Saturday, February 8, 2014

Peace Of Mind: An Elusive State

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas

I have now passed seven years of my 'official' retirement; it will be eight years this June since it actually began, given that I took a six-month leave before starting to draw my pension. According to all of the 'good life commercials,' I should be wiling away the rest of my days on the golf course, on some non-existent yacht, or fleeing harsh Canadian winters via the snowbird route.

Instead, I find myself increasingly restless and angry. Instead of disengaging from the concerns of this world, I find myself drawn into them more. While I would not have it any other way, it does make peace of mind somewhat elusive.

But perhaps, whether we are young, middle-aged, or old, peace of mind should not be our primary goal. Not in a world beset by so many problems, many of which promise to only grow much worse after we are gone from the scene.

In yesterday's post, I commented on the witch-hunt being conducted by the Harper regime against environmental groups that speak out about climate change and tarsands development. With the use of a trojan horse called Ethical Oil, an organization whose roots reach directly into Harper's inner office, and the weapon of the Canadian Revenue Agency, the regime seems bent on silencing those who do not embrace our headlong plunge into climatic chaos.

A story in today's Star provides additional information on this assault against freedom of speech, something we once placed a high value on:

Don’t talk about Alberta’s oilsands and how their development may aggravate climate change.

That’s the clear message from Ottawa to environmental charities being extensively audited by the Canada Revenue Agency to determine if they have crossed the line between public and political advocacy.

As many as 10 green charities are being audited by the CRA, while three say they are likely being investigated on complaints by Ethical Oil, a pro-Alberta oilsands, non-profit, non-governmental organization.

“Their (Ethical Oil) feeling is that by raising concern about climate change and the role of tarsands expansion . . . it is political activity,” said Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence, one of the three green groups that acknowledged it is being audited on the basis of complaints made by Ethical Oil.

Please read the entire story here. Weep, and then get angry. Get very angry.


  1. What was it Thomas Jefferson said? "When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty"?


    1. More and more, Neil, I am appreciating Jefferson's wisdom in this matter.

  2. .. behold the Primary Values of Harper - Flanagan - Calgary School Ideology
    and recall how exited these thugs were upon discovering ..

    'bio-politics—a collection of controversial theories on the biological basis for power'

    'on Flanagan’s reading list was one book that had sparked a personal epiphany: Frans de Waal’s Chimpanzee Politics, which won raves from Newt Gingrich in The New York Times. A study of the world’s largest captive chimp colony at a Netherlands zoo, it chronicles the scheming, coups, and ultimate murder of the would-be alpha male, Liut.

    Ezra Levant, then still a student, remembers being riveted by Flanagan’s lectures on the subject. “It was the most radical class I ever took,” he says. “If a series of young males were fighting for power, a thoughtful chimpanzee would make alliances with all the losers and eventually take over the group.”

    (Marci McDonald)

    Thus we find our country with a 'thoughtful' loser..
    leading a lame, disingenuous, weak group of losers .. cowards .. bullies

    An ideological parasite named Stephen Harper
    bereft of an original thought or idea or ethic
    telling Canadians his values are our values ..
    some of which are ..

    Cowardice, Duplicity, Manipulation, Myopia
    Obstruction, Omnipotence, Vanity, Hiving
    and never overlook Abject Conceit ..
    and Arrogance .. & Ignorance
    Presumably believing they are too smart to be caught
    & Canadians are too stupid and helpless, anyway ..

    'Sociopathy .. is never benign .. it is Malignant' .. the Salamander, 2013

    1. Thanks, as always, Salamander, for your commentary. I was not aware of Flanagan's reading choices, which, as you suggest, are quite revelatory of the man. And I will check out the Walrus profile. Although we subscribe to the magazine, I must have missed it.

  3. I'm on the other side - 8 years before I can retire. I'm chomping at the bit to have time (and hopefully continued good health) to.... something.... to write more, petition more, storm the beaches of Ottawa. Maybe that will never come to pass. Maybe I'll become complacent. But while I'm still enraged, I'm feeling trapped by a job that keeps me increasingly more and more busy with random new rules and checklists and spot checks on our classroom habits - a job with frequent reminders of how easily we can be fired if we don't toe the line. I told my kids just yesterday that it sometimes feels like a conspiracy to keep the educated too busy to revolt adequately. So, good on you for being angrier! There will be time for peace of mind when we're laid to rest.

    1. Well-said, Marie. I came across a Noam Chomsky observation the other day that validates your sly suggestion about education. if I find it again, i will put in on the blog.

      As for your thought that you may become complacent in retirement, judging by what you write on your own blog, and the education you are attempting to impart to your students, I think that is highly unlikely!

  4. I was reading Stephen Hawking and came across this question he posed:

    In 2007 he posed this open question on the Internet: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” A month later he confessed: “I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face.” The Guardian, Britain.

    Maybe the end of human species is not that far in the future.

    1. Thank you for a very provocative quotation, LD. I must confess to feeling similar sentiments in my darker moments, but I'm not quite ready yet to throw in the towel. I have always believed, and still do, in fighting the good fight, even if the prospects of victory look dim. I suspect that is something most people who write progressive blogs hold to as well.