Thursday, December 24, 2015


By Patrick

Yes, it's Christmas again, our favourite time of the year! Time for a break, for reflection, for meeting our relatives. Also, time for presents and great meals! We just love it!

As usual, it was an eventful year, but it was only the "prelude" to 2016, and what a crazy year this is going to be, oh boy, I don't really want to think too much about it right now. But whatever will happen, we all will experience it together here in our very special community at Politicalgates, and Kathleen and I are extremely happy that we have created this place, where we made so many friends. It is an island of sanity indeed, especially when sanity seems to be in short supply. But let's focus right now on the pleasures of Christmas, and Kathleen and I hope that you will all have a wonderful time!

In our Christmas post this year, I would like to present some videos again, and I would like to start with the traditional "Supermarket Christmas Adverts", which in the UK have been developed into some new form of art during the recent years. There is now a "battle" going on each year in the UK between the supermarket chains "Sainbury's" and "John Lewis" in particular for the best Christmas advert, and why not, if the results are really heart-warming and moving! You might remember "Monty the Penguin" and the "1914 Christmas Truce" from last year, and this year again, the Christmas adverts are very special. But be aware, they are going for the teary eyes, so have some tissues ready! :-)

Here is the lovely contribution from Sainsbury's this year - "Mog the Cat":

Please note that the narrator of this Christmas advert is Judith Kerr. She wrote the "Mog" picture book series, and also for example the book "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit". She is now 92 years old, and she is the daughter of famous German theatre critic Alfred Kerr. The family left Germany in 1933. Watch the making-off, where she is featured.

John Lewis also has a very sweet Christmas advert for 2015 - "The Man On the Moon":

Also, there is a very nice "bonus" Christmas video from Sainsbury's I found. See what you can do with Christmas jumpers, or Christmas "pullovers", as I believe you would say in the former British colonies.:-)


So what else do we need for Christmas? Yes, music!!! What you absolutely need to listen to in order to get in the Christmas spirit are Christmas Carols performed by the King's College Choir Cambridge - incredibly beautiful:

Well, some Christmas comedy would also not be a bad idea! Jim Gaffigan is great:

Well, we do hope that you will all have a great, relaxing very enjoyable time over Christmas!

Christmas is the ultimate celebration of love, we should never forget this.



Our dear reader "Freebird4" posted this wonderful clip, which fits the Christmas spirit perfectly with its positive and optimistic message:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Open Post - And now for something beautiful!

By Patrick

We do need an open post, and we do need it fast. We also need a break from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and all the other ugly faces of the wingnuts. We do need something beautiful, right now! What could it be?

What about a nice selection of photos I took in Venice in 2012, when Kathleen and I visited Venice, met up with Leadfoot and her daughter Bella and had a fantastic, unforgettable holiday!

Back then, I already posted some photos, but why not again? There is hardly a city on earth more beautiful than Venice. Let's not forget the pleasant things in life. I hope you like the idea.



As we are having a cultured open post: An example of America's best and brightest, violinist Hilary Hahn, playing Brahms in Frankfurt.

This is where the concert took place - the "Old Opera" in the center of Frankfurt:

The inscription on the front of the building reads: "To the True Beautiful Good."

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Donald Trump quickly becomes an international joke, but his campaign boosts right-wing extremism, and also incites violence against Muslims in the USA

By Patrick

We thought we had seen it all, but then came Donald Trump, who still dominates the headlines in the USA, and also starts to receive major attention around the world. The man who is basically a SNL-parody which inexplicably came to life has become a huge danger especially for Muslims living in the USA. Trump's violent speeches undoubtedly encourage violence and abuse against Muslims, and in my view it will most likely get much, much worse.

The "Washington Post" reported on Thursday:

Rasheed Albeshari was praying in Castro Valley, Calif., on Dec. 7, when a woman approached him and began shouting insults about his Muslim faith. Albeshari was then "hit by an umbrella before taking a shower of coffee."

From sea to shining sea, Muslim Americans are coming under attack.

