Remembering 9/11

It’s weird how everytime something REALLY bad happens in the world, you tend to not only remember it for a long time, but also where you were/what you were doing when it happened. I still remember it like it was yesterday. 9/11/01 started out like every other day for me as I was chilling at home during the semester break from uni. I got up in the morning, enjoy my breakfast and newspaper and went on to play some XBox later on. Once I turn on the tv, flipping through the channels looking for nothing special, just zapping, I came to channel 23 (which is CNN on my tv) and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I sat there in shock as the whole thing was evolving in front of the world’s eyes. As soon as the second plane hit, I knew that there was something horribly wrong…I watched the whole day until there was nothing new to report anymore…friends were calling in to talk about it and we all couldn’t believe what was going on. An attack on the USA? With american planes? In the middle of NY City? Wtf is going on? Is the world gone insane…

As I type this, six years later, I still can’t figure out how someone could do something like this and so all that is left for me is to say: my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their friends and families…may something like this NEVER happen again…

remembering 9/11

Election Day (Bundestagswahl 2005)

Today we elect our new parliament. Off to the voting booth…more about the vote, results etc later on…

For more on the german parliament and the voting process see this WikiPedia entry.

Update: 15 minutes until the polling stations close…there should be some early projections soonish…

Update: First projections (RTL/ZDF)…

  • SPD: 33.5 % / 33.0 %
  • CDU: 36.0 % / 37.0 %
  • Gruene: 8.5 % / 8.0 %
  • FDP: 10.5 % / 10.5 %
  • Die Linke: 8.5 % 8.0 %

So after the first projection none of the usual confederacies have got a majority (“old government” SPD + Gruene = 42%, CDU + FDP = 45%)…let’s see how this evolves…

Update: Here’s a link to the ARD monitor which will keep you updated on the newest projections ARD Wahlmonitor 2005 (You need a flash player for this one)

Update: Latest projection 0:02 locale time

  • SPD: 34.2 %
  • CDU: 35.2 %
  • Gruene: 8.1 %
  • FDP: 9.8 %
  • Die Linke: 8.7 %

I’m really curious how this whole thing is going to work out…enough election for today…let’s see what tomorrow and the following days bring us…

Take your pick…or…how can a TV duell influence the voter’s perspective?!

I don’t know if you’re uptodate when it comes to german politics, but it’s been decided that there will be a new vote on September 18th 2005 (the next normal vote would have been in late 2006), because the current chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), felt that he didn’t have total support anymore.

Short overview: Gerhard Schroeder (social democrat) is the current chancellor and leading the government (SPD + Gruene – “Red, Green”). Angela Merkel is the candidate of the CDU (christian democrat) and is trying everything to get elected and run the new government (which would be CDU + FDP – “Black, Yellow”). Not only is she a woman, but she’s from the old German Democratic Republic (GDR or DDR in german) so a woman out of “the east”. Current polls suggest that CDU is currently around 40+ % so it could be possible that they’re the new government.

So the election campaign has started and is now in full gear…and so today is the first (and last) TV duell of the candidates (current chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and challenger Angela Merkel) which is currently on every major tv station.

My assessment after roughly one hour:

Gerhard Schroeder (SPD): Presenting himself in good shape and has really warded off every attack and tbh is looking like the total winner so far.

Angela Merkel (CDU): Presenting herself (she would be the first woman chancellor ever) as here old own self and although she’s trying, she’s not really able to threaten the chancellor IMO.

Final assessment: Whether you’re a fan of him or not (if you like Tennis I would say “Game, Set and Match” if Boxing is more for you it would be “K.O.”), the winner is: Gerhard Schroeder.

After 90 minutes of seesaw and a little jabbing and stabbing in both directions, it’s more than clear, at least to me, that most of the promises of the challenger are simply smoke screens which can’t be implemented or aren’t all that different to the current approaches taken by the government.

US Presenditial Election

Oooh boy, how close can a race be (in terms of electoral votes). Current standing is:

  • George W. Bush: 254
  • John Kerry: 252

Unfortunately I can’t watch TV coverage as I’m stuck here at Uni, but the CNN online coverage will keep me uptodate. I didn’t think that Dubya really had a chance of winning a second bid to the White House, but it starts to seem that voters will prove me wrong :-(