Monday, May 12, 2008

The Immunisation of Obama against common political afflictions

The practice of immunisation in public health is based on the principle that a person is deliberately infected with a mild version of a known pathogen so that his immune system can build up resistence and ward the danger if and when the real thing comes.

In political terms, Hillary has administered the immunisation programme that Obama has been exposed to. The Hillary vaccine had little attenuation and at times appeared quite potent and unsettling but Obama pulled through without serious consequences. Having pulled through, he can stand quite strong and confident that when the real infection comes in the virulent form as the McCain bug in the autumn, it will only be a question of a few sneezes and coughs and he would be just fine.

In boxing terms, Hillary has been a very effective sparring partner, giving Obama a hell of a fight but leaving him to go to the main fight without broken bones and head injuries.

Hillary is not done yet as she has vowed to fight until the best man is left standing and according to her the 'best man' may well be a woman. Obama should be grateful to Hillary for her doggedness, her tenacity to fight till the last drop of sweat or perhaps blood, if she can spare some, even if some streaks of meanness and arrogance were shown. It was meant to be and Obama should take it in good stride.

After Indiana and North Carolina, the American people have seen it all and even the super delegates are beginning to move over to the right camp - now in trickles but soon in full flow. Hillary has done her bit to ensure that the Democratic Party wins the presidential elections in November.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mrs. Thompson’s 5th Grade Class


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.'

His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.'

His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.'

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.'

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets'.

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honours. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favourite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favourite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.'

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

See a video version of the story

Warm someone's heart today, pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone's life today? Tomorrow? Just 'do it'.

Random acts of kindness, I think they call it! 'Believe in Angels, then return the favour'

Sent to me by a friend

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Gmail - picture -

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

End of A Restful Weekend

May days and Queen's days and Liberation days all add up to a long and restful "weekend". Back on the beat.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Austrian Sonar Probes

It is interesting to know that Austrian Police say investigators are using a sonar probe to make sure there are no more underground dungeons at the Fritzl property where the man held his daughter captive for 24 years.
I would go further and suggest that they should do the sonar probing of cellars nation-wide, to free any unfortunate person who might still be in cellar. This is a time to be proactive not reactive.

Cleansing Austria's Image - The first step

The Austrian authorities have in the days, following the exposure of the most bizarre crime in recent times, sought to reject any insinuation or suggestion that there is anything typically Austrian about this crime. However the fact that two similar crimes have been uncovered within a short space of time is worrying. For Austria to absolve itself and improve its image, it must take clearly visible efforts to inspect all cellars to ascertain that no unfortunate victims of abduction and imprisonment are left in some domestic dungeon. All Local Government Authorities should instruct residents to open up their cellars for inspection. After all, no one imagined that we could get to this after the Natasha Kampusch incident in 2006. This is the simple first step Austria must take to redeem its image.
Since the unfolding of this bizarre event, witnesses have been said have come forward to claim they saw or heard unusual activity, such as Fritzl allegedly struggling under cover of darkness to bring large quantities of food and water into his home through a rear entrance. Let all those that have similar suspicions now come forward so that the nation can deal with this type of crime once and for all.