Brickbat: Burma Shaved


Jailed reporter

A Myanmar judge has sentenced two journalists to seven years in prison each for violating the state secrets law. The two had been reporting on the killing by government security forces of Rohingya Muslim villagers.

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  1. I’d say this was a good example of the Streisand Effect but everyone already knew what was going on with the Rohingya. It is probably a good example of why you don’t have weak civilian authority over your country’s military.

    Regardless of all that, the Obama administration wishes it could have done something like this.

  2. You are assuming that the civilian leadership is opposed to the extermination of the Rohingya. From the monks leading the campaign to Aung San Suu Kyi I have seen nothing to indicate this.

    1. So the peaceful Buddhists turned bloodthirsty and brutal?

      1. The Rohingya (essentially ethnic Bengalis who come from the Burmese side of the border) are so loathed that even the Burmese Muslims have been loudly cheering on the authorities. There’s been a virulent anti-Muslim tinge to the genocidal rhetoric by the Buddhist leaders, but all the more reason for the Burmese Muslims to distance themselves from the folks getting the business end!

        A minority group with the need to “prove their loyalty” can be some of the ugliest motherfuckers of all. For their part the Japanese Buddhists were the most zealous supporters of militancy at the height of their racial atrocities against various often Buddhist-dominated populations; they were constantly viewed with suspicion as an alien implant in a country with a state Emperor-worshipping cult forming a backbone of society.

        1. Two key points about Burmese muslims, they are Burmese and are thus it is not completely shocking that they may be Burmese nationalists as well, and they are a distinct, largely urban minority and thus must keep their heads down since they are even more vulnerable to the authorities than the Rohingya.

    2. Noble Peace Prize winners should be the ones on Obama’s secret kill list.

  3. State secrets are incompatible with legitimate government: Case File 1456786-X

    1. Winner winner chicken dinner.

    2. Winner winner chicken dinner.

  4. The reporters had told the court two police officials handed them papers at a restaurant in the city of Yangon moments before other officers arrested them.
    It would have been more efficient if they were arrested by the same officers that handed them the papers.

  5. Just as the Nobel Prize for Literature has turned into a contest to see who can find the most obscure writer, so has the Nobel Peace Prize become a reliable indicator of mediocre incompetence and counter-factual future history.

    1. Eh, I find the Peace Prize has long been about 50-50. About half the winners arguably made some legit contribution towards promoting peace. As for the other half? Some are simply bogus. (Think Obama winning for the impressive feat of not being George W. Bush.) Others’ greatest contribution to peace was to stop killing people in job lots. While this is commendable and should certainly be encouraged, I’m not sure anyone deserves a prize just for cutting back on their murder habit.

    2. While the literature prize has had some astonishing turkeys, Gao Xingjian, and there is a serious problem with corruption, Gao Xingjian, the winners of the prize are not even close to obscure with the exception of Gao Xingjian. This is the inherent problem with awarding a world literature prize when the world has so many languages and made worse because English is so dominant and thus English language readers have little incentive to read outside it while English language publishers have little incentive to translate stuff.

      Many of the writers everyone specifically complains about are actually very good even if they are unpleasant. Elfriede Jelinek for example is really good if you give her a chance and aren’t freaked out by “bad” sex.

  6. How many Reason readers get the headline? How many have ever seen a Burma Shave sign? Also, how many Reason readers does it take to change a lightbulb?*

    *Answer: A lot! Because I’m goddamned if I’m going to let the goddamned government make me buy one of those goddamned last forever save the environment sissy ass curlicue bulbs!

    1. When I was growing up, watching for Burma Shave signs was one of the few ways to deal with the tedium of long drives. Back in the dark ages before there was an interstate highway system.
      Do we have Lady Bird Johnson to thank for their disappearance?

      1. Every HnRer who is not actually old enough to remember Burma Shave signs is exactly the kind of nerd to have no trouble whatsoever getting the old-timey reference.

        1. Agreed. I’ve never seen an actual Burma Shave sign and presume I am at least two decades shy of being old enough to. An agritourism place where I worked growing up (it was still predominantly ‘agri’ then) used thematically analogous signage/advertising to the point where everyone with a scar on their deltoid would say “like the Burma Shave signs!” while driving past.

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