Another Saturday Night Story: May 2006


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Full Circle

In 1963 my family imigrated from the great state of Texas to Southwest Missouri. I was only eleven years old. We left Texas, home of Love field, hot donuts, baseball, friday night football, and swimming pools.Southwest Missouri, on the other hand, is the land of fishing, many lakes and rivers, with mountains and trees. It was a shock to our system, not only was it cold, but the people seemed somewhat northern as compared to southerner's. Funny how each of our states are so differnent, culture and accent. Missouri has always been known for it's "Hillbilly's". I remember the Payne Brothers who live down on the Nianqua River. They hunted for all their food. They had an old house over on the other side of Jack Rabbit pass. The house had a dirt floor, but they had a color Television. There were old washers on the front porch, and three or four old abandon cars in the front lot. Yepper's.........this was Dallas County, MO. There were no airports, four lane highways, or railraods.
It wasn't until I was forty years old, that I realized that the immigration we took in 1963 to Missouri, was where my ancestors came from. Our Second Great Grandfather, Jonathan Rice settled in Polk County, MO, in 1836. He came from Logan County, KY. I was raised about forty miles away from the old Rice homestead, and never went there.
My Dad now rest in Natural Dam AR. I wonder if he knows that his Great Grandfather,Orville Word, rest only fifty miles away in Ft. Smith, AR.
Things always seem to come "Full Circle".

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Black Hawk Down

One of our brilliant Generals got 19 of our boys killed in Somalia. For what? They were going to take political prisoners, in a civil war, we should not have been involved in to begin with. They say we were a UN peacekeeping force. Humbug!, the Pakistani UN force was already there. We were out numbered, out gunned, and outsmarted. All of the intel was wrong. But, the brilliant General has an ego that says " I can whip anybody, no matter what ". Who allowed this idiot to go into a civilian town and start shooting people while kidnapping others on foreign soil. Those people have to hate our guts. If the truth is known, this is the kind of American aggression that goes on all the time. This one episode, finally for public view, we get to see what kind of disaster can happen when some General overloads his egotistical ass.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What was once Burma

(Our Uncle Bert served in Burma During WWII. It was one of the most deadliest duties during the War.)

The country is now called Myanmar (pronounced myahn-mah). This is such a beautiful place, that only God could have created. A place, in my mind, that would take the breath away from heaven. This country is rich with natural resources in which jade and rubies are plentiful. Undiscovered, oil and gas reserves await those who would conquer. Tigers, elephant, and crocodile run free. There are exotic animals, plants, and flowers, many of which are rare and some extinct. Some of the rare orchids are found there, and some, still undiscovered. There are places in this country where man has never set foot. After the British ruled the country for 100 years, and before WWII, it was the leading exporter of rice in the world. After the war, the country never reached that production level again. There are 67 different ethnic groups living in Burma.
The country of Burma has been under military dictatorship since 1962. Due to a military government of isolationist economic mismanagement, the 45 million people there live without their human rights and in extreme poverty. The world became hopeful for a few months when the military actually decided to hold elections in the spring of 1990. Though the election was tightly controlled, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide: 392 of the 485 seats- 80%. (The military backed "National Unity Party" won 10 seats.) Apparently the military was surprised and frightened by this, because they suddenly declared the election void, and killed, tortured, imprisoned, or chased away all the NLD party members they could find. The charge: "attempting to form a government." This sounds all so familiar. This same act is what followed the free election between Batista and Castro in Cuba. One of the most visible, eloquent, and best loved proponents of democracy, and the founder of the NLD, is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of assassinated independence hero Aung San. The junta locked her in a house in Rangoon (now Yangon) for six years. She was released in July 1995 but is not allowed to rejoin her political party. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. On August 8th, 1988, the largest demonstrations the people have ever dared to stage took place. Organized by students, news spread fast. On the declared day many more than expected turned out. People assembled throughout all the major cities in Burma. Over 200,000 people assembled for non-violent demonstration and took turns giving speeches. About midnight troops fired into the masses killing hundreds on the spot. They even shot monks. The people kept trying for a few days but were finally silenced. By that time between 5,000 and 10,000 people from all walks of life were dead. Four times the number killed in Tiannanmen Square. Universities were closed down and surrounded. 8,000 students fled to the border areas. Hundreds of people were arrested. Then America, protesting the military government, placed embargoes on Myanmar. This only multiplied the problems they already have, and now there is little hope for any democracy. As if this is not enough turmoil for one country to bear, they have even more problems since the war in Afghanistan. The druglords of Afghanistan have moved to Myanmar, where they may grow their opium poppies, in safe seclusion, and protected from the corrupt military government. Myanmar is now the leading producer and exporter of heroin.
How could one of the most beautiful places on earth be so engrossed in such pain and suffering for so long. The pain and suffering, for centuries, of not only Myanmar but of this whole region including Tibet, Nepal, and other Asian countries. For centuries, Buddhism has been the most practiced religion for this region. I find this most interesting. Young boys are sent to monasteries to be educated and learn Buddhism. When the young monks become young men they are released back to society where pain and suffering await them. It is like they practice all their lives to cope with this suffering, just as Generals practice all their lives to fight War’s. The somewhat evolution of coping with pain and suffering has found its way through generations. These people do not react to suffering or emotion like normal people. They have found that meditation puts them in a state of mind where pain and suffering is prohibited. What choice have they had in the past for peace, and what choice do they have now? Why are We (America) not helping these people?

A must see movie “Beyond Rangoon”, starring Patricia Arquette. Beyond Rangoon‘s mood is helped by the low-keyed, elegant way U Aung Ko sums up Buddhism for Laura, “We were taught that suffering is the one promise life always keeps”.
(read also “Merrils Mauraders” during WWII)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

American Aggression

As if Cuba was not a lesson in American aggression. We have sucked every dime we can out of every country we can, and left our stooges running these countries. The European countries still look like they did after WW2. There has been very little modernation. It’s no wonder they hate the USA. What about Marcos in the Philippines. Him and his wife stole all the money. They did not build even one road, or sewage treatment, or a modern building. Their economy relying on the navel and Air Force base. Prostitution and black market for anything. They were thieves for the CIA. After fifty years in power, we brought them to America for safe haven in Hawaii for the rest of their days. Finally, after the contract was up on the American bases, the Philippine people told us to get out. Their new president asks for our help on the war on terrorism. But her enemy are not terrorist, they are freedom fighters who have been around for thirty years. When we help beat them, then we will have another stooge. What about Noriega? Another CIA stooge who stole all the money, sold drugs, and got caught. When the Panama Canal treaty was up, they also told us to get out, and take all your stooges with you. Vietnam was another great American policy! Who was the enemy? Who benefited from this war? Only after the people had spoken through revolution, anti-war and anti-government, did we leave Saigon to the communist. In the Middle East, we have sucked their oil away, made a few people rich, and done nothing to bring these people into the 21st century. Where else on earth do they have tribes and clans and warlords and druglords. They are still fighting on donkeys with swords. We have crushed their culture, and they will fight to the death. We will continue to spoon-feed them our agression or force feed them with war.

"A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity." -President Jimmy Carter