Remove Donald Trump as President Without Delay.


It’s no secret that Donald Trump is touted as the most disliked President of the United States and his policies have isolated many of the country’s (even long time allies), as well as the rest of the American people. After all, the only people that are benefitting from his policies are the under-educated and the rural communities, which explains the reason behind him winning the US Elections in terms of the electoral vote despite losing by a landslide by the popular vote.

Yet given the current trend in his presidency, especially as he enters his third month in office, it’s becoming clear that his policy-making and executive orders are for his own interest instead of his own, and that more and more opposition is accruing at an alarming rate. With scandals and investigations looming and many people afraid of their lives and their futures, it is high time that measures are taken to remove him from office without delay and call for re-elections, finding a real candidate that is able to address the problems affecting the country and the rest of the world. Among other things include health care, infrastructure and the environment/ climate change.

This flyer has been circulating throughout the social network that calls for that, plus shooting down pleas of people to give Trump a chance for that particular reason. Read the post, and if you agree, sign it in the comment section, and spread the word through other social networks, including (and especially) twitter, so that the President knows that he is not welcomed in Washington, DC and he’s better off taking his business elsewhere. Whether it is on his own will or by legal force, Donald J. Trump must go and we deserve a chance for a President who can tackle the real issues:

This is where I stand. The 45th President, his power hungry cronies taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all or most of the people I love.
Some people are saying that we should give Trump a chance, that we should “work together” with him because he won the election and he is “everyone’s president.”
This is my response:
•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years…Lies about his legitimacy and hatred for his principles and his attempts to work within the system.
•I will not support the degradation of women.
•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
•I will not “work together” to build a wall.
•I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.
•I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.
•I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
•I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
•I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
•I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
•I will not “work together” to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.
•I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from anyone.
•I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
•I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.
•I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
•I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
•I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.
•I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
•I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
•I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
•I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
•I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.
•I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.
•I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
•I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.
•I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a “pre-existing condition.”
•I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.
•I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.
I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversight at any level of government.
•I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
•I will not support anyone that thinks it’s OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans. And, it would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people. An accident waiting to happen.
I will not “work together” to legitimize racism, sexism, and authoritarianism.
This is my line, and I am drawing it.
•I WILL stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
•I WILL use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN:
That “winning”, “being great again”, “rich” or even “beautiful” is nothing… When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.

Sign your name in the comment section and where you are locate and share with others, so that they get the word. Use all weapons available to make it happen.

Thank you! 🙂



Genre of the Week: Alternative Für Deutschland by Jennifer Rostock

Source: Pistenwof/Festival of Summer/Wikimedia  Link:

Founded in 2007, the band Jennifer Rostock has its origins that are considered unique. It features Jennifer Weist and Joe Walter, both natives of Usedom, located in the German state of Mecklenburg-Pommerania, who were childhood friends and gifted musicians. They later met fellow members Alex Voigt, Baku Kohl and Chris Deckert in Berlin and Werner Krumme while at a music workshop in Rostock. Their style of music consists of a combination of punk, electro-pop and Berlin-rock and since their founding, they have become popular on the German rock music scene, having released seven albums and toured in the German-speaking countries so far; that despite having songs released in German and English.

However, despite their punk lifestyle, they also have a world view on politics and have been engaged recently as more and more people are leaving the traditional German parties of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU) and joining the far-right party the AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland), whose policies consists of tax relief for the rich, less money for social and health care and banning Muslims and other groups from living in Germany- including stopping the influx of refugees entering Germany. With local elections to take place in Mecklenburg-Pommerania and Brandenburg this fall and on the eve of the federal elections next year, this band has taken an unusual approach to their music style by combining political propaganda and piano and producing a sing provoking the people to think before voting and/or even joining the AfD. Check out this video that was released recently:

Being short and to the point, each statement about the AfD and their policies are presented in an advertised form but with Weist having the confrontational gesture indicating that unless a person wants a brawl, and has the mentality of a Nazi that they should join the AfD, unless they have some time to think about it first and look for other party alternatives. The song is similar to all the campaigns that are going on in the United States, especially between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Speaking from an American expat’s point of view, such a provokative song would go great for people seriously thinking about voting for Donald Trump, whose policies are exactly the same as that of the party led by Frauke Petry- no immigration, expulsion of minorities out of the US, the return to isolation (which would be a first since the 1920s), and having a wall along the Mexican and Canadian border. This in addition to controlling the media and the freedom of speech among the American people. It makes me wonder how Weist and Co. would craft their song in English and address it to the public similar to that what she is doing for her people in the north of Germany. Music is powerful and controls the mind and hearts of those who listen to it, influencing them on what they think and sometimes do. It can be peaceful, but it can present a type of music that is classical but whose lyrics make it unusual and stunning. The AfD song by Jennifer Rostock may be considered a propaganda song supporting the party, but it has the typical German warning that you see in pharmaceutical commercials:

Zum Risiko und Nebenwirkung, lesen Sie die Packungsbeilage und Fragen Sie Ihren Artz oder Apotheke (Talk to your doctor or pharmacy about the risks and side effects of taking this medication)

For this song, which has won the Genre of the Week Awards, the first international Award by the Files, the slogan behind the song about the Alternative for Germany party goes along the following lines (something that voters in Meck-Pomm, Brandenburg and the rest of Germany should consider before going to the polls:

Zum Risiko und Nebenwirkung, lesen Sie über die politische Partei und ihre Agenda und fragen Sie die Experten. (Talk to the experts and read about the political party you are voting for).

