embrace different





Once again we turn on the TV, open up the newspaper, look at our tweets, look at our iThing and find the news about another mass shooting in the USA.

We are #1! We kill more Americans than ISIS! We kill more Americans than anybody else does. Trump will say it was the Mexicans, Cruz will say that it had something to do with gay rights, abortion clinics and our religious views, Carson will close his eyes, lean his head back and than refuse to answer the question, the gun owners will shake and rattle their guns and quote the second amendment and their right to keep and bear arms.

The rest of us, well we will color our Facebook profiles, send our prayers and our thoughts and then quietly change channels, turn the page, scroll our iThing and move on to something else. It is time to wake up and do something! If each of us got off our asses and convinced ten other people to write to the senate, the congress their mayors and demand change, maybe something would happen.

If we spent a fraction of the money we spend on fighting ISIS to combat the problems we have at home, we wouldn’t have those problems at home anymore, the “haves” and the “have nots”, the Sneetches on beeches with stars on their bellies and those without. It is time to solve the problems, gun control, health insurance, education system, police walking a beat as part of the community instead of armed to the teeth, maybe then we wouldn’t have those problems, maybe things would change

Enough said. Now go send your prayers, offer your condolences, change your Facebook profile, change the channel, turn the page, scroll on your iThing and go eat your potato chips, because nothing will change.

If you would like to cause change:

contact congress


My daughter told me that the school director is considering prohibiting girls from wearing shorts to school because “it is distracting for the boys”.

I personally think this is a “wonderful idea”. It not only takes us back a few generations of progressive movement but also demonstrates to the boys in the school that they are not responsible for their actions. Of course It is not their fault but rather the girl’s, if their pants get slightly uncomfortable and that they cannot think anymore for lack of blood in their brains.

Should we go even further and require that all females, including the teachers, wear long pants that cover their ankles and blouses that are buttoned up at the neck to prevent any possible “nipple-gate” occurrences? We might need to specify the thread count of the material used to make the blouses to prevent any see-though mishaps.

We could go a small step further and just make them, the girls, go to separate schools. This would allow the poor, distracted boys to concentrate on their studies without the constant distraction of the females. We should also fire all of the female teachers as well because they will most certainly become the object of desire when there are no girls in the school.

On second thought, why don’t we just learn a lesson from the Taliban and require all women to stay home and wear a burqua?

Why do we have a person with this kind of mentality working as a director of a school that is supposedly there to teach our children and get them ready for the future?

Then again, maybe he is.

This is not about shorts, this is about freedom of choice, religion and civil liberties.

The first time I went on a cattle drive in America they couldn’t believe that I rode without a bit and thought I would land in the first bush but I didn’t.

I am in the global studies program at the university here. We study in Germany, then go to either Argentina or South Africa for a Semester, then we choose either Thailand or India for a semester and then back to back to Germany to finish our degrees. We are all from different countries and study social science as a group of international students helping us become more tolerant and understand diversity.

5 years ago I did a volunteer service with other Germans in Senegal in west Africa. Living with the host family, I was able to build a special relationship with them and gain a special insight. It was really the greatest experience of my life. We recently started an NGO organization to support the kids in Senegal that want to study at Universities. We named it Kanam which means future in Wolof the main language spoken there.

I used to be a printer and while I was looking for work after the company I had worked for closed down, I got an offer to work as a paper maker at medieval festivals and have been doing this year round ever since.

I had a red hat on at a medieval festival and a child pointed to me and said “look mommy, Papa Smurf is here too” and my nickname has been Papa Smurf ever since. The beggar played an important role in the medieval times. If somebody slept around, they would give the beggar something on the way home as a way to compensate for their sin. It was a balance of bad and good. At yearly Medieval festival

How did you get involved in the medieval hobby?
“My father-in-law has the club on his property. I tried it out and really enjoyed it and have been involved in it ever since.”

Amnesty International Aachen started a bike tour from Freiburg to Aachen with a bit of music and celebration with the Freiburg group.

