Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It is because of Dr. Biscet's case that I became so interested in human rights work on behalf of political prisoners in Cuba. It is through a pursuit of information on Dr. Biscet that I met Laida Carro, a woman who works tirelessly on behalf of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Cuba. And, it is with Laida that I began to work in human rights affairs and still stay busy translating articles, organizing conferences, and talking to people around the world about the tragic situation Cuban political prisoners and prisoners of conscience suffer in Cuba. My heart rejoices in the fact that Laida will be present at the White House for the award ceremony. She, more than anyone, brought his situation into the world spotlight. She is devoted to his cause. In fact, Laida is solely responsible for arranging for Dr. Biscet's daughter, who currently lives in Virginia, to receive the award on his behalf.
My interest in Oscar Elías Biscet González began about 10 years ago when one of my students came across information about him while doing research on a project for my fifth quarter Spanish class. The more I read about this man, who is a student of Gandi, Martin Luther King, and other advocates of non-violent civil disobedience, the more I wanted to know about what had landed him in jail in Cuba. I read incessantly about his struggle as a voice for human rights for the Cuban people, and I learned that he had had the courage to publish a report on Rivanol, a drug used to produce spontaneous abortions in women so that fetal tissue could be used in research. Laida happened to be the person who translated the report and got it to the United Nations. And, as one would anticipate, shortly thereafter, Biscet was barred from practicing medicine and began receiving intense harassment from the Cuban authorities. Ultimately, he was arrested for attending a meeting of human rights activists and supposedly for flying the Cuban flag upside down.
At present, Dr. Biscet still remains in prison outisde of Havana. Because he has become an international symbol of opposition to the Castro regime, prison authorities have moved him from solitary confinement, and he is receiving a little better treatment than before. Until recently, he was housed in a very small cell with no light, no running water, and a hole in the floor to be used for bathroom purposes. There were many occasions when the prison sewer backed up through that hole, and he his cell floor was covered with human waste. He was given putrid food through a slot in the bottom of his cell door, and he lived with rats invading his cell at any given hour. At one point, he was not allowed any reading or writing material and never got to leave his cell to go outside in the sun.
A healthy man when he went into prison, Biscet now suffers from a myriad of problems. He's lost almost all his teeth to a nasty gum disease, and he has everything from high blood pressure to pretty severe intestinal problems. Despite physical and psychological torture, he remains firm about not wearing the uniform of the common prisoner as dictated by Cuban penal code, and he refuses to participate in prison "education." In short, he's a real pain in the rear end for the Cuban government.
I know Dr. Biscet would consider this award as one that represents the Cuban people and their struggle rather than his own. He's a humble man of great faith and courage, a person I foresee as a key figure in the future of his country.
So again, I have to say thanks to George W. Bush. Regardless of any political motive he attaches to this award, for the Cuban people and especially for the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who are heinously mistreated in Cuban prisons, the award is a great source of strength and hope.
Gracias, Señor Presidente.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It was not until last evening that BK has ever considered changing his batchelor status, but the minute he finally walked into the house, the woman of his dreams strolled in (somewhat feebly) from the kitchen. Despite a few hugs along the way, nothing came of his many efforts to woo the "old wretch." BK finally concluded her rejection was a blessing in disguise once she confessed to owning stock in McDonald's.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
And, I just threw in a shot of the sassafras tree along the fence line. The sun reflecting off its leaves this afternoon was BRILLIANT!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
So, for the time being, I'm giving up and going to bed.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
~Went to the flea market, Salvation Army, and Goodwill with Dr. Tom Saturday morning
~Watched the Warren High School Warriors Marching Band at the Band-o-rama Competition in Marietta. Eliza's grace and beauty on the field is awesome!
~Took a few photos downtown
~Went to the flea market with Dr. Tom again this morning
~Helped a friend move some furniture this afternoon
That's all folks...
Friday, October 12, 2007
~ kitten play
~Rink's, Salvation Army, and Goodwill on Saturday morning with Dr. Tom
~office laughter with Mary Ann
~text messages from my beloveds
~fall mornings and evenings
~music (highly recommended on-line listening: http://www.radioparadise.com/)
~my mom's voice
~a long, hot shower
Thursday, October 11, 2007
It's interesting this fall. First of all, everyone's talking about the heat and lack of rain. The trees are beginning to turn, but I don't anticipate vivid colors this year. As it would appear, the leaves are just going to turn brown and fall off. There is little color in the side yard maple leaves, and on my walk the other day, I noticed even the poplar and sycamore leaves were not the brilliant yellow one normally sees at this time of year. My old friend of many years ago, Mr. Henry Miller, would have had some words of wisdom about these weird weather days, I'm sure. He talked about climate changes and global warming long before the topic became so up front.