Or in American English: Thinking about voting for the AfD? You better know what you’re getting into.

frage für das forum

Should Jennifer Rostock decide to write and sing about Donald Trump, what should go in there? It should be similar to what she sang about the AfD. Go to her website (here) and offer your suggestions. 🙂

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Genre of the Week: How to Bring Family Home for Christmas


What would it take to bring everyone home for Christmas? What would you do to make it happen? How far would you go in order to bring home everyone you love so that you can see them again? And tell them that you love them?

I remember back in 2007, when my grandma died, we were in the process of planning our trip to the States for Christmas and we had booked our tickets when I got the bad news from my father on the telephone. We had last celebrated with her in 1998 but I remembered all of the festivities she had at her place- and especially her food.  Her passing was even a bigger incentive for us to fly over and see the family again. And the celebration was the grandest: many people, lots of memories and a very loving atmosphere. ❤ Christmas for me is having family and friends with, to have the best times together, do the craziest things you did in your childhood, and sharing a lot of memories of the past and things for the future. It does not matter how much money you earn or how many gifts you receive. It is the people you love that count the most. 🙂

And this takes us to this week’s special genre and the man’s attempt to bring his children home for the holidays. The man in his 80s was celebrating Christmas all by himself, because his children were away. He was a widower, having lost his wife earlier, but the notion of not seeing his children over the holidays- again- was too much to bear. Therefore, he does the unthinkable by “being dead,” and see what happens as you watch the ad:

The advertisement has received mixed reviews from viewers and critics alike. It does represent gloominess and sadness, all of which belong to the category of loneliness. Many people in this world spend their Christmases alone with no one to share the holidays with. Part of that has to do with not having any family near them, or even friends. This was something that the German grocery store chain EDEKA and its advertising agency Jung von Matt were addressing in this clip. Their main theme is family and the importance of having them for Christmas, although the idea behind it may be a bit unorthodox at first. But when watching it, it does hit home for the viewer, as sometimes watching something like this brings back memories of the times together at Christmas with the loved ones.

For those who think that Christmas is nothing more than just presents and “happy-happy-joy-joy,” then I would suggest having a look at the other side of Christmas and ask yourselves, is this the Christmas you or someone you know want- the one who is lonely. If not, try something to make the person happy.  Every bit of kindness makes a big difference, big and small.

And while other ads have been receiving many accolades, including one to be presented soon, this one will definitely outclick the competition before the holidays because of its geniuness and the way the theme is addressed without having to market the products directly. It has already received the Files’ seal of approval and it is hoped that other countries will air that on TV and online soon, so that the issue of Christmas and family are addressed.

And with that, I would like to close with a quote: Christmas means fun, friends, and family; It means laughter and love; It also means its richness- richness in our own hearts when we are thankful with who we have and not what we have.

Think about it. 🙂 ❤

merry christmas

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Germany at 25: Pottery- Guessing Quiz

“…failure with clay was more complete and more spectacular than with other forms of art. You are subject to the elements… Any one of the old four – earth, air, fire, water – can betray you and melt, or burst, or shatter – months of work into dust and ashes and spitting steam. You need to be a precise scientist, and you need to know how to play with what chance will do to your lovingly constructed surfaces in the heat of the kiln.”- A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book

Germany has been known for its creativity, impressing visitors with their high quality products, carefully designed and built with handcraft to ensure that they last a lifetime. One of the products that has been raved by many in the past 25+ years has been ceramics. Over the summer, when you visit a market square in a German community, do not be surprised to find a pottery market taking place for 1-2 weekends between late June and middle of September, where one can find the right gift made of clay, regardless of where they originate. They can range from flowerpots to wine cups, animal figures to plate sets, gargoyle statues to even coffee cups. People buy them to add to their sets at home, while others like me, buy small pieces bit by bit, to build a set for a loved one. In my case, it was for my grandma before she passed away a few years ago. But even when she was alive, she adored the increasing pottery set featuring plates, cups, jars for jam and the like.