I am working on a blog called EmbraceDifferent and that even with all the differences we are all the same.
“Unfortunately we aren’t all the same. we should to get rid of religion and then whack those people that continue to cause trouble on the head and maybe then things would calm down and there would be a little more peace.“

I have known this woman for over five years now and she peddles two tours a day of over 5 kilometers (over 3 miles) with her dog in her wheel chair plus shopping trips on top of it all!

I was a long distance truck driver and then I caused an accident and from one second to the next I was a paraplegic. I lost my wife, my family, everything. I have been selling the Freibürger Street newspaper for over five years now. This way I get out of the house and meet lots of really nice people and I was able to buy this electric wheel chair with the money I earned.

Demonstration in Freiburg against deportation policy.

“Die Angst vor dem Fremden lässt Menschen verenden!”

“The fear of strangers is causing people to perish.”

Demonstration in Freiburg against deportation policy.

“Das töten der EU stoppen. Fähren statt Frontex”

“Stop the killing by the EU. Ferries instead of Frontex.”

on April 19, 2015 over 700 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe. Frontex develops European border management.

Demonstration in Freiburg, Germany against deportation policy.

Demonstration in Freiburg against deportation policy and invitation to participate in a meeting. Freiburger Forum aktiv gegen Ausgrenzung. http://www.freiburger-forum.net/2015/04/tag-x-sammelabschiebung-am-28-04-und-mahnwachen-in-der-nacht-von-montag-auf-dienstag/

We are all a family and I think that religion is all about finding yourself. There are 4 main schools of Islam and they all agree on the verse of the Throne in the Quran, directly under this passage is the sentence “there can be no compulsions in religion”
If each and every person would be a good neighbor, which problems would be left?

after some heated discussions with my daughter during our attempts to correct my writing in german, I have decided to stick with english. michael

The weather is good and there isn’t any work to do, so I am out and about. I might go up to my brothers, maybe to the lake in the mountains. Right now I am just sitting here in the shade reading the newspaper.

looking for amber



The old chemists cabinets has a special code on the Arsenic drawer that can only be opened if your fingers hit the right keys on the bottom the drawer. They still haven’t figured out the code.

There seems to be so many stores that constantly complain about how the internet is ruining their business and do not try to think of a way to stand out and offer a service that is needed. They seem to have found their own niche in the market with a fine selection of books, personalized service and are keeping the costs down to match their sales.

Found a really nice little bookstore here. They started out selling books on the beach, started writing and publishing their own books - first detective fiction situated in the area, travel guides about the area then published a few cook books and eventually opened their own small bookstore.

Fish was too small and was released.

My hobby is cooking. I get spiritus from the store to make a nice fire and cook meats, whatever.

Paradise beach

an excellent cook!

I have two daughters, one is a psychologist in England and the other is taking care of my grandchild here in Germany after traveling around the world twice. She taught german in San Francisco, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, South America, was in some parts of Russia she probably shouldn’t have been in. In one country she experienced being hit on a bit more than in other countries but after making friends with a family there she travelled with them and the issue was solved.

Just because we look different doesn’t mean people should think the worst of us. We try to show people that we have a human side and that we respect people and their differences as well by breaking through prejudices with our behavior for example by helping people. When we are in a tram and an older woman is barely able to get her shopping cart out then we help her and notice the men in suits standing around just watching.

I met him while he was in the middle of a “short” tour for a week on his bicycle around the Black Forest in Germany from Switzerland. He had just come back from a two and a half year tour from Switzerland up to Sweden and then down through the former soviet countries and Poland down to Marrakesh in Morocco and then over to Istanbul, Armenia, Georgia, Iran and then for visa reasons skipped a few countries and flew to Asia and traveled there for a while before picking up his bicycle again and back to Switzerland. He is currently planning a trip in South America this autumn beginning in Columbia and to ride down to Chile.

I am working on my masters in Gender Studies.

first one

Do you ever have the feeling to be put into a “box”?
I can’t find an apartment. For example, the real estate agent wouldn’t shake my hand because of “the risk of infection” and I didn’t take it personally but then when she shook the next person’s hand, I didn’t think that was fair. I wanted to bring my application for the apartment to the office but the agent called and said I shouldn’t come because “the owners don’t want you” and she had some ridiculous reason as to why.

Haben sie das Gefühl in ein “box” gesteckt zu werden?
ich finde keine Wohnung. ich habe ein Beispiel, die Immobilienmakler Gehilfe hat mir nicht mal die hand gegeben “von wegen Ansteckungsgefahr” und das habe ich nicht so persönlich genommen aber dann als sie das nächste person das hand gegeben hat, habe ich gedacht das sei nicht so fair. Dann wollte ich persönlich die unterlagen vorbei bringen, Ausweis und so und sie hat angerufen und meinte kommen sie bitte nicht, die Vermieter wollen sie nicht und hat natürlich irgendein blöde ausrede gehabt. Sie wollen ein Ehepaar oder kinder oder sowas und das finde ich absurd.

I went to the festival in the USA for 4-6 weeks every year for about 4 years. It was the Muddy Ranch, an area that we bought and used it for agriculture and it was supposed to become a commune and then the CIA got involved, and Bhagwan was arrested. He had been in the USA too long and couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

Ich bin 4 Jahre lang, immer zum festival in den USA gefahren. Ich war so 4-6 Wochen immer da. Es war der Muddy Ranch, ein Gebiet, das haben wir gekauft und Landwirtschaft gemacht und es sollte ein Kommun werden, und dann waren der CIA… und… und es ist alles… Bhagwan wurde verhafte, er war zu lange da und er hat ja auch provoziert und die Klappe nicht gehalten.

Judith the Clown. I am studying social welfare.

ich habe zwei hot dog stands. ein festen und ein aufs Events und Veranstaltungen. Ich habe ein Fehler jetzt gemacht. von November angefangen ich hätte eigentlich Dezember, Januar, Februar zu lassen sollen, bei mir lauft es ab so 10-12 Grad. In Freiburg, ist Hot Dogs so wie wir die machen neu. Wenn ich Bratwurst & lange Rote verkaufen wurde, dürfte ich nicht stehen wegen Geruchsbelästigung.

I have two hot dog stands, one here and one for events. I made a mistake, I started in November and I should have closed during December, January, and February. Business picks up around 50-55 degrees. Hot Dogs, the way we make them, are new in Freiburg. If I sold Sausages I wouldn’t be allowed to have my stand here because of the smell of the grease.

Ich bin 2000 in die Abwasserabteilung gekommen und danach habe ich mich gekündigt wie alt sind sie, wieso, warum, die ganze Geschichte und ich muss sagen das macht was. Freiburg ist der einzigste Stadt in Deutschland die so etwas haben. Die sind in der Mittelalter gemacht worden, 12te Jahrhundert und original aus Sandstein gemacht und die mit Basaltsteine und Kieselsteine sind in der 60er Jahren gemacht nach der Krieg. Die Gesamtlänge beträgt 15,5 Kilometer. Wir haben ein eigene Stellfalle womit wir das Wasser regulieren.

When I started in the water department in 2000, I researched about how old they are, the how and why’s, the entire history and I must say it is really interesting. Freiburg is the only city in Germany that has something like this. They were made in the middle ages, 12th century and the originals are made out of sandstone and the ones made of Basalt and Kiesel are from repair work the 60’s after the war. There are a total of 9.6 miles water canals in Freiburg. We have our own lock that we use to control the water ourselves.

ich mag am meistens draussen im frischen Luft zu sein. Ich komme aus Romania und war auch früher bei der Bahnhof Technik immer draussen, Summer und Winter. Als ich 1990 nach Freiburg gekommen bin haben mich diese Kanäle, dies Bächle fasziniert aber darüber nicht viel gewusst.

I really enjoy being outside in the fresh air all the time. I come from Romania and was always outside earlier at the Railroad Technical Department, in summer and winter. When I came to Freiburg, I was fascinated by these canals and “Bächle” but didn’t know much about them.

I came to Germany through the DDR and have been here since 1988. A lot of the military personnel used to come to the asian restaurant in Frankfurt area.

Möchten Sie ein Hut kaufen? Der Hut bewegt sich hin und her!

Want to buy a hat? The hat waves back and forth!

SC Freiburg Fans against the “right”!

Dortmund soccer fan with his friend a Freiburg soccer fan.

zwei und ein halb Jahr alte Dortmund Fan aber wohnen hier in Freiburg.

