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Opinion

Colloquialisms come and go but the current usage of “sustainability” appears that it can, well – be sustained. The beauty of the term is that it is a one-word expression with its meaning clearly defined. Two local news stories relate to sustainability. Franklin’s Taste of Scotland (TOS) festival has come to an apparent end after a long run and the Macon County Planning Board looks like it’s going to implode.

There were 15 consecutive incarnations of the Scottish festival. M*A*S*H was a great TV series lasting 11 seasons, but, it too, completed its cycle. In either case, lack of perpetuity is hardly a sign of failure.

 

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As of February 1, 2010, there were a reported 3.8 million words in the Federal tax code or over 800 times the verbiage of the US Constitution. And I thought Tolstoy’s War and Peace (600,000 word est.) was a tough read. Imagine trying to play a game that had rules as extensive as our tax laws and were changing all the time to boot. Let’s see, a bishop can move diagonally as many spaces as possible except on the second move of the game, if the opponent’s queen’s pawn has moved and if the game isn't being timed.

To comply with this gargantuan code, an estimated 6 billion man-hours are needed to process our Federal taxes. We could have every man, woman and child in the state of Arkansas working full time for this task. Their state motto of “The People Rule” could be altered to “The People Decipher the Rules.”

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Teachers punished for defending public education

At 1:12am this past Thursday morning, the North Carolina General Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Thom Tillis made what may well be an unprecedented power move in the Old North State. I’ll let veteran Raleigh News & Observer political reporter Rob Christiansen tell it:

“I’ve watched every North Carolina legislature since 1977 and have seen some powerful political mandarins work their will, including Democrats Jimmy Green, Liston Ramsey, Jim Black and Marc Basnight.”

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It's hard to come up with a 2012 prediction that is going to top the supposed Mayan end-of-world forecast. Not since the advent of Y2K has there been so much excitement about gloom and doom. Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping got some traction last year with his May 21 judgment day prediction, that of course came and went. The Maya no doubt were better with numbers than poor Harold and apocalyptic attention has turned to Dec. of this year as a possible end times.

Even if the the Maya are right, this still leaves me with nearly a full year of predictability. I like making predictions a year in advance, since people tend to forget the “misses” and you can remind them of the ones you get right. Since there are far too many dire trends that we face, I'll leave that to others and prognosticate the positive.

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