In other farm news, I spent a good bit of time last evening on the internet in search of ideas for my Halloween costume this year, and I think I've got a good one! In fact, I can pull it off with an appropriate mask (which I found) and a couple of trips to Goodwill. I'm stoked! Two years ago, my aging Elvis costume won a prize at Beth and Sherm's party, and I hope to be in the running this year. I'm not giving ANY clues. My few blog readers will just have to wait for a photo. Of course, for the children at the college day care, I'll be a witch....a nice witch, as always.
My internet surfing last night also landed some great sites for Christmas gifts. All I'm going to say is that when Mary Ann saw them in the office today, she laughed big time. In fact, I think we're going in together on a couple for some of our campus celebrities. I love funny, corny gifts, and I think I've scored!
Tomorrow's Friday, thank goodness!! I'm so looking forward to a couple of days at home.
I apologize for yet another lame post....There's just not a lot in the super exciting category happening around The Farm these days....
Love and thanks to all who read my ramblings.....T.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
(Begonia hanging from Tom & Chintu's porch)
(Reena, a friend of Chintu's--Isn't she beautiful?)
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Dr. Tom and I have been going to flea markets and the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Saturday mornings lately, and I've found some nice things for really good prices. With Dr. T.'s assistance, I'm trying to learn about antique glass and pottery. Last week I got a plate for $1.99 and found it on the internet priced at $45.00. I think I'm hooked. Maybe I'll become an addicted E-bay seller.
Clousseau and Cato are not good bed pals. It's like having two kids around. When they decide to play, i.e., attack my feet, mess around with my hair, jump with full force onto my stomach, there's no rest for the weary. I think they'll be sleeping outside pretty soon.
It's hot!! I'm not a fan of winter, but 90 degrees in October is a bit much. And, on top of that, it's frightfully dry! I'd like several days of steady rain and cooler temperatures.
I'm already tired of the politic-ing for the 2008 elections. It would be nice if we could vote right now, get GWBush out of the White House, and move on. I'm voting for Ms. Potato Head. (see past blog posts)
This is one of my favorite new blogs (also located on my blog list): Bent Objects
That's it for now....Stay tuned....Namasté
Friday, October 05, 2007
I'd like to learn the salsa really well.
I'd like to meet and hang out with the Dalai Lama.
I'd like to have a home in Cuba, the Southwest, the mountains of North Carolina, somewhere in Europe, and perhaps Nepal..and other places...
I'd like to be a fly on the wall in the room wherever it is that Castro's convalescing.
I'd like to be wealthy.
I'd like to share my wealth with others.
I'd like to be in the Olympics, as a figure skater, maybe in ice dancing.
I'd like to join the Peace Corps.
I'd like to swim with dolphins.
I'd like to play in a symphony...percussion section, of course.
I'd like not to have to wear clothes.
(Secret Confessions is a Mary Ann idea.... And now I've 'fessed up.....Who's next? It's really fun thinking...If you don't have a blog, you can leave an anonymous comment on mine...)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Off to class....eergh!
Monday, October 01, 2007
I realized some time back my camera seemed a bit frail. After all, it's two years old, has taken 1,000's of shots, has been dropped several times, and has been transported all over the world in a lousy, non-cushioned camera case. And, quite frankly, I've been thinking of upgrading so I can reproduce larger photos nicely.
So, I just ordered a new camera, an 8 megapixel Canon PowerShot A680. I like Canons, and I don't think the learning curve with this one will be too much of a challenge. I feel like I need another camera's worth of experience before I really take the plunge for a fine, professional-type, top-of-the line, spend-more-money-than-I-have -now camera.
It should be here in the next couple days, so I'm forward to shooting zillions of photos this coming weekend.
PS: Apologies to my readers, whoever you are / wherever you are...This is a totally boring post... I'm just sitting at the computer and thinking about customizing my blog, but I'm chicken to go ahead and do so because I have no idea what I'm getting in to or what the consequences of my lack of expertise could produce...Mary Ann, I need help!
And, does anyone know how to post slideshows on a blog? Do I have to have Picasa, Flickr, or something similar?