2 ½ year old Dortmund Fan but live in Freiburg.

Heavy police presence during a soccer match between Dortmund and Freiburg.

Gehen zu die Spielen seit 8 Jahren und finden den Idee von ein neue Stadium toll.

Have gone to the SC Freiburg soccer games for 8 years and support the idea of a new soccer stadium.

I hired someone to work here and he came 30 minutes late and quit 15 minutes later.

Small businesses are overburdened with bureaucracy and that makes it extremely difficult to concentrate on growing a business.

Ich komme seit 1993 zu den SC Freiburg Spiele.

I have been coming to the SC Freiburg soccer games since 1993.

contra building a new soccer stadium in Freiburg

pro for building a new soccer stadium in Freiburg

Je Suis Charlie, Freiburg

Sind Sie zur anti-Pegida Demo hin?
Ja. Ich wollte Zeichen setzen. Ich habe mich mit deren Aussagen auseinandergesetzt und bin nicht deren Auffassung.

Did you go to the anti Pegida demonstration?
yes. I wanted to set a sign of my opposition. I took a look at Pegida’s statements and I am not of their opinion.

show your true colors!

(L) Freiburg is green* not brown! (R) Freiburg is colorful not brown! *green means environmentally friendly

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
“mein Sohn hat das Demo organisiert” sind Sie stolz auf ihm? “ja” * der Organisator hat nur 50-200 Leute erwartet aber 20,000 sind gekommen.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
my son organized this demonstration. are you proud of him: “yes”

* the organizer only expected 50-200 people but 20,000 people showed up!

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
den Islam über ein Kamm zu ziehen ist Rassismus und so geht das nicht. Hast du irgendeiner Diskriminierung erlebt? Ich bin halb Japanerin aber hier geboren und wird immer wieder gesagt “ach wie toll spricht du ja deutsch”

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
to say everyone in Islam is the same is racism and that is not acceptable. Have you ever experienced any kind of discrimination? I am half Japanese, born and raised here and am told time and again “oh you speak such wonderful german!”

(L) Racism has many faces. (R) but all are UGLY

The border is NOT between the people but between the top and bottom.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
wir sind für ein offenes und buntes Freiburg.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
we are for a an open, accepting and multicultural Freiburg.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
wir sind alle gleich und wir leben in die 21 Jahrhundert und sowas darf es nicht geben Heutzutage.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
we are all the same and we are living in the 21st century and the thinking behind Pegida simply isn’t acceptable.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
wir sind gegen Rassismus und glauben das ein schlechte Mensch eben schlecht ist und ein gute Mensch ist gut egal welche Farbe, Religion oder sonst was hat.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
we are against racial discrimination and believe that a bad person is bad and a good person is good, regardless of skin color, religion or otherwise.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen? wir wollen die Leute in Dresden Flagge zeigen das so etwas geht gar nicht und wir hoffen das so eine Meinung nicht hier in Freiburg gibt.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg? We want to stand up against the Pegida movement in Dresden and demonstrate that their movement is not OK and we hope that we don’t have those kind of opinions in Freiburg.

How are you doing up there? everything ok? “yesss”

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
wir sind für ein buntes Deutschland und sind gegen die Pegida Bewegung, deshalb sind wir hier.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
We want a multicultural and multiracial Germany and are against the Pegida movement.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
mich nervt was ich in die presse lese von wegen Ausländerfeindlichkeit und ich will was dagegen machen deshalb bin ich da. Ich organisiere eine Foto Reihe von Leute mit diese Schild.

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
I am tired of reading about hatred towards foreigners in the newspapers and I wanted to do something about it and that is why I am here. I organized a photo series of people with this sign: “no person is illegal” to protest the treatment of immigrants.

Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?
Pegida ist ein Sumpf und wir dürfen die nicht an die Oberfläche lassen und deshalb bin ich hier um Flagge zu zeigen.Wieso sind Sie zu den anti-Pegida demo in Freiburg gekommen?

Why did you come to the anti-Pegida demonstration in Freiburg?
Pegida is a quagmire and we cannot let it get to the surface and that is why I am here to stand up against it.