From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier

From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan" by Andy Couturier

Pages 264-265



“Sooo..” I begin to ask him, a bit apprehensive, not wanting to be insulting, “Gufu-san, why write all this stuff down?”


Unperturbed, he replies simply, “To make a record. If you don’t record things, you start to lose your sense of the place. It’s also interesting when you talk to other people, or when I want to look up something later. But it’s mostly just to make a record, even if I don’t use the information.”

“Yes, but how do you decide which things to write down?”

“Whatever is possible to write down, I write. How much the bus cost. How much the movie was, or how much the hotel was.”

“But why?” I ask.

“I didn’t have any purpose in doing it.”

No purpose? Perhaps I’ve been too attached to all my own actions being done for a reason. Utilitarianism is so deep in my culture I don’t even notice it. Listening to Gufu it occurs to me that it may not be so good to be always reaching ahead in time. Sitting here with my friend in a farmhouse in the mountains of Japan, I find my way of seeing the world start to deepen and change. All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory. By writing them down, we are refusing to let the experiences of our lives get subsumed in the tsunami of time, the onrush of the next, and the next, and the next. I think of so many travelers (myself included) zipping from one location to the next, taking photos of scenery or a building. Have I been missing the beautiful in the obvious?

Gufu is showing me--not that he’s trying to show me anything--that the whole world can come alive with these tiny details, ephemera, you might call them. But not just a generalized “world,” but a specific world, an India of a particular time, and, as it happens, an India that is disappearing every day.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lake of fire issue Part II -------------The proof of prejudice is evident in the voting patterns of PCs and Wildrosies----------Liberal MLA Kent Hehr introduced the non-binding Motion 503, urging “all school boards to develop policies to support students who want to lead and establish gay-straight alliance activities and organizations.” The motion failed 31 to 19, with all eight members of the Wildrose caucus present voting against the motion, along with 23 Progressive Conservative MLAs. The motion was supported by 12 PCs along with all of the NDP and Liberal MLAs who were present for the vote.--------------------“I was extremely disappointed to see that not one member of the Wildrose party would vote for a non-binding motion and go on public record in support. There may be supporters in the party, but there comes a time to stand up and be counted,” said Kris Wells, director of programs and services at the University of Alberta-based Institute for Sexual Minority Studies. “That rightfully brings forth a lot of questions into people’s minds around ... what really are the beliefs of the Wildrose party. Have they changed from those infamous lake of fire comments?” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith defended her caucus Tuesday, saying they were persuaded by arguments put forward by Education Minister Jeff Johnson, who said local school boards already have the ability to deal with bullying. “I would have voted against the motion as well, because I see this as very much an issue of local control, local autonomy for our school boards,” Smith said. “It’s very clear that our school boards are taking seriously the issue of bullying across the board, including gay and lesbian students.” The party and Smith faced heavy criticism when a blog post surfaced during the 2012 provincial election that was written by candidate Allan Hunsperger that said gays and lesbians would be condemned to a “lake of fire.” Since then, the Wildrose has softened its image, stripping away controversial firewall policies and adopting planks encouraging the reduction of greenhouse gases and affirming equality. NDP Leader Brian Mason blamed both the Wildrose and the PCs for the motion’s failure. “While the Wildrose did as expected and voted against it, showing that they haven’t changed in the way they’ve been claiming to, the government members that were present vote two to one against the motion ... Had they voted the other way, the motion would have passed,” Mason said. Liberal Leader Raj Sherman put the blame squarely on the government. “It’s clear that the PC government teamed up with the Wildrose to defeat a motion that would protect our children in our schools,” he said.

The recent overthrow of Ms. Redford by her own party has left a bad taste in the mouths of citizens. It was clear to me that the premier wasn't doing anything different than all the other useless premiers we have had in Alberta but it is clear that Tory voters feel differently about the extravagance of the Tory inner circle when families are ignored, repressed and marginalized in Alberta.
Though the queen is gone, the new king isn't shaping up to be any different. Is it any wonder that citizens long for a different government?
Unfortunately mistakes made by mummies who were dummies will not be solved by an Albertan spring and we have to suffer for our dumb decisions.
In the interim the Wildrosies are showing us more and more details of how the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta is a loser party. No doubt some of the information they will be springing out of the Pandora's box that the PC party represents to voters now-will be from close associates of the party. The Wildrosies dream of being the next party in power as noted here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/danielle-smith-says-wildrose-ready-for-election-amid-tory-turmoil-1.2581327

Danielle Smith says Wildrose ready for election amid Tory turmoil

Opposition leader tells fundraiser crowd fate of Alison Redford shows PCs can't change

CBC News Posted: Mar 21, 2014 7:34 AM MT Last Updated: Mar 21, 2014 4:27 PM MTEarly election in Alberta?
Early election in Alberta? 1:48What's next for Alberta PCs?