But handcrafting such items take vast amounts of time and effort, and many who embark on this adventure have to forego their full time job in the office to spend time creating pottery, in many cases being dependent on the partner for extra support to help cover the cost for clay, oven, other machinery and cutting utensils. But despite the shortcomings, such an occupation can be a fun experience if one sticks out and attracts the right crowd. 🙂

This two-part article will look at Germany’s obsession with pottery and why they are still popular even to this day. While the second part will feature the art of creating something using clay, the first part has a Guessing Quiz for you to try out. The answers will come when the second part is featured. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the questions for you to try out:


1. Which German states will you most likely find pottery places and markets? Name at least three of them.

2. Use the two pictures below and translate what the expression means in English. Remember, literal senses do not make the best sense. 😉

IMGP7523 IMGP7524

3. What is a gargoyle?  Mark those that apply only.

a. goblin   b. angel   c. devil   d. monster   e. alien    f. human   g. borg

4. Identify this machine, both in German as well as in English and explain what it is used for.


5. Ceramics can be produced using which kind of clay? Which rocks are best for ceramics?

6. What is this gentleman in the picture doing with one of the ceramic pots? What is the purpose of this process?


7. True or False: Any bird can be made using clay. Please note, it is NOT ONLY in connection with pots, as seen in the picture below.  T/F


8. Which product can you NOT imagine being made of ceramics?

Thing about these questions, discuss them in the forum, take a stab at the answers, even in the Files’ comment sections or on facebook. When part 2 appears later in the year, the answers will follow, some of which may take you by surprise. Sometimes a visit to a pottery market to look at the products available and research can help you answer the questions. In any case, if there is a pottery market in your neighborhood next time, take advantage of the sunny weather and visit it with your family and friends. Who knows? You might be lucky and have all your loved ones marked off your Christmas shopping list with one swift and impulsive shopping spree with two bags full of ceramic products they will be happy with.

Try it! 🙂

More to come on this topic soon……

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Emergency versus Inconvenience


If there is word of advice to give to expatriates living on European soil, let alone any city slickers in the US or even college students living in apartments, when it comes to household problems, it is this:

There IS a difference between an emergency and an inconvenience.

A broken water main or a fire is definitely an emergency. A broken down refrigerator (despite its annoyance) is an inconvenience. A clogged sink in the kitchen however is technically an emergency, but not in the eyes of the plumber.

We learned this lesson the hardest way possible a couple days ago, when our kitchen sink suddenly had standing water and could not drain. Despite several attempts of forcing the water down, which included even taking apart the water pipe, cleaning it out and putting it back together, it was virtually impossible for the drain to work. Henceforth, we contacted the emergency housing services to summon a plumber to our house to fix the problem.

Now we have to keep in mind that the incident happened on a weekend where none of the plumbers are working EXCEPT in emergencies, and when there is an emergency, chances are that a household is charged extra for the work. This was the risk we had to take as the next possible place to wash the potatoes and clean the dishes would be the bathroom tub! Plus with a functioning dishwasher located next to the kitchen sink, having that run with a clogged kitchen drain would be a complete havarie!

Yet when the plumbers came, they had a unique way of nickel and diming the customers. First they asked if the other drains in the house had issues- namely the bathroom. Answer was no. Then came the reason for the question: 350 Euros for 15 minutes of work, and including the weekend pay and travel! Instead of the services being located nearby, they were located in Bavaria! So, this made sense!

Despite finding the cause of the clogged drain, which was in the wall and the rest I’ll leave out to avoid anyone reading this to throw up, we did learn a very valuable lesson which is asking ourselves, whether a problem like this needs to be solved right away or if it makes sense to find more “rather inconvenient” alternatives until help arrives. Normally “Handwerker” (people repairing household items) are supposed to inform their customers of the price before doing the work- and even more so on the telephone and not at the person’s house. But in today’s society, where such services rob customers of their money, it definitely pays to ask first before allowing the people to do their work to avoid any surprises.

This experience definitely reinforced a concept my cousin invented when his son, who’s a freshman in college, called him to say that he had a problem with a broken down refrigerator. His response was pure gold: “Son, that is not a problem. That is an inconvenience.”  This incident with the kitchen drain stressed this concept, and therefore, next time you have something similar to what we had, you should ask yourselves how bad the disaster is, whether it is worth contacting emergency services or waiting for a couple days until the repairman comes to fix it (and charge you a reasonable amount), and lastly, ask for the price before they come so you are not emptied of your wallet when they come. Seven times out of ten, your problems are most likely inconveniences and you can save up to 50% on repairs just by taking the inconvenient alternatives. You cannot avoid all disasters and other issues at home, but you can find a way to stem the problem.

Frage für das Forum: What household disaster did you have that required the assistance of a repairman? How was the service and did you feel ripped off regarding the price for repairs? What would have done differently?  Post your stories here or on the Files’ facebook page.

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Tribute to Friedrich Streich, creator of the Orange Mouse

Statue of the Maus (right) and the Elephant at Anger, Erfurt’s city center. Photo taken in 2011


In the US we had our forefathers who created Bugs Bunny and all of his friends as part of the Looney Tunes gang- namely Tex Avery, Fritz Freling and Chuck Jones, with Mel Blanc doing the voice of all the characters. We had Charles M. Schulz who penned Charlie Brown and Snoopy with various kids taking turns doing voices of the characters. And we had a husband-wife team that created, animated and voiced Woody Woodpecker (Walter and Gracie Lantz (née Stafford)).

In Germany, every Sunday morning on TV, we would be greeted by the Mouse and the Elephant with a series of short clips to go along with stories to laugh and learn- the German title is “Lach- & Sachgeschichte.” While there were no one doing voices of the Mouse, Elephant, Yellow Duck and the Pink Bunny, the animations resembled the modern version of silent films with background piano music and some sound effects. These were the works of Friedirch Streich, who for over 40 years, penned more then 330 short animations for the audience to enjoy, both kids as well as adults. Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1934, Streich had already garnered fame as a cartoonist for the Zurcher Zeitung (Zurich) and the Süddeutsche and Abendzeitungen newspapers (in Munich), an actor and even a director before starting the cartoon series with the Mouse and Elephant in March, 1971. At the time of its debut, the orange mouse was the main attraction. Streich added his sidekick, the Blue Elephant, four years later, whom he touted as “the smallest elephant in the world,” according to German public channel, WDR. They became the dynamic duo and have been making people laugh ever since. The Yellow Duck was added in 1987 and appeared in one of the three 30-second cartoon strips per episode of “Lach- & Sachgeschichte.” The blue elephant would later have his daily kids show in the morning with the pink bunny entitled “Elephantastisch.”  Streich’s signature for every animation with the Mouse and the Elephant was finding a solution for every problem the Mouse and/or the Elephant would face, no matter how out of the ordinary it may be. There are too numerous examples worth mentioning, but this link features the top 17 clips of the tandem. Funny and silly as the scenes were, the main slogan was “When there is a will, there is a way.” Streich did it his way, which is why his legacy will be remembered.

On 3 October of this year, Friedrich Streich passed away peacefully at his home in Munich. He was 80 years old. His death coincided with the 24th anniversary of the German Reunification, and while it may have overshadowed some of the events that took place across the country, Streich belongs to the list of people that made the new Germany, showing visitors (including those with children) that the Mouse, the Elephant and their friends are typical of German culture. Because they are still one of the key anchors in German television, the show must go on. In the hearts of Germans and those who know and like them, there will always be the Mouse, the Elephant and their friends. Forever and all time to come. Streich will forever keep us laughing no matter where he is at.

To honor Friedrich Streich, WDR has a tribute that was produced on 12 October, featuring the making of the Mouse and the best hits. Although in German, you will have a chance to learn how the characters came to life, apart from learning the language. The link:

And from the Flensburg Files, we just like to say thanks for all the memories and making us laugh. Your legacy with the Mouse and Elephant will go on in the hearts of kids and adults alike.




A Tribute to Nelson Mandela















Years of segregation. Years of apartheid. Years where we had just black and white. Years where neither side spoke to each other nor recognized the other race. Years where one race ruled over the other and suppressed them with force. Years of trials and tribulations in getting a man set free for a crime he never committed. But in the end, it all paid off. The apartheid ended. There were no more separate places tailored to their races. And instead of one race ruling over the other, we have a united country where blacks and whites get along and work together. 27 years of being in prison before being freed, combined with 24 years of bringing the country closer together like ever before, paid off.

I remember the images of Nelson Mandela as he was set free in 1990 and how his compassion for the people combined with the strive to bring forgiveness for the sins committed his time in jail, overshadowed the images of apartheid. I remember how he and F.W. De Clerk came together to create a new unified country, winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in the process. I also remember him for being the first black president of South Africa. But I also remember how many political greats, like Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton and others looked up to him for guidance, as if he established a suffrage movement to provide equality, like the women in the US established a suffrage movement in the 1920s so that they can vote. Both of them paid grand dividends in the end.  And lastly he was the figure that made South Africa famous for its rugby (and the World Cup in 1995) and soccer (the World Cup in 2010).

And now Mandela, after 95 fruitful years, has entered an age of eternity, joining the greats, like King, Abraham Lincoln, and others who tore down the walls separating people of different backgrounds, and leaving a mark that will forever be talked about in the classroom, on the street and at home at the dinner table. When I see a vuvuzela, the flag of South Africa, or any of the Nobel Peace Prizes, I will always think of Mandela as the man that changed not only South Africa, but the world.  I don’t think anyone can top him because of what he did.

The Flensburg Files and its sister column The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles is honoring great man in his memory, thanking him for everything he did. He will be missed by all, but also remembered by all.