In New York City, a shop owner was savagely beaten Saturday by a stranger promising to “kill Muslims.” In California, a man was playing volleyball and praying in a park on Sunday when a woman accused of him of being a terrorist, struck him and splashed him in the face with coffee. And in Philadelphia, a severed pig’s head was tossed outside of a mosque on Monday.

On Wednesday, a Muslim American congressman linked the “rise in Islamophobia” — including a death threat he received on Monday — to the “demagoguery” of Donald Trump.

“You have other politicians who are joining the bandwagon and who are fanning the flames of bigotry,” Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) told interviewer Jake Tapper. “That concerns me because we’re putting people — i.e. Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and others — into the line of fire exposing them to death threats, discrimination at the workplace and assaults.”

There are more incidents:

In Austin, two young Arab-American women reported they were verbally assaulted at a restaurant Sunday morning by another patron. Leilah Abdennabi, a Palestinian American born in Chicago, and Sirat Al-Nahi, an Iraqi American born in Seattle, who both wear Muslim head scarfs, said an older man at Kerbey Lane Cafe shouted they “should just go back to Saudi Arabia.” The restaurant moved the patron but did not make him leave, the women told Fox 7 TV.

Sarker Haque, who owns Fatima Food Mart in Queens in New York reported he was beaten Saturday by a customer who promised to “kill Muslims.” Haque was bleeding and bruised and had a dislocated hand. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment, according to NY1-TV. Police charged Piro Kolvani, 55, of Jacksonville, with assault and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.

At the Islamic Center of Greater St. Louis, someone claiming to be a former Marine left a threatening voicemail Saturday. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime, Fox 2 TV in St. Louis reported.

In Palm Beach, Fla., someone broke windows in a prayer room at the Islamic Center. Police arrested Joshua Killets, 27, on Friday in connection with the incident. He faces charges that include criminal mischief to a religious structure, according to WSVN-TV.

The Manassas Mosque in Virginia received a voicemail threat Dec. 2, the night of the San Bernardino attacks that left 14 people fatally shot by a married Muslim couple who the FBI says were "radicalized." A caller claiming to represent the Jewish Defense League referred to the California shooting and promised to “do to your people what you did to them,” according to a CAIR report.

The Tempe, Ariz., police department received a report of unspecified damage in the last week.

In Grand Forks, N.D., community members believe the deliberate Tuesday morning torching of a restaurant serving Somali food was a hate crime.

There also seems to be a growing trend to throw off Muslims from airplanes:

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said it received complaints from three airline passengers pulled off planes since Dec. 2. Multiple death threats and other abusive comments have been directed at the group from phone callers, said Abed Ayoub, the committee's national legal and policy director.

The TV-report of the Muslim shopkeeper who was beaten is truly heartbreaking:

But it can and surely will get much worse, and I believe that this is just what Donald Trump wants. He hates other people with a passion, and the "Muslims" and the "Mexicans" are just very convenient targets for him. He will happily add more "targets" to this list, if it appears useful for him.

He is a true fringe candidate and does not care about truth or fiction, he only cares about propaganda, and from history, we know that propaganda can work extremely well.

People who are "infected" by the Trump-virus have become true "believers", and comments like this one can be found everywhere these days on the internet (from an article at Yahoo News):

Trump's rhetoric is in no way different from the methods how the Nazis incited the Germany against the Jews in the years before and after 1933.

If you for example look at old Nazi anti-Jewish cartoons, like this one from 1929 ("The year is over. The fight will go on!"), then the parallels are obvious. The groups are interchangeable. The person on the left could also very well be a Muslim:

The relentless propaganda against the Jews also had the desired results long before the Nazis came to power in 1933.

From an historical overview about the Jews in Berlin:

Goebbels exploited the February 1930 killing of Horst Wessel, an SA storm-trooper man in Berlin, to launch a campaign against the city’s Jews. On the Jewish New Year of 1931, Jews on the way home from the synagogues were attacked on the Kurfurstendamm in western Berlin.