Related Stories

The leader of Alberta’s opposition Wildrose Party says her party is ready for an early election.
Danielle Smith told a sold-out fundraiser on Thursday night that her party would be ready to hit the ground running if they were elected to power.
She said the mid-term resignation of Alison Redford is just the latest example of how dysfunctional the Progressive Conservative Party has become after 43 years in power.
“For the second time in about a three-year period, the governing party has forced out a leader who had led their party to re-election with a strong majority,” Smith said.
“She was unable to make the kind of changes many of us both inside and outside of her party were hoping to see from a leader so dramatically different than her predecessor."
Smith said her party already has a competent and experienced team in place to offer Albertans a new alternative.
The government has fixed election date legislation in place — which says the vote must be held in 2016 between March 1 and May 31 — but opposition parties say the Tories could break it just as easily as they approved it.

Other parties prepared

Dave Hancock will take over as Alberta premier until a new PC leader is elected. The search is now on for Alison Redford's replacement, but one must be selected within six months of a leader's resignation.
The New Democrats say they are prepared for an early election call under the new Tory leader, according to the party's provincial secretary Brian Stokes.
"Our sense is that as soon as they get a new honeymoon with the new leader or good news polling, that they will probably want to go and that will be sooner (rather) than later." said Stokes.
The NDP is ramping up its fundraising efforts and recruiting candidates for all 87 ridings in the province.cgy-kent-hehr_11
Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr does not expect an early election call after the Tory leadership race. (CBC)
However, Kent Hehr, the Liberal MLA for Calgary-Buffalo, said he does not expect an early election call by the Progressive Conservatives after the leadership race.
Hehr said he expects the government will break its own 2011 law on fixed election dates in order to remain in power longer. The last election was held in 2012, but Hehr thinks Albertans may not return to the polls until 2017.
"They will stay in power as long as they can and I think they will ride out the full five-year mandate," he said.

PC party turmoil

Former Conservative MP Monte Solberg, who attended the Wildrosefundraiser, said turmoil within the Progressive Conservative caucus could spell the end of the party’s long grip on power.
“If they can’t reach outside their current caucus and find someone who will breathe some new life into their party I think they’re in serious trouble,” he said.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt says the PC's famous talent for reconstructing and re-energizing themselves could still save the party.
“But they’ve never had this much internal turmoil before. And they’ve never faced an opposition as strong as Wildrose before,” he said.
Political scientist Lori Williams says bringing someone in from the outside would be best to help renew the PC party's brand.
"Now the question is can the party heal from the various divisions that have emerged, or erupted, in the past few weeks," she said.
It still remains to be seen who will throw their names in the ring to replace Redford and be the face of the party for the next provincial election.
Thank you for voting!
Yes, the past few months have made it clear it's time. 64.45%  (1,184 votes)
No, this is the government Albertans voted for. 27.65%  (508 votes)
Not sure. 7.89%  (145 votes)

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They tell us they are ready to take over from the current hires.

But not so fast.
Why should we vote for a party that is anti-gay? Why should we vote for a party that is so intolerant that it won't allow gay-non-gay coalitions in schools?
These are simple matters of commonsense in my mind.
A child decides the way he or she will love in the world.
I don't think we need to make these children or adults feel extraordinary or different.
They are all part of the human family.
And yet a great many PCs and all the Wildrosies find the coalition of our children a threatening matter as noted here:

Critics slam Wildrose after gay-straight alliance motion voted down

BY MARIAM IBRAHIM, EDMONTON JOURNAL APRIL 8, 2014 6:33 PM
  • STORY
  • PHOTOS ( 1 )
Critics slam Wildrose after gay-straight alliance motion voted down

Alberta Liberal MLAs Laurie Blakeman and Kent Hehr talk during the party’s policy convention in Calgary in September 2013.

