Wednesday, October 5, 2011

bits of news

The bits and pieces of news that caught my eye today:

-- Thirty percent of post-9/11 veterans believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not worth fighting, according to a poll. The deaths (6,200 give or take) and the costs ($1 trillion) are among the reasons for disillusionment. How hard it must be to look back on death-defying times, times you survived, and see that effort as a mistake.

-- German prosecutors are reopening hundreds of investigations of former Nazi death camp guards based on a new legal precedent. They're in a hurry. Most of those under investigation are well into their 80's. The prosecutors are aware that these men might die before any sort of 'justice' will be served. Strange to think: The Nazis, during WWII, referred to the death camps in which Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, priests and others it was easy to scapegoat as "the final solution," "Die Endlösung." Perhaps the prosecutions envisioned are another sort of Endlösung.

 -- In Tasmania, researchers have discovered that culling the ranks of Tasmanian Devils cannot curb the spread of an infectious cancer. If I understand it right, the whole effort sounds as if it might be in line for a Tasmanian version of the American "Golden Fleece" award: Spending money to take noticeably infected animals out of the herd while being unable to identify those which were recently infected by the bite of another. At least the Tasmanians have had the good grace to stop the culling ... in America, there is no end to the Golden Fleeces that deserve to be handed out.

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