The next year, 1932, saw a spate of attacks on Jewish university students and lecturers in the city. The election campaign that year served to intensify the anti-Semitic atmosphere.

An interesting article explains who the Jews in Germany were living in fear already before 1933 - and how the Nazis were not taken very seriously at the same time:

True, many German Jews understood the danger early on and were all too eager for others to understand their dire situation, as well, including the relatively rare American Jewish visitor like labor organizer Abraham Plotkin. When Plotkin arrived in Berlin in November 1932, German Jews peppered him with questions about Jewish life in the United States. When he said there was anti-Semitism there, too, they scoffed at the notion that it was at all comparable. “Do they ever throw Jews out of subway cars in New York?” they asked, enumerating other acts of violence.“There is hardly a Friday night that we pray without trembling.”

And yet when Plotkin went, on December 16, 1932, to see a Nazi rally, which featured chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels, he found the event anticlimactic. “I confess my disappointment,” he wrote in his diary. “I had come to see a whale and found a minnow.” On January 30, 1933, Hitler was named chancellor.

It is absolutely justified in my opinion to compare Donald Trump's statements and his tactics, his unashamed use of propaganda, with the methods of the Nazis. Such rhetoric inevitably leads to violence and abuse, and this surely is not unintended, as violence seems to emphasize the strength of your very own movement.

Donald Trump and his minions have a very relaxed attitude to violence, to put it like that, as evidenced again by a campaign event on Friday, when a female protester was shoved to the ground by Trump's security guards:

It is also hardly surprising that Neo-Nazi groups enjoy a spike in attention and support:

Politico reports:

But its leaders consistently say that Trump's rhetoric about minority groups has successfully tapped into simmering racial resentments long ignored by mainstream politicians and that he has brought more attention to their agenda than any American political figure in years. It is a development many of them see as a golden opportunity.

Meanwhile, analysts from the two leading organizations that track violence against minority groups say Trump is energizing hate groups and creating an atmosphere likely to lead to more violence against American Muslims.

According to experts at the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center who monitor hate groups and anti-Muslim sentiment, Trump’s call on Monday to halt the entrance of Muslims to the United States is driving online chatter among white supremacists and is likely to inspire violence against Muslims. “When well-known public figures make these kind of statements in the public square, they are taken as a permission-giving by criminal elements who go out and act on their words.” said Mark Potok of the SPLC. “Is it energizing the groups? Yeah. They’re thrilled.”

Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said Trump’s proposal this week to halt the entrance of Muslims into the United States is only the latest statement to inject vigor into the racist fringe of American politics. “Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s candidacy, we’ve definitely seen that a segment of the white supremacist movement, from racist intellectuals to neo-Nazis have been energized,” she said.

Donald Trump meanwhile also continues his love-affair with lies and conspiracy theories and a few days ago gave a long interview to the largest promoter of outrageous conspiracy theories, Alex Jones from "Infowars." For me as a German, this type of behavior also immediately reminds me of Nazi-tactics, as the Nazis loved nothing more than conspiracy-theories in order to justify their warped and dangerous views.


It is almost comical to see that even extreme right-wing politicians from abroad disagree with Trump - he is too extreme for some of them:

Trump has also been called out by other Western allies, including politicians in France and the Netherlands. France's prime minister, who is less powerful than the nation's president, said Trump "feeds the hatred and the confusion," and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called the brash billionaire's remarks "very unhelpful and very discriminatory."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also compared Trump to the country's far-right nationalist party, but even the party's leader, Marine Le Pen, rejected the comparison.

"Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?" she said when asked about Trump comparisons in a TV interview, according to The New York Times. "I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion."

In the USA, a broad coalition of members from the public, politicians, journalists and others, strongly condemn Donald Trump. It surely is also a harsh reminder for some people that radical rhetoric will have consequences at some point. Eventually, a larger part of the population will get radicalized, and there will be politicians who will be eager to exploit this. Once you define a huge group of people summarily as "the enemy", then the gloves are off, and anything can happen.

