Archive for October, 2010
The grasshopper burst out laughing. It saw how the ants sweated. ‘There is no winter coming .You are storing for nothing’.The grasshopper said with a smirk,’ Global warming is a sure fact.’ The grasshopper had all the latest figures. It somersaulted and made fun of the rest. It flung at the ants,’You foot-soldiers toil to no purpose. Work your butts off so much it affects even that ant-size brain!’ The ant asked,’ Don’t you work as a matter of duty to other workers?’ ‘Why should I?’ ‘ I have my wealth spread around so I can cut a figure.’ It checked its pocketbook and said, ‘every minute some where around the world I am accumulating interest on my investments’. Ants by then had worked for the season and they filed into their hideout so they might pass the winter.
As the grasshopper predicted flash-floods occurred, but elsewhere around the world. Mount Merapi in Indonesia erupted but it went past the ants who were well hidden from its ash flow. It so happened the grasshopper received reports how its assets in South America were wiped out by a Junta that was for nationalizing the foreign companies. The law recently passed at home made outsourcing impossible and its industrial plants were brought to standstill owing to calamities abroad. The flow of raw materials dried up and machinery on lease became idle. The banks began to slap penal interest for defaulting. In the face of mounting difficulties the grasshopper felt like Job of old.( to be concluded.)
One summer day an ant was struggling to haul a fat juicy grain into its community store. A grasshopper who came that way saw the ant and watched it with interest. There was a file of ants engaged in the same task. The grasshopper felt genuinely concerned and after the ant had notched up its thousandth grain it approached the ant.’Mr. Ant?’ it asked,’you shall never live long enough to eat thousand grains.’
‘The times are uncertain. The mildew, rot and not to mention flash-floods, a volcanic eruption, or typhoon are all facts of life.’
‘So? ‘ the ant could not figure it out. ‘Am I not supposed to do what my forefathers were content to do all their lives?”
The grasshopper explained that the times had changed. ‘Just because your pop stored grains for the winter isn’t guarantee you will live to enjoy fruits of labor.’
‘I set an example with my work. Don’t I?’
‘What good is an example if there isn’t any to benefit?’
‘My brood of antlets?’
The grasshopper laughed and said,’Do you think they will survive a flash-flood head on?
The ant said, ‘So your conclusion?”
The grasshopper replied,’Work is a four letter word.’
The ant nodded and said,’Duty is also a four letter word. It doesn’t sound bad to me.’ (Con’d)
KONRAD ADENAUER (1876-1976) German
The statesman who paved the way for Germany to play a stellar role in the post-War European politics began his career as a municipal official at the age of 69 (The Chief Mayor of Cologne). The United States, which liberated Cologne, appointed Adenauer mayor again, but he was dismissed soon afterwards by the British military government. Adenauer set about forming a new political party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In 1948, he was made president of the parliamentary council, which drew up a constitution for the three western zones occupied by the French, British and Americans. The Soviets occupied the eastern zone of Germany and installed a Communist government.
Adenauer was elected chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany on 15 September 1949. His main aim was to ensure West Germany’s transition to a sovereign, democratic state. Military occupation of West Germany ended in 1952 and in 1955 West Germany was recognised internationally as an independent nation. It joined NATO in 1955 and the European Economic Community in 1957.
Adenauer put an end of 100 years of hostility that existed between his country and France. He opened diplomatic relations with the USSR and eastern European communist nations, but refused to recognize the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Adenauer also negotiated a compensation agreement with Israel in recognition of the crimes perpetrated against Jews by the Nazis. Ironically this invited an assassination attempt* against him.
He was the oldest chancellor ever to serve Germany, beginning his first ministry at the age of 73 and leaving at the age of 87.
Adenauer retired as chancellor in 1963, remaining head of the CDU until 1966. He died near Bonn on 20 April 1967.
On 27 March 1952, a package addressed to Chancellor Adenauer exploded in the Munich Police Headquarters, killing one Bavarian police officer. Investigations led to people closely related to the Herut Party and the former Irgun armed organization. The West German government kept all proof under seal in order to prevent antisemitic responses in his country. Five Israeli suspects were identified by French and German investigators.
One of the participants, Eliezer Sudit, later revealed that Menachem Begin (who would later become the Prime Minister of Israel) was the mastermind. Begin had been the former commander of Irgun (disbanded in 1948) and at that time headed Herut and was a member of the Knesset. His goal was to put pressure on the German government and prevent the signing of the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany, which he vehemently opposed.
David Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister of Israel, appreciated Adenauer’s response in playing down the affair and not pursuing it further, as it would have burdened the relationship between the two new states.