Let Burma In

Beyond the headlines of war, a good thing is happening. Some may have noticed that lonely Myanmar, aka Burma, has turned and reached out to the West. It has installed ATMs, freed opposition leaders, voted a parliament and now is even talking to Hillary Clinton. To those who’ve seen the country only five years ago this is nothing less than a miracle.

Five years ago Burma was oppressed into a 18th century time warp from which even Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Cambodia seemed like beacons of freedom and prosperity. I was arrested for simply looking (with binoculars) over the lake to the house where Aung San, the daughter of Burma’s founder, was locked up for 15 years. Aung San now runs for parliament and meets Hillary!

Those days, $50 would get you three kilo of Kyat notes with which you could buy, well, nothing really because nobody wanted it. There were no telephones, no internet, no newspaper, no ice-cream, no healthcare, and no credit-cards – it was perfectly medieval.

Thanks Hillary, for going there. I am sure the trip wasn’t easy, but you will have recognized the beauty and authentic goodness of its people. Probably you haven’t seen their terrific gemstones but we here all love them and, please, please, let us again buy and sell them legally. If you do, we promise to be very good, pay taxes and all.

The Burmese have been traders and business people since the dawn of commerce. They are very good at it; honest but tough and hard working; and they will be again. If only we let them in now. It must have cost the Burmese military a lot of courage to overcome their pride and reach out to the West. I wish our politicians had, at times, the guts to say: “Heck, I was dead wrong, sorry folks. Let’s do better.”

It is on us now to acknowledge their courage and show that we too can change and do better.

2 Comments on “Let Burma In”

  1. bob cooper says:

    To a lot of old school children, from the the 60’s and b4, this ordeal, session, is par for the course. It does not look any different from any spanking I ever had from either my mother or father. It was usually 5 or 10 licks, for the penalty for what ever, but their ability to land one good lick, till the prescribed number, could take half an hour or more because of all the avoidance and jumping around to get them to miss. Screaming and yelling was to give our parents the impression that it was all so terrible and unbearable to get them to let up on how hard they’d hit, but if a parent, or authority did it when their were angry, well, that’s another matter all together.

    I don’t want to suggest that it didn’t hurt, it did, but not as awful as it appears. Spankings were a part of life, especially for the unknown undiagnosed A.D.D. children through out all history,( which I think any child is to one degree or another, at least for boys compared to girls, not always.)
    It is an absolute fact that a razor strap, which is what my parents used, hurt a lot less than a skinny belt, or switch, however its also a fact that it looks 10 times worse that it felt.

    Oh, it hurt some, but that was the point, A spanking is a delivery system for a the “request of an undivided attention”. that’s it ! nothing more, a communication device, a “Can you hear me now ?! ” When kids were running around and oblivious to the dangers surrounding, or ignoring what they are being told, an artificial focal point was needed for communication purposes alone. For an ADD child of the 50’s, It did cause a focus of clarity that a message was to be communicated. My mother gave up spanking us because we ended up laughing during sessions about her not being able to really hurt us as we got older.

    All that being said, I would, to this day, like to put Coach Macey in prison who from Westbury High School,or Johnston Jr. High, in Houston Texas; when during some time in the 1960’s, hit me one time, one “POP” as it was called, with a planed baseball bat (half inch thick) that drew blood from one swat. I got 13 pops once from principal Pepper once for skipping classes which did not hurt as much as that one. I almost passed out instantly from Macy’s pop and my body trembled,I couldn’t stand up at first , my ears were surging a white noise, they probably told me to get up and shake it off as they called for the next kid to come in. ( they would do it behind a closed door). I was psychically in a state of shock through the next day.
    Yep, he should go to prison, at least be identified.I wouldn’t hesitate to point a finger at him in a court of law; he’s probably dead now anyway.

  2. edwardbristol says:

    Well, I do hope we have developed as a society; and we will not do bad stuff just because we always did it that way.

    The old worlds were no good, say the romantics what they want. The past was cruel and full of useless suffering. We get better.

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