It is refreshing and encouraging to see that some people use social media very effectively to call out Donald Trump, like the British war veteran Chris Herbert, who lost his right leg in Iraq.

His facebook post is very powerful:

I do hope that people continue to speak out against Donald Trump, the big bully of US politics - celebrities, politicians, journalists and citizens. His is riding the Nazi-train, trying to push anyone aside who is "weak." His supporters should not get the impression that they are in the majority, because they clearly are not.



Also worth a read (from Raw Story):


The spokeswoman

Katrina Pierson has long been a fixture on cable news, often defending Trump, although she only officially joined his campaign in November. A professional activist who has warned Tea Party members of UN plans to take over Texas, she has worked for the Tea Party Leadership Fund, one of the most prominent “ scam Pacs ” – groups, mostly on the right, that spend almost all the money they raise on themselves. In 2014, she mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to veteran Texas congressman Pete Sessions. Her campaign was damaged by the revelation that while preparing her run and doing consulting work for the Senate campaign of Ted Cruz , she was receiving government unemployment benefits .


Most of you will probably not watch Donald Trump's interview with Alex Jones which I posted above, but if you do, you will see that this is a conversation of two people who are clearly insane. You will also see that Trump uses another Nazi-tactic to the extreme: Declaring that your own country is the victim of virtually every other country around you, that everybody else just wants to exploit and weaken the USA. That's exactly the type of talk with which Adolf Hitler poisoned the hearts and minds of many Germans.

Donald Trump will cause lasting damage, whether he succeeds with his campaign or not, but it is important that he is being properly called out and exposed as the despicable and insane person he actually is. The USA has to withstand the propaganda, and this will be a great challenge.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

No Trump, please: Petition to UK Parliament to block Donald Trump from UK entry went live today and rapidly gains signatures, and another petition to strip Donald Trump of his honorary degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen is also making good progress

By Patrick

Donald Trump is doing his very best to make a travesty out of American politics, and we all should do our contribution to bring this "tragic comedy" to an end. But what can be done? UK citizens today have been offered an easy choice. An official petition, directed at the UK government and UK Parliament has been granted, and the title of the petition is straightforward:

"Block Donald J Trump from UK entry - The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry."


The petition explains the reasoning:

"The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.

If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the 'unacceptable behaviour' criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful."

The petition is rapidly gaining signatures, and there can be little doubt in my view that the petition will eventually reach 100,000 signatures. This would mean that the UK Parliament will most likely debate the petition. This is democracy in action, a concept that "King Donald" won't like one bit.

More information about how these petitions work (excerpt):

On the website, you can even view the "petition map" and see from which parts of the UK the signatures are coming from - this will of course change quickly:

It is already apparent that Scotland is leading the charge. This will come as no surprise, as Donald Trump is hugely unpopular is Scotland, after he built a very controversial golf course and treated the local population like garbage:

The "Aberdeen Voice" explains more about the background of this petition - NOTE: The page is now experiencing issues due to heavy traffic - here is the Google Cache.

Suzanne Kelly, petition author, said:

“The petition will allow all UK residents who want to stand up against hate speech and Donald Trump’s hate speech specifically the opportunity to do so. Trump persists with comments which I feel denigrating races, nationalities, women, religious groups. I would term this hate speech, and to my mind he becomes more outlandish and unacceptable as each day passes. I am not alone in feeling this way by a long shot."

“We are looking at a US Presidential candidate who wants to institute policies which to me are fascism. People have been barred from the United Kingdom for less.”


Suzanne Kelly has been following Donald Trump’s exploits from the Menie Estate Golf Development to recent gaffes and today’s shocking suggestion Muslims be barred from entering the United States. She has written articles and reports on Donald Trump for Aberdeen Voice, a free, online newspaper serving Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland.

She also contributed to the BBC’s Panorama programme on Trump, and some of her work has been used by journalist Anthony Baxter in his film A Dangerous Game, which followed his award-winning film on Trump’s presence at Menie, ‘You’ve Been Trumped’.

