Sunday, September 30, 2012

Re-visiting Kim Chatman in Ramstein, Germany, and getting a glimpse of America right in the middle of Germany - Bonus: Little Tiger

By Patrick

Two years ago, in November 2010, Kathleen and I visited Kim Chatman at her home near Ramstein Air Base, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with Kim and her family. I wrote a report about this visit back then at Palingates.

In November 2010, times were different: Sarah Palin was basically at her "all-time-high", and many people expected her to join the race for the US presidency. The books about Palin by Joe McGinniss, Geoffrey Dunn and Frank Bailey, which all proved to be devastating, were still many months away from publication. I myself was still a full-time-blogger at Palingates, but was also going to start a new job soon. The infamous "blood-libel incident", which really kick-started Sarah Palin's long downfall, only happened about 1 1/2 months after our visit.

Sarah Palin herself had just published her second book "America by Heart" at the end of November 2010, which, as expected proved to be a terrible ghost-written diatribe, and fortunately we at Palingates were able to spoil the party, as we had received an advance copy of Palin's highly protected book. No other media outlet had a copy at this point - and therefore we happily published the most terrible quotes from the book, which were then picked up by others. We received huge media attention and were even mentioned on CBS "Good Morning America." ABC also broadcast a very good report back then.

Those were the days - but we are glad that they are over!

Kim Chatman is a person who is not afraid of anything or anyone, and certainly not afraid of Sarah Palin. She has the distinction to be the only person who filed an ethics complaint against Sarah Palin which proved to be 100 percent successful - the ethics complaint against Sarah Palin's "Alaska Fund Trust."

Unfortunately, the fact that Sarah Palin was found guilty of an ethics violation afterwards was very rarely reported, even in the subsequent books about Palin, which is hard to understand. To this day, there are some Palinbots claiming that Sarah Palin was never found guilty of anything! But as we all know, the Palinbots always had a challenged relationship with the truth.

Back to 2012: It took us a bit longer than expected to see Kim Chatman again, but the next visit will hopefully not be that far away. We are currently spending a long weekend at a beautiful house close to Ramstein, which is also owned by Americans - together with its own sauna and swimming pool! All could have been perfect, but unfortunately I caught a heavy cold just before we left Frankfurt, and therefore I missed an incredibly fascinating visit to Ramstein Air Base on Saturday, where Kim's son Marcus took part in a football game.

But Kathleen went to see the game, and made some nice pictures. Kathleen not only saw the game, but also got a glimpse of a rather "surreal" world: An American island, so to speak, right in the heart of Germany. On Ramstein Air Base, America has replicated itself: For example with a huge "American-style" shopping mall and a huge supermarket, all filled with original American goods - which can be bought with dollars, of course, and the prices are not very different from the prices in the USA. There are also American banks, and an American High School - also, as we can see on the pictures, below, American Football is not far away as well. Needless to say, everyone speaks English all the time - and there is virtually no German citizen present. If one gets transferred from the USA to Ramstein Air Base, I guess that one will hardly notice any difference...

When we last saw Kim's son Marcus in 2010, he was still a "little boy." However, in the meantime, his height virtually exploded! Looks like Kim gave him good food! It was a real pleasure for Kathleen to see Marcus again, who is a gentle, intelligent and handsome young man! However, let's just say that being "a tall black guy" does not necessarily make life any easier. Prejudices are never far away, as Kim explained to us in greater detail. Kim's children are mixed race, so she is well accustomed with the subject of racial prejudice. Kim is very happy that Marcus is doing great in High School, just as her other kids.

Kathleen watched the game of Marcus's team, the "Ramstein Royals", which his team won 20-0! She made some lovely pictures of the game, which, if you did not know any better, surely would have been taken at some town in the USA (click on pictures to enlarge):

Marcus on the right with two of his teammates:

Marcus with his sister Kayla, who in 2009 famously wore an Obama t-shirt at Sarah Palin's book-signing event in Elmendorf, Alaska:

Marcus with Kim Chatman's partner Everett:

Unfortunately, Kathleen forgot to make a picture of Kim! But next time, promised!

In addition, we had some serious cat action this weekend! Our American hosts asked us to take care of their cat, to which we happily agreed. Kathleen is a long-time cat-owner and really misses a cat - unfortunately we cannot have one at our place. Our American hosts helpfully explained to us that their cat is an "indoor and outdoor cat", so that we wouldn't worry when he stays away over the day. :-)

So here are some pictures of our sweet "indoor and outdoor cat", which I call "little tiger." He was very content with our presence and was purring all the time, and he likes to socialise.

I made a little video with the cat - he is gorgeous. Due to my cold, I am breathing quite heavily in the video...

So this is our Sunday post, which you hopefully enjoyed!

As always, feel free to talk in the comments just about any topic!

Have a pleasant Sunday, everyone!



Hi everyone,

I just "found" a new picture...

Who do we have here...?

You can also click on the picture to enlarge if you are not 100 percent certain...see it in XL-size!



As some of our readers have correctly observed, yes, this is Sarah Palin as a baby.

This photo a screenshot from Sarah Palin's epic infomercial "The Undefeated", which we finally bought for a few bucks (a bit late, I know). This two-hour film is actually pretty interesting, a nice piece of propaganda, created at the time when Palin was still having her eyes on the presidency. A large "cast" of her "friends" appear in the film. It is absolutely obvious that this is the "film version" of her book "Going Rogue" (and the book is even mentioned as "inspiration" at the beginning, and the audio version of the book is constantly being used throughout the film). It's also more than obvious that this film was designed to kick-start her presidential campaign.

I know that all of this today thankfully has little relevance any more, but I am just "reviewing" it for "historical purposes", so to speak. The film is nothing else than one huge campaign clip, and it is actually not as cheaply done as I expected. It's quite slick, and appears to be an expensive production. Well, it's propaganda, but not the worst I have seen! Quite a lot of right-wingers would have fallen for the narrative if they had actually seen the film, I believe.

The bonus features contain video excerpts from her "famous" 1982 basketball game when the "Wasilla Warriors" won the Alaska state championship. But these excerpts are actually quite revealing, as they show clearly that Palin had in fact very little to do with this victory. Still, it was good enough for propaganda purposes even 29 years later...after all, Americans love winners, right?

Finally, another screenshot I got from "The Undefeated" - a wonderful Palin-cartoon from 1996, when she was the controversial mayor of Wasilla! How could the world have missed this so far...? 

Click to enlarge:

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