A handful of Columbia-area residents gathered Sunday on the University of South Carolina campus to remember the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, according to a story in The State newspaper
While the article stated that remembrance, not blame, was the theme for those who attended the hour-long gathering, it would appear that some on hand held the US culpable for the bombing, which claimed more than 70,000 Japanese lives but also helped convince the country’s leaders that resistance was futile and led to the end of World War II.
“It’s not pointing fingers, but it’s accepting our responsibility in this act,” said Hal French, a semiretired professor in USC’s religious studies department and Honors College.
“If we don’t remember, we are doomed to repeat this,” said Sue Gerdes, of the Columbia Friends Meeting.
While their intentions may be good, the fact remains that as awful as the atomic bombings of Japan were, they almost certainly saved many more lives than they cost.
Beyond the estimated 1 million American casualties that were expected if the US had had to invade the Japanese homeland, the toll on Japan’s civilians would have been catastrophic.
From Wikipedia: Faced with the prospect of an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands starting with Kyūshū, the War Journal of the Imperial Headquarters concluded:
We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan’s one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight.
Moral relativism is a nice luxury to have when you live in a safe place at a safe time where law and order are the rule. Yes, war is a waste, but it’s also unavoidable sometimes.
The fact is, there are times when evil has to be confronted. And, often, there is no way to stop evil except by force, and when one chooses to use force, terrible choices must sometimes be made.
Some good news and bad news for Peoples Bancorporation of Easley, SC:
The parent of Peoples National Bank, the Bank of Anderson and Seneca National Bank reported a second quarter profit of $82,000 for the three months ended June 30, a substantial improvement over 2008, when it lost $563,000 during the same period.
However, total nonperforming assets rose to $21.7 million, up from $8.6 million a year earlier, according to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nonperