Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sustainability

When embarking on a new endeavor, a good question to ask is "Is it sustainable?"

For instance: A diet, or an exercise program. You may start out all enthusiastic, but can you sustain the effort and care needed to succeed?

Raising animals: Can you sustain the expense or effort required to take care of the animals? Vet bills, feed costs, etc?

Ideals: Can you sustain the effort to protect your ideals, even in the face of stiff opposition?

This all bears on me. I'm currently looking at how we raise our animals, and it's not sustainable. We currently buy a lot of feed, and we're getting little return for it. Some eggs, some rabbit meat, but not nearly enough to justify the expense. It's not sustainable. So I'm exploring ways to make it more so.

Diet and exercise are on my mind a lot. My health would improve greatly if I can drop 40 lbs. It's simply a matter of, what can I do that I can sustain to get that kind of weight loss, and keep it off?

Ideals: I see the supreme court decisions today, and I see the uproar over the Confederate Flag.

I'm happy the ACA is upheld; I think healthcare should be kept affordable for all, and those without means should be aided in obtaining it. My fear is that the way it was upheld will lead to other similar issues. The 'Rule of Law' would state that what the law says, it means, and the way it reads, the subsidies are only a benefit afforded to those exchanges established by the State, not the Federal ones. It's simple enough to walk an amendment through Congress and change the language. That's done all the time.  However, SCOTUS has told us that what the law says is not what it means, and that what it means needs to be interpreted in the wider reading of the law.

This is the issue that fundamentalists run into with the Bible. Every verse needs to be read in context with every other verse, and all of a sudden you get a religion that preaches the opposite of what the book says.

With this ruling, we've gotten the result we wanted, but we haven't fixed the problem.

The uproar over the Confederate Flag upsets me for three reasons: First, it's the flag of an unsuccessful rebellion. It should not be flown on any public grounds. Period.  Second, private companies taking it down seems like an overreaction, as we still respect freedom of speech in this country, and an individual or private organization should be able to fly the flag if they so desire. Three, it's distracting from the very real problems we have of racism, over and possibly incorrect medication of the mentally ill, gun control, and all the various other things we have to talk about. The flag is a quick, easy symbol, and by destroying it we feel like we've won a victory.

But all we've done is take down a flag. Nothing has changed.  We haven't fixed the problem.

As a society, as a culture, we've been doing this for some time. We sort of sideways avoid the problem. We put a band aid on, we throw a tarp over the hole in the roof. But we still have a wound, still have a hole in the roof. It still needs to be addressed head on, no matter how much we dislike blood or manual labor.

Eventually, these problems will fester, or the temporary solutions will create problems in and of themselves. Once the problems will no longer be ignored, it may be beyond our ability to address them.  The wound may bleed out, the house may collapse.

These sorts of 'fixes' are not sustainable. Eventually, the bill will come due.


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