There are even more bad news from Aberdeen for Donald Trump:

In 2010, Donald Trump received an honorary degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. A worse choice is hard to imagine, but luckily, another petition is forcing the University to reconsider their decision: The petitioners demand that Donald Trump's honorary degree should be revoked.

The University is now starting to have second thoughts:

RGU’s principal is “considering the position” of Donald Trump’s honorary degree from the university after thousands of people called for it to be revoked.

The announcement comes as a campaign to have the tycoon’s Doctorate of Business Administration reversed has quickly gained momentum today.

More than 8,000 people have now signed a petition supporting the cause.

And RGU has revealed its principal is looking into the matter.

A spokesman for the university said: “Mr Trump’s honorary degree was awarded in 2010.

“Business and entrepreneurship are key areas of focus for the university, and Mr Trump is recognised for these activities (including his investment in the North-east).

“This award was made prior to the appointment of RGU’s current principal, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, who is considering the position.

“He is totally committed to equality of opportunity and to respect for different cultures, values which are an important part of RGU’s ethos.”

The billionaire was recognised by the North-east university in 2010.

The USA and the rest of the world do not need a "King Donald." He is a man who ruthlessly exploits the propaganda techniques of the Nazis, and it is a long known fact that these techniques will work really well with a significant part of the population. 

For example, the Nazis insisted over and over again that the Jews are evil, should be stripped of their rights and should be thrown out of the country, and as a reaction, large parts of the population then did not discuss whether the Jews are evil or not, but after a while they only started to talk about how evil the Jews actually are. This is an easy technique which of course also works really well with "Mexicans" or "Muslims": At some point it becomes a self-evident fact that these groups are "evil", and then people only talk about the "degree of evil" - and what to do about it.

Donald Trump despises the values of the Western World, which are liberty, justice and righteousness, and he wants to change these values. We should not let this happen.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tonight at 8pm EST President Obama Addresses the Nation on Keeping the American People Safe - Open Post.

By Kathleen
Image: White

Announcement from WhiteHouse.Gov:

"Tonight at 8pm EST President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office about the steps our government is taking to fulfill his highest priority: keeping the American people safe.

The President will provide an update on the ongoing investigation into the tragic attack in San Bernardino. The President will also discuss the broader threat of terrorism, including the nature of the threat, how it has evolved, and how we will defeat it. He will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL will be destroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values – our unwavering commitment to justice, equality and freedom – to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology."

You can watch the President's address here:
Or on

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Another huge tragedy in America, and again, it is very likely that nothing will change

By Patrick

Three headlines from today:

Well, what else could I add?

The USA has a huge problem and is absolutely not able to deal with it, for various reasons.

It is very unlikely that this situation will change any time soon.

It is very depressing to hear about these horrific shootings in the USA over and over again, and it is equally depressing to see that US politicians cannot and won't change anything about this situation.

In fact, a large number of US politicians even hold the deeply flawed view that the answer to gun violence is to bring even more guns into circulation, to arm even more people.

A united national effort would be needed to solve this problem, but this will only happen after many more shootings, many more deaths, many more years. This is because the USA is in fact in a deep political crisis in my opinion, although some people might dispute this. US politics have become dysfunctional, which is a great tragedy.

I have no solutions to offer, the citizens of the USA have to solve the problems themselves. There are lots of countries where gun control is working extremely well, it would be pretty easy to learn from them. However, the myth that "gun control is not working" has entered the mainstream in the USA long ago, and this myth seems virtually impossible to eradicate.

I have little hope that we will see effective measures. A "political earthquake" would be needed for such a thing to happen.



After the latest horrific mass shooting in San Bernadino, which left 14 dead and 21 injured, the "New York Daily News" received nationwide attention for their devastating "God isn't fixing this" headline. This paper has a long history of publishing very hard-hitting headlines in support of effective gun control, and I am pretty sure that at some point in the far future, these headlines will be seen as an "iconic" examples of the carnage as well as the political crisis which US citizens have to witness today.

Here are more examples: