Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Entrevista con Sean Callery - Interview with Sean Callery

This is a great interview with Sean Callery, my favorite modern composer and my favorite TV composer. The interview is very current, and very informative. Sean Callery, you're amazing!

The X-Files 2

Despite my fears, the strike has not actually affected the making of The X-Files 2. The second movie of the X-Files franchise (dubbed "The X-Files: DONE ONE") is one I've been looking forward to for a while! The first movie, Fight the Future, is one of my favorites--actually probably my favorite, for sentimental reasons. :D Both David Duchovny (pronounced Du-KHOHV-nii according to a Russian friend of mine) and Gillian Anderson have reprised their roles as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

I just have one word of warning to the two of them: Avoid bees at all costs. :D

A picture sent me by a fan on the 24 Forum

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Message from the Commander in Chief

Dear compatriots:

Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.

The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary.

For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, direct and secret vote of over 95% of the people with the right to cast a vote. The first National Assembly was established on December 2nd that same year; this elected the State Council and its presidency. Before that, I had been a Prime Minister for almost 18 years. I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31, 2006, to the position of President of the State Council, which I left to First Vice-President Raul Castro Ruz, was final. But Raul, who is also minister of the Armed Forces on account of his own personal merits, and the other comrades of the Party and State leadership were unwilling to consider me out of public life despite my unstable health condition.

It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-à-vis an adversary which had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply.

Later, in my necessary retreat, I was able to recover the full command of my mind as well as the possibility for much reading and meditation. I had enough physical strength to write for many hours, which I shared with the corresponding rehabilitation and recovery programs. Basic common sense indicated that such activity was within my reach. On the other hand, when referring to my health I was extremely careful to avoid raising expectations since I felt that an adverse ending would bring traumatic news to our people in the midst of the battle. Thus, my first duty was to prepare our people both politically and psychologically for my absence after so many years of struggle. I kept saying that my recovery "was not without risks."

My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That's all I can offer.

To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief.

In short letters addressed to Randy Alonso, Director of the Round Table National TV Program, --letters which at my request were made public-- I discreetly introduced elements of this message I am writing today, when not even the addressee of such letters was aware of my intention. I trusted Randy, whom I knew very well from his days as a student of Journalism. In those days I met almost on a weekly basis with the main representatives of the University students from the provinces at the library of the large house in Kohly where they lived. Today, the entire country is an immense University.

Following are some paragraphs chosen from the letter addressed to Randy on December 17, 2007:

"I strongly believe that the answers to the current problems facing Cuban society, which has, as an average, a twelfth grade of education, almost a million university graduates, and a real possibility for all its citizens to become educated without their being in any way discriminated against, require more variables for each concrete problem than those contained in a chess game.

We cannot ignore one single detail; this is not an easy path to take, if the intelligence of a human being in a revolutionary society is to prevail over instinct.

"My elemental duty is not to cling to positions, much less to stand in the way of younger persons, but rather to contribute my own experience and ideas whose modest value comes from the exceptional era that I had the privilege of living in.

"Like Niemeyer, I believe that one has to be consistent right up to the end."

Letter from January 8, 2008:

"...I am a firm supporter of the united vote (a principle that preserves the unknown merits), which allowed us to avoid the tendency to copy what came to us from countries of the former socialist bloc, including the portrait of the one candidate, as singular as his solidarity towards Cuba. I deeply respect that first attempt at building socialism, thanks to which we were able to continue along the path we had chosen."

And I reiterated in that letter that "...I never forget that 'all of the world's glory fits in a kernel of corn."

Therefore, it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.

Fortunately, our Revolution can still count on cadres from the old guard and others who were very young in the early stages of the process. Some were very young, almost children, when they joined the fight on the mountains and later they have given glory to the country with their heroic performance and their internationalist missions. They have the authority and the experience to guarantee the replacement. There is also the intermediate generation which learned together with us the basics of the complex and almost unattainable art of organizing and leading a revolution.

The path will always be difficult and require from everyone's intelligent effort. I distrust the seemingly easy path of apologetics or its antithesis the self-flagellation. We should always be prepared for the worst variable. The principle of being as prudent in success as steady in adversity cannot be forgotten. The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong; however, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.

This is not my farewell to you. My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of 'Reflections by comrade Fidel.' It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be careful.


Fidel Castro Ruz

February 18, 2008


El lunes, con las palabras del Presidente Lyndon B Johnson - por supuesto traducidas al español - el lider comunista históricamente renunció:

Mensaje del Comandante en Jefe

Queridos compatriotas:
Les prometí el pasado viernes 15 de febrero que en la próxima reflexión abordaría un tema de interés para muchos compatriotas. La misma adquiere esta vez forma de mensaje.

Ha llegado el momento de postular y elegir al Consejo de Estado, su Presidente, Vicepresidentes y Secretario.

Desempeñé el honroso cargo de Presidente a lo largo de muchos años. El 15 de febrero de 1976 se aprobó la Constitución Socialista por voto libre, directo y secreto de más del 95% de los ciudadanos con derecho a votar.

La primera Asamblea Nacional se constituyó el 2 de diciembre de ese año y eligió el Consejo de Estado y su Presidencia. Antes había ejercido el cargo de Primer Ministro durante casi 18 años. Siempre dispuse de las prerrogativas necesarias para llevar adelante la obra revolucionaria con el apoyo de la inmensa mayoría del pueblo.

Conociendo mi estado crítico de salud, muchos en el exterior pensaban que la renuncia provisional al cargo de Presidente del Consejo de Estado el 31 de julio de 2006, que dejé en manos del Primer Vicepresidente, Raúl Castro Ruz, era definitiva. El propio Raúl, quien adicionalmente ocupa el cargo de Ministro de las F.A.R. por méritos personales, y los demás compañeros de la dirección del Partido y el Estado, fueron renuentes a considerarme apartado de mis cargos a pesar de mi estado precario de salud.

Era incómoda mi posición frente a un adversario que hizo todo lo imaginable por deshacerse de mí y en nada me agradaba complacerlo.

Más adelante pude alcanzar de nuevo el dominio total de mi mente, la posibilidad de leer y meditar mucho, obligado por el reposo. Me acompañaban las fuerzas físicas suficientes para escribir largas horas, las que compartía con la rehabilitación y los programas pertinentes de recuperación. Un elemental sentido común me indicaba que esa actividad estaba a mi alcance.

Por otro lado me preocupó siempre, al hablar de mi salud, evitar ilusiones que en el caso de un desenlace adverso, traerían noticias traumáticas a nuestro pueblo en medio de la batalla.

Prepararlo para mi ausencia, sicológica y políticamente, era mi primera obligación después de tantos años de lucha. Nunca dejé de señalar que se trataba de una recuperación "no exenta de riesgos".

Mi deseo fue siempre cumplir el deber hasta el último aliento. Es lo que puedo ofrecer.

A mis entrañables compatriotas, que me hicieron el inmenso honor de elegirme en días recientes como miembro del Parlamento, en cuyo seno se deben adoptar acuerdos importantes para el destino de nuestra Revolución, les comunico que no aspiraré ni aceptaré - repito- no aspiraré ni aceptaré, el cargo de Presidente del Consejo de Estado y Comandante en Jefe.

En breves cartas dirigidas a Randy Alonso, Director del programa Mesa Redonda de la Televisión Nacional, que a solicitud mía fueron divulgadas, se incluían discretamente elementos de este mensaje que hoy escribo, y ni siquiera el destinatario de las misivas conocía mi propósito. Tenía confianza en Randy porque lo conocí bien cuando era estudiante universitario de Periodismo, y me reunía casi todas las semanas con los representantes principales de los estudiantes universitarios, de lo que ya era conocido como el interior del país, en la biblioteca de la amplia casa de Kohly, donde se albergaban. Hoy todo el país es una inmensa Universidad.

Párrafos seleccionados de la carta enviada a Randy el 17 de diciembre de 2007:

"Mi más profunda convicción es que las respuestas a los problemas actuales de la sociedad cubana, que posee un promedio educacional cercano a 12 grados, casi un millón de graduados universitarios y la posibilidad real de estudio para sus ciudadanos sin discriminación alguna, requieren más variantes de respuesta para cada problema concreto que las contenidas en un tablero de ajedrez. Ni un solo detalle se puede ignorar, y no se trata de un camino fácil, si es que la inteligencia del ser humano en una sociedad revolucionaria ha de prevalecer sobre sus instintos.

"Mi deber elemental no es aferrarme a cargos, ni mucho menos obstruir el paso a personas más jóvenes, sino aportar experiencias e ideas cuyo modesto valor proviene de la época excepcional que me tocó vivir.

"Pienso como Niemeyer que hay que ser consecuente hasta el final."
Carta del 8 de enero de 2008:

"...Soy decidido partidario del voto unido (un principio que preserva el mérito ignorado). Fue lo que nos permitió evitar las tendencias a copiar lo que venía de los países del antiguo campo socialista, entre ellas el retrato de un candidato único, tan solitario como a la vez tan solidario con Cuba. Respeto mucho aquel primer intento de construir el socialismo, gracias al cual pudimos continuar el camino escogido."
"Tenía muy presente que toda la gloria del mundo cabe en un grano de maíz", reiteraba en aquella carta.

Traicionaría por tanto mi conciencia ocupar una responsabilidad que requiere movilidad y entrega total que no estoy en condiciones físicas de ofrecer. Lo explico sin dramatismo.

Afortunadamente nuestro proceso cuenta todavía con cuadros de la vieja guardia, junto a otros que eran muy jóvenes cuando se inició la primera etapa de la Revolución. Algunos casi niños se incorporaron a los combatientes de las montañas y después, con su heroísmo y sus misiones internacionalistas, llenaron de gloria al país. Cuentan con la autoridad y la experiencia para garantizar el reemplazo. Dispone igualmente nuestro proceso de la generación intermedia que aprendió junto a nosotros los elementos del complejo y casi inaccesible arte de organizar y dirigir una revolución.

El camino siempre será difícil y requerirá el esfuerzo inteligente de todos. Desconfío de las sendas aparentemente fáciles de la apologética, o la autoflagelación como antítesis. Prepararse siempre para la peor de las variantes. Ser tan prudentes en el éxito como firmes en la adversidad es un principio que no puede olvidarse. El adversario a derrotar es sumamente fuerte, pero lo hemos mantenido a raya durante medio siglo.

No me despido de ustedes. Deseo solo combatir como un soldado de las ideas. Seguiré escribiendo bajo el título "Reflexiones del compañero Fidel" . Será un arma más del arsenal con la cual se podrá contar. Tal vez mi voz se escuche. Seré cuidadoso.


Fidel Castro Ruz

18 de febrero de 2008
5 y 30 p.m.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Remembering is Honoring

This is one of my favorite videos because of all that it is applicable to. The video is very symbolic of many things, in particular the fact that the darkness of forgetting and denial becomes light upon rememberance. The chorus taken from Psalms 137:4-6, this song speaks directly to the Jewish people. The themes, however, apply to any suffering humans may have faced.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

'Schapelle Support & Lobby Network'

February 2008 Newsletter

The following message was posted on the Forum on Saturday 02 February 2008:

'Schapelle Support & Lobby Network'

by freepelle on Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:53 am

'Schapelle Support & Lobby Network'An International Network of Support for an Australian wrongfully detained in Bali

P.O. Box 1202
Waverley Gardens VIC 3170 Australia

Dear Friends and fellow supporters,

Most of you would know us from the 'Schapelle Action Support Group' but we have recently reformed under new administration to form the 'Schapelle Support & Lobby Network.'

We felt that a change was in order, consistent with recent administrative changes, to better reflect our purpose.

The core administrative group consists of myself [Noel], Don and Keith but we have quite a substantial mailing list of supporters from all around the world whom we sustain through our regular newsletter and updates.

Our Purpose:

• Provide moral and practical support for Schapelle and her family.
• Raise awareness of the facts surrounding her wrongful imprisonment.
• Dispel myths, rumours and lies that have been used against Schapelle and her family.
• Lobby our Government to do more to bring Schapelle safely home as soon as possible.
• Keep Schapelle's welfare in people's thoughts and prayers.
• Give information about what people can do to support her.
• To coordinate and co-operate with other support groups where possible.
• To explore other avenues by which we can assist Schapelle and her family.
• To seek out people of like mind.
• To act as conduit for the Schapelle Corby Trust Account, an audited account established by the family.
• To seek out and work with organisations involved with civil and human rights as appropriate.
• To support the Government in its diplomatic efforts and to work in a peaceful, non confrontational way.

We will continue putting out a Newsletter monthly. If you wish to receive one then please email me.
New banking details for contributions:
For those making Australian dollar contributions to the Schapelle Corby Trust Account, please note that all cheques and money orders are payable to: Schapelle Corby Trust Account
This is still the same account that was given to us by Rosleigh and in accordance with her request, we cannot post the account details online.
If you would like to send any letters to the Corby family then you may send to us and we will forward them on. Please do not send parcels to this address. [Letters for Schapelle can be sent directly via the prison].
c/- Schapelle Support & Lobby Network
P.O. Box 1202
Waverley Gardens VIC 3170 Australia
For foreign currency contributions, we are in the process of making arrangements to make that process easier as quite a few of Schapelle's supporters live in countries other than Australia.
They have found that the transfer and exchange rates generally diminish their contribution and makes it hardly worthwhile. So we are hoping to offer as many ways as we can to assist supporters contribute directly to Schapelle as possible. Paypal is one option.
Just a reminder - please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you wish to receive a return receipt. Since we do not take any administration costs from any contributions, we don't have the resources to write back to everyone to provide a receipt.
On behalf of our group I would like to thank you for your continued support to us and more importantly to Schapelle!
Contact :
Schapelle Support & Lobby Network:
Noel Wyndom [Administrator]
P.O. Box 1202, Waverley Gardens VIC 3170 Australia


I apologise for the lateness of this month's Newsletter which was due to a major malfunction of my hard drive. Fortunately, most data was recovered and I will have back up in future.
White Hats:

Chris reports that things seem to be progressing more quickly now that we (Rotary) have joined forces with the Red Cross. We are currently awaiting cost estimates for the work we want to do.
Hopefully, things will pick up pace now that the Christmas/New Year season is over.


Many people we speak with think that it is blatantly obvious that a grave injustice has been done to Schapelle. No argument there. Many think that there should be a simple answer. Well, there it becomes a bit more complicated. I post below an article from the Melbourne Age by Paul Monk which gives us some idea of just how complex and dirty international politics and diplomacy can be. Let us hope and pray that with the change of government here and the likely change of government in the U.S. that there will be at least some movement towards a more humanitarian and just world. I don't expect miracles. You cannot reverse the damage done over centuries in five minutes or even eight years.

We've just witnessed our Prime Minister make a historic apology to the indigenous people of this land. It was an important step, but only one step. There is a great deal of work still to be done.

For those of us who want a better world for everyone, we'll never be out of work.

Kind regards

HLJ Sidenote: Due to format problems, I located the URL for the Paul Monk article and have included it here:

The Writers' Strike is OVER!

How's this for my immaculate and perfect timing: As irritated as I was about the writers' strike, I checked up on news for it and didn't realize it ended 2 days ago! And tonight at dinner there I am telling someone, "Well, '24' will be coming back...but we don't know when, due to a certain writers' strike that's still going on."

Then I check out a Yahoo Pictures of the Week edition and see that the strike ENDED!

There are conflicting reports, but the general consensus seems to be that where 24 is won't be on until January 2009. Wow - an entire year!

One prudent and thoughtful 24 Forumer came up with the following list of 24 Things to Look Forward To as we wait almost an entire year for 24 Season 7:

1. The Presidential Election
2. All four golf majors
3. Three of the four tennis Grand Slams
4. The Summer Olympics
5. Mary Lynn giving birth
6. The Oscars
7. The Emmys
8. 6,000 online viewing parties
9. 1000 “Is it January Yet?” Threads
10. 10,000 “1000 Votes” for Threads
11. The ENTIRE Major League Baseball Season
12. The NBA playoffs
13. The Stanley Cup playoffs
14. The ENTIRE 2009 NFL regular season
15. 100 Cougar Threads
16. 100 Threads featuring the words “dyed” or “died” in place of DEAD.
17. 10,000 trolls posting season 7 spoilers, followed by 50,000 “there are spoilers in GM” Warning Threads!
18. 150 Fake Articles Written by Yours Truly
19. 197,347 mentions of Aunt Carol
20. 500 Anti-Marilyn Bauer or Sandra Palmer threads
21. 247.648 posters threating to “Go DARK” throughout the wait (with 97% of them not actually going dark)
22. 2007-2008 season finales and 2008-2009 season premieres of almost every other show on television.
23. 24,547 “top 24” threads” (like this)
24. 100,000,000 “I can’t wait until 2009!!!!!!!!” threads:)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This Is HLJ's First New Post

My story with blogging has been quite up and down, and occaisonally both at once accidentally.

Here I am again, though...with a new URL that perhaps shall appeal to more English speakers. The primary topic of this blog will be Schapelle Corby. She is an amazing person in unjust circumstances. I personally believe in her innocence, and I want to do what I can to support Schapelle the person whilst telling her story where possible--in the best way possible. I have been fortunate to be acquainted with many phenominal supporters of Schapelle, and we have acquired many useful resources with which to accomplish this goal.

There are other random topics which will come up on this blog. Some may be carry-overs from previous HLJ editions. Others will be posted as they arise from wherever.

I am a person with intensely varied interests, so trust me, if there seems to be no common thread, there IS: it's Carina.

I look forward to interacting with you all, my potential readers, as I do what I can for Schapelle Corby.