is hoping the increased national attention on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace will help her push through legislation to strengthen the rules in Congress by the end of 2017.Speier’s spokesperson said that she and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are recruiting cosponsors for the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act, or the Me Too Congress Act. They’re signing up lawmakers in pairs, adding one Republican and one Democrat at a time.Read more >>>>

But this is a minefield and not easily negotiated as Kirsten Gillibrand discovered yesterday. She should have been prepared for this.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Nov. 15 said “there is a serious sexual harassment problem in Congress.” Gillibrand is among several lawmakers introducing a bill to revise procedures for reporting harassment in Congress. (Reuters)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after having a relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the most prominent liberal to weigh in as the issue has moved from conservative media to a wider chorus of voices in recent days.

Gillibrand said she thought it would have been “the appropriate response,” when asked if Clinton should have stepped down by a reporter. The comments were published Thursday by the New York Times.

Read more and see video >>>>

I don’t know about you, but I found her response confusing, incoherent. I really don’t know what she was trying to say and cannot make sense of her statement.

Franken’s accuser, Leeann Tweeden said she could not have made her story public 11 years ago. We are in a different time. She noted that Jackie Speier telling her own story is what gave her the courage to speak up.

Gillibrand also alluded to times being different. But what is she saying?

Bill Clinton, we should remember, was impeached but not convicted. He went through a process. Now she (and others) are saying he should have resigned?

I always find these attacks on WJC obliquely aimed at Hillary. That’s just me. The Clintons are out of politics now. They really cannot be hurt. But Gillibrand has been seen as a rising star. With this response she disappointed me and probably shot herself in the foot. Or maybe in both feet.

Here is what Philippe Reines had to say.

Philippe is not known for holding back. He makes an interesting point.

Yesterday Gillibrand said she will give the money Franken contributed to her to charity. Hmmmm… what will she do with the money the Clintons contributed over those 20 years?

(Cross-posted at Still4Hill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Lives

Who is Alexi Frest,  who resides here on Facebook?  “She” (if indeed it is a she and not a he or a they) is not necessarily an actual person.

There is an online story wherein “Alexi Frest is the main character.

The Witch Hunt

Alexi took in the peaceful environment, the white kitchen counter, the tastefully set table with the cheerful, bright red tablecloth, and the warm cloud of scents: apples, cinnamon, ginger, and spices. The Upper West Side apartment was large, high-end, and modern. The kitchen area was no different, with gleaming, high-performance, energy-saving household appliances, a stainless steel faucet, a white marble countertop and marble floor. Everything was trendy and expensive, but it was obvious that Golde Mueller was in charge in the kitchen. It was cozy, a safe nest for the family, a place to eat, laugh, and have a great time. Alexi looked through the window. Behind the large buildings, she could see the bare treetops of the Central Park. The streets below looked glorious. Holiday time was nearing, it was there everywhere in the city, in the falling snow, the white streets, in the piles of sweets and dazzling decor behind the glass storefront windows. Out there, on the streets, the atmosphere was celebratory.

Golde Mueller was an energetic, tiny woman in her mid-seventies. Her brown hair had streaks of white. She had fine features and a healthy, brown complexion. She was fixing dinner for her guest. Alexi watched her as she chopped spinach and onions, kneaded some dough, prepared the filling and, at last, started grilling the delicious food. Golde’s hands were elegant – until her retirement, she ran the family business, but her fingers were moving very fast.

Read more >>>>

What is going on here?

Has Alexi on Facebook adopted the name of a fictional character and made her a Facebook profile?

The Alexi on Facebook is a Hungarian entity and has admitted that much to me several times in private chats (and defended the subterfuge – unsuccessfully, from my POV).  Go back a few years on her Facebook timeline, and you will see the evidence. You will also see nothing about Hillary Clinton until the Ready for Hillary movement began in 2015.

This entity fiercely impersonates an American and reacts angrily to any suggestions that she is not.  She blocked me and others on Facebook for questioning her on this. She said I “threatened” her.

I never threatened her. I merely said she should stop lying about who she is. She claimed I had something against her. I did. She is lying about being American and is misleading her friends as she reports what she claims to be news (all unattributed) about Hillary but which also occasionally contains fake news. Example: Once she said the U.S. is on the verge of civil war. When I questioned that, she told me she got it from “someone named Roger” whose last name she forgot. Politically aware Americans know who Roger Stone is and also know the veracity of his statements.

Her Facebook friends believe she is American while, in fact, Alexi Frest in a story is a fictional investigative reporter who resides in New York while Alexi on Facebook has never been to the U.S.

When Hillary’s birthday rolled around this year, many of my Facebook friends posted greetings – some of which clearly had been in preparation for weeks if not for months. It was the Big 7-0! Everyone was ready!

But not Alexi on Facebook. Maybe she had forgotten, or perhaps she just didn’t know. She is actually pretty new to HRC and might not know everything longtime Hillary people know. Maybe she found out the next the morning when she woke up and saw everyone else’s birthday greetings on her newsfeed.

She caught up the next day by posting a greeting using this photo taken by Hillary’s official photographer, Barbara Kinney, last year when Hillary was on the trail in PA. The photo is property of the campaign and was circulated widely last year.

October 26, 2016 - Lake Worth, FL.

Here is part of the conversation that ensued in the thread beneath that greeting.

Ambra Italia

Ambra Italia I took.this pic one years ago when I supported her

Alexi Frest
Alexi Frest Ooohh! Did you?! This is wonderful! Thank you for taking this photograph! It highlights Mama’s perfect figure and beautiful face.
Ambra Italia

Ambra Italia Yes it is a natural attitude smiling of Mrs Hillary, wonderful image!

Alexi Frest

Alexi Frest Yes, it is obvious that she is a loving, confident, and happy person. It explains her fast recovery after being robbed – so positive and incredibly resilient.

Ambra Italia

Ambra Italia Yes she is a really intelligent and positive woman and she is a winner

Alexi Frest

Alexi Frest It shows – plus, her positivity and confidence are infectious: we watch her and we become stronger, more confident people ourselves.

Ambra Italia

Ambra Italia Foundation Clinton the best!

Alexi Frest

Alexi Frest And Hillary Rodham Clinton.

What is going on there? Is this Ambra Italia (very suspect name) pretending to be Barbara Kinney in Facebook disguise?  WTF???

It is not hard to imagine people aspiring to be American. But aspiring and impersonating are two different things, especially when one  has a cohort who pretends she is Hillary’s official photographer and another is advising Americans, under Hillary’s banner, to act.

Whether these actions are legitimately approved by Hillary or those representing her interests defaults to moot when they are emanating from a questionable source.

This all could be, we can admit, immature hankerings by adolescents playing make-believe. Or it could be something else.

When a few mentally-balanced Republicans heard James Comey testify that attacks on our electoral system did not end with the 2016 election, they cautioned that we need to get to the bottom of how alien entities used social media to interfere because this can happen to either party. We should concur since there is no telling how the tables might be turned in the future, and the trolls who “support” HRC might influence her voters in events to come. Perhaps not in a good way. Maybe in a dangerous way. After all, on the other side of the globe, there is no danger to them.

Or are these just castles in the air? A masquerade.

The description of this Russian troll is very similar to Alexi.