There's no feeling of speed or ascension, yet you can see that you're moving. It's like standing 1,200 feet in the air, and your basket resting on an invisible people mover.
The world may be weary of stories of atrocities with constant accounts of man's inhumanity to man in the media. But recent events in Burma demand the attention and definitive action from the international community.
No, I haven't been everywhere, and some places I don't go to because I'm a conscientious objector (Zimbabwe, anyone?) but I can still dream. And plan. Because dictators, xenophobia and being broke wont last forever!
It is an appalling travesty of so-called democracy in a country that once inspired the world when it threw off military dictatorship and allowed Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to enter politics after so many years under house arrest.
At this point, my beautiful global daughter (whom I've routinely bombarded with counsel on good manners and appropriate behavior) called me out for being a spoiled brat who doesn't understand Southeast Asia or grasp how good I actually have it, then threw in the clincher: why are you always losing your temper and bumming everybody out with your crap attitude over things that you can't control and won't change?
Myanmar's leaders and people deserve great credit for embracing democracy and political transition. However, further steps are needed to consolidate reforms and social progress.
Myanmar is emerging decisively from conflict, fragility, and isolation toward a prosperous and peaceful future. It is in the midst of a triple transition: from a military government to democracy, from conflict in border areas to peace, and from a state-centered to a market-oriented economy.
Whether a barbed wire fence will achieve its stated objectives of checking illegal movement of goods, arms and counterfeit Indian currency smuggling, drug trafficking, and insurgency is a question that remains to be answered.
Unfortunately, because our many expressions of moral outrage don't fit the stereotype the media seeks, and because love and moderation are far less effective than hate and extremism in "selling" news, much of what we say never gets reported.
Speculation remains high in Myanmar as to if and when opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to China, which was one of the strongest supporters of the previous military government and remains highly influential in the country's affairs.
America just lost a real war hero. But few know his name. That's because Pete Lutken's heroics took place in the remote jungles of Burma during World War II as part of covert Allied efforts to defeat the Japanese.
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It is a new generation of Burma's youth who can own democracy and claim it as their own.
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