Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You've got to be kidding, FT

From the Financial Times "Republican legislators ripped into a $700bn financial rescue package backed by almost the entire US political establishment. "

Now:

- 94 Democrats, members of the party holding an overwhelming majority in the American House of Reporesentatives, voted against the package, included 5 committee chairmen

- the House (democratic) speaker, besides being unable to keep control of more than one third of her party's votes, thought it was a good idea to lunch herself in an aggressive speech right before the vote criticizing the very idea of a bailout, putting all the blame on the republicans (first video) and casually forgetting the prominent role of the democrats in refusing regulations on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which could had avoided the subprime crisis (second video)

- Contrarily to McCain, Obama didn't even try to help the bill pass (NYT: "Aides to Mr. Obama said he had not directly reached out to try to sway any House Democrats who opposed the measure. ")

... and the republicans ripped into the package?

Monday, September 29, 2008

An Autumn afternoon walk in Bretzenheim

The light and the colors of Autumn, the houses and look of Bretzenheim:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Unassuming

German classes every day at 8.45 is not a light task, I can assure you... however, at 10.30 we get 20 minutes of a pause. After much searching, finally a place was found worth of the walk (and the occasional 50 cents of fine for getting back late...) . It's in Fort Malakoff, which is unassuming from outside (left) and unassuming from inside (right).










The Bar itself is unassuming (so much that, having gone there a half dozen times, I still have to catch the name of the place), with unassuming fa├žade (left), unassuming customers (except when the occasional first or second grade class parks in front of it, which happens surprisingly often) and, you bet, unassuming espresso... but then... try the apfelstrudel or the puddingbretze...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Igloos

A couple of days ago, Mainz demonstrated as the climate change might be affecting the city, but also that they will be ready for the next ice age, as the new polar compound stood proudly in Gutembergplatz.
No, seriously, it was a series of tents to host some kind of intercultural manifestation, but considering it was FIVE degrees this morning, one has to wonder...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

Here we are again... for the third time in my life, I try once again to learn German. After having signed with the Berlitz school here in Mainz for a course that never started and made me waste 2 whole months, eventually I signed up at the VolksHochSchule... will I manage this time to grasp at least the basics of this barbaric and hypercomplicated language? Ich weiss nicht...


The school (left) , located downtown near the Zitadelle and Fort Malakov, and the old style corridors of the school (right).








The classroom empty and with some of my colleagues. The group s incredibly varied, with people coming from 4 diferent continents and countries as Italy, Iran, Iraq, Chile, Hungary, Japan, Turkey, Greece, Philippines, Cambodia...







Kindergarden feelings: the sparrschwein (left) where people arriving late must deposit 1 euro and (right) an awesomely useful rigmarole to try and remember the insane rules of the language







The two teachers: Angelika (left) and Peter, who apparently has been an actor in the past and that indeed does show when he teaches, making him the funniest German teacher I ever met...

Monday, September 08, 2008

The night of the open churches

Once a year, the churches in Mainz (well, 18 of them) are kept open untill late at night, each organizing some music, reading or similar events. It was an interesting chance to give a peek to places of Mainz I hadn't been before and so, there I went. Eventually, I visited 12 out of the 15 open churches, stopped in my plan to visit all of them by the storm that struck the city at about 11pm... Here are the pictures from ten of them, St. Bonifaz is missing as it is a modern church whith little or nothing of note, while the rain was already pouring by the time I reached the Altmuensterkirche, preventing me to take pictures.

One note, however: while the protestant churches in Mainz are, as any protesta church, pretty bare, here also the catholic ones tend to be disadorned. That is mostly due the fact that just about all of them were bombed and burned down in 1944. What a little wonderful gem must have this city been before the war, one can only wonder...

S. Quintin (click to enlarge)










The Cathedral (St. Martin)




















St. Johannis










JohannisKapelle










St. Cristoph (what used to be the abside is still a small church, the rest was never rebuilt after WWII)














KarmeliterKloster










St. Peter










ChristusKirche











St. Emmeran (which, I discovered, is the Italian parish of Mainz and where I still have to understand why they have that kind of tent...)










St. Antonius










Sunday, September 07, 2008

How many times...

...Can people repeat something over the years before that becomes a meaningless mantra?" Following the democratic side of the presidential campaign, apparently a number higher than a lot and closer to infinite. In fact, googling for "republican failed policies" returns 1.060.000 results, "republican divisive politics" returns 517.000 hits. Not that all those hits are about democrats accusing the republicans of either or both, but an overwhelming majority definitely is. At least we know that for democrats, republicans are twice as failed than divisive... in a country that has Chapter 21 and personal failure in a venture is regarded as much less as a social stigma as it is in Euope, but rather as a wrong attempt on the path ro success, perhaps that is not all that bad.

Bu really, don't people ever get bored in the USA? Perhaps so. Maybe that's why as a mean of diversion, democrata tend to use the terms against each other too like here, here, here...