Photograph by: Gavin Young , Postmedia News

EDMONTON - Critics say the Wildrose opposition may not have drained its “infamous lake of fire” after MLAs on Monday voted down a motion urging the government to mandate that schools support students who launch gay-straight alliances.
Liberal MLA Kent Hehr introduced the non-binding Motion 503, urging “all school boards to develop policies to support students who want to lead and establish gay-straight alliance activities and organizations.”
The motion failed 31 to 19, with all eight members of the Wildrose caucus present voting against the motion, along with 23 Progressive Conservative MLAs. The motion was supported by 12 PCs along with all of the NDP and Liberal MLAs who were present for the vote.
“I was extremely disappointed to see that not one member of the Wildrose party would vote for a non-binding motion and go on public record in support. There may be supporters in the party, but there comes a time to stand up and be counted,” said Kris Wells, director of programs and services at the University of Alberta-based Institute for Sexual Minority Studies. “That rightfully brings forth a lot of questions into people’s minds around ... what really are the beliefs of the Wildrose party. Have they changed from those infamous lake of fire comments?”
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith defended her caucus Tuesday, saying they were persuaded by arguments put forward by Education Minister Jeff Johnson, who said local school boards already have the ability to deal with bullying.
“I would have voted against the motion as well, because I see this as very much an issue of local control, local autonomy for our school boards,” Smith said. “It’s very clear that our school boards are taking seriously the issue of bullying across the board, including gay and lesbian students.”
The party and Smith faced heavy criticism when a blog post surfaced during the 2012 provincial election that was written by candidate Allan Hunsperger that said gays and lesbians would be condemned to a “lake of fire.”
Since then, the Wildrose has softened its image, stripping away controversial firewall policies and adopting planks encouraging the reduction of greenhouse gases and affirming equality.
NDP Leader Brian Mason blamed both the Wildrose and the PCs for the motion’s failure.
“While the Wildrose did as expected and voted against it, showing that they haven’t changed in the way they’ve been claiming to, the government members that were present vote two to one against the motion ... Had they voted the other way, the motion would have passed,” Mason said.
Liberal Leader Raj Sherman put the blame squarely on the government.
“It’s clear that the PC government teamed up with the Wildrose to defeat a motion that would protect our children in our schools,” he said.
Premier Dave Hancock said he would have supported the motion had he been in the House for the vote, but wouldn’t speculate on whether the government would introduce similar legislation in the future.
“I believe we need to support students and ensure they feel safe in their school environment and in fact the School Act requires a safe, caring respectful school environment,” Hancock said. “On the other side we have always maintained that school boards should have the autonomy to govern in their local areas.”
Gay-straight alliances are student-led organizations aimed at creating a safe school environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning youth and their allies. Alberta’s first alliance was launched in a Red Deer school in 2000 and have since spread to 40 public schools across the province, Wells said. However, he noted none exist in the separate school system.
A study released in January by researchers at the University of British Columbia found that schools that adopt explicit anti-homophobia initiatives such as gay-straight alliances could reduce suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts among students.
mibrahim@edmontonjournal.com

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I am curious why these MLAs don't have the brains to see that they are prehistoric relics of an era we wish was long gone.
Mummies like myself do not care beans if the children in schools wish to form in coalitions-they should be allowed to do this.
The only folks who care about these sorts of matters --in my mind--are unsavory folks who are prejudiced against homosexuals and lesbians.
This is the boulder that prevented a Wildrosie win the last time around.
Unless the Wildrosies and Ms. Smith overcome their repugnance over all issues dealing with homosexual and lesbian matters--they won't get elected.
At least I won't vote for them.
As  a minority myself--as an Asian woman--it makes me feel that if the Wildrosies are prejudiced against the sexual minorities --what about the other minorities?

In addition, I don't see sexual preferences as a big thing.

What is a big thing for this Tory voter --is the prejudice shown by those who voted against these sorts of coalitions.
I don't believe the spin that we have been given that school boards are capable of managing bullying. I have already heard of school boards who have individuals in them who aren't as evolved as we would like. When such people with backward views enter public office, they do not shed the old skin and gain a new enlightened one. They may simply hide their abhorrent views from the public and in private act or express their views to vulnerable staff and children. In my mind, the voting by the Wildrosies and the PCs in this particular issue demonstrates the dinosaur attitudes of the ruling class that do not reflect the attitudes of a great many mummies who see these sorts of voting patterns as proof of prejudice, failures to be inclusive and a general lack of generosity of spirit.

When these sorts of character flaws show up with reference to our most vulnerable children it is time for citizens to write to the MLAs and ask them to come into the present. We are not asking them to go into the future because this would be too much to expect of them. We are simply telling them that those folks who live in the past and vote for social issues such as these --as if they are still in the ignorant past--well-such votes do not deserve to be in public office. They also do not reflect the more enlightened views of many city mummies.
With the devastating prejudices already in place among adults with reference to the homosexual and lesbian community---why would our elected hires add to this bonfire with more wood added? I'd say they simply lack the moral courage to do what we expect them to do --which is support our most vulnerable children in all the ways possible.

I would think the Wildrosies would get this by now.
I guess one election loss isn't sufficient to get the message across.
I'll wait for the next election loss.
I won't need a burning in hellfire comment to remind me of the stance of the Wildrosies--I will just look at this vote by the party.

The proof of prejudice is evident in the voting patterns of PCs and Wildrosies. It is a shame we need these sorts of proofs to find out who we really voted for --and it is shameful that I voted for this sort of junky thinking --in educated people such as Mr. Hancock who weaseled out of the vote by not being in the house of corruption. Wonder where the wonder boy was? At home? How convenient. Now he can just yap that he would have voted for the motion to me and then to an anti-coalition mummy he can say --well he didn't vote for the motion (and leave out the fact that he wasn't around to do the voting).
Such a politician.
He deserves to be the premier.


http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/Critics+slam+Wildrose+after+straight+alliance+motion/9716088/story.html
Premier Dave Hancock said he would have supported the motion had he been in the House for the vote, but wouldn’t speculate on whether the government would introduce similar legislation in the future.
*******************************************************

I've always been curious why the folks we pay full salary and benefits to don't appear to be in the house of corruption for the entire job day. What do they do?
Do they yap in private?
Do they stay home?
Why then are we paying them full time wages/benefits?
All the hires should be on the job all the work day.
And they should stay in the house of corruption and do their time there and not miss days without excuses.

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