Tag Archives: politics

5 reasons I choose not to talk about politics

I choose not to talk about politics because

  1. it generally does not change the outcome of elections, especially elsewhere
  2. it fuels so many unnecessary arguments
  3. I do not understand everything in politics (nor do I want to)
  4. I feel politicians never work for the benefit of the people … no matter what they say
  5. this is what The Buddha had meant by Right Speech
  6. [bonus reason] there are other more important things to worry about in this 13-billion-year-old universe with my less-than-hundred-year long lifespan.

Time to shut up. I have said too much about politics already.

The transcript of the Emperor Akihito’s speech indicating his wish to “abdicate”

 

The following is the English transcript (followed by the Japanese original) of the speech given by Emperor Akihito on August 8, 2016. It hints at his wish to abdicate, something which has never happened in the history of the Imperial Family. His Majesty’s decision to make such a request has been seen by some as his disapproval of Prime Minister Abe’s recent actions which have loosened Japan’s stance for peace. Many see Japan as heading again down the path towards militarism. The atmosphere and character of now is similar to that of the years leading up to WW2.


A major milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has passed, and in two years we will be welcoming the 30th year of Heisei.

As I am now more than 80 years old and there are times when I feel various constraints such as in my physical fitness, in the last few years I have started to reflect on my years as the Emperor, and contemplate on my role and my duties as the Emperor in the days to come.

As we are in the midst of a rapidly aging society, I would like to talk to you today about what would be a desirable role of the Emperor in a time when the Emperor, too, becomes advanced in age. While, being in the position of the Emperor, I must refrain from making any specific comments on the existing Imperial system, I would like to tell you what I, as an individual, have been thinking about. 

Ever since my accession to the throne, I have carried out the acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and at the same time I have spent my days searching for and contemplating on what is the desirable role of the Emperor, who is designated to be the symbol of the State by the Constitution of Japan. As one who has inherited a long tradition, I have always felt a deep sense of responsibility to protect this tradition. At the same time, in a nation and in a world which are constantly changing, I have continued to think to this day about how the Japanese Imperial Family can put its traditions to good use in the present age and be an active and inherent part of society, responding to the expectations of the people.  Continue reading

A message from David Suzuki of the David Suzuki Foundation

Dear friends,
Some of you may have seen media coverage about my decision to step off the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation. I am writing to tell you more about this and what it means.

After my children and grandchildren, my greatest pride is the David Suzuki Foundation.

I am fiercely proud of how the Foundation brings science and solutions to environment problems. I’m determined to ensure that the Foundation continues to have the ability to solve critical environmental issues and bring hope for the future.

But I have reached a point in my life where I would like to consider myself an elder. I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political, and harm the organization of which I am so proud. I am keenly aware that some governments, industries and special interest groups are working hard to silence us. They use threats to the Foundation’s charitable status in attempts to mute its powerful voice on issues that matter deeply to you and many other Canadians.

This bullying demonstrates how important it is to speak out.

The Foundation’s science-based, solutions-oriented research and educational work has enriched our democracy and reflected Canadian values for two decades. While not always happily received by governments or industrial interests, this work is strictly non-partisan, as required by the laws governing charities, and has made the Foundation one of the most trusted environmental voices in Canada.

Our opponents, however, are redoubling their efforts to marginalize the Foundation by getting at me, personally.

So last year, I made the decision to step off the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation. I remain one of its most active volunteers and committed major donors. This way I can fulfill my personal mission and the Foundation can continue to build on its inspiring work—for us and our grandchildren—in finding solutions to our shared, and very real, environmental challenges.

I hope you understand this decision and will continue to show your, steadfast support for my work in this concrete way:

Please share this letter with your family and friends and, at this critical moment, invite them to become supporters of the David Suzuki Foundation, by joining our online community or donating today.

Sincerely,
David Suzuki

Vietnam uses monks to take territory

This is why I hate politics.

Vietnam has decided to send monks to the Spratly Islands to lay claim to the Islands as their territory. But why not just send civilians? And I don’t think much of monks who would agree to go over probably knowing full well why their task is. It isn’t Buddhism and Buddhism has nothing to do with this.

It is a human shield in not so much as a disguise. Atrocious.

Money blinds people to nuclear risks – pro-nuclear mayor re-elected

Shigemi Kashiwabara, the mayor of Kaminoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, has been reelected. He won his seat on a pro-nulcear platform. It is a shame that people still buy into carrots dangled in front of them. This was the first municipal election held in Japan since the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Very democratic but not very Buddhist – cigarettes in Bhutan

Buddhism has never been a religion (is it a religion?) about forcing someone to do things they do not want to do.

The restrictions of sales and use of cigarettes in Bhutan with its five year jail sentence is not only excessive it is counterproductive. The forming of a black market is an indication of how liberalism can go wrong. Moving to a democracy does not mean a better life. It is simply different. And different does not mean better though ‘better’ is what advocates of liberalism and democracy want you to believe.

Politics and government are not easy and lighthearted tasks. I still wish Bhutan good luck. But I also believe their move to democratic rule was wrong. Let’s just hope GNH will not turn into GNU (Gross National Unhappiness).

This death is brought to you by…

So I am checking out the US death toll statistics in the War Against Terror and I am bombarded by:

  • a car advertisement,
  • a jewellery advertisement, and
  • an internet phone advertisement.

Not to mention there was a pop-up ad which my browser had blocked for me.

So my friend asks me why I hate advertising so much? And here is the answer. Some things are just tasteless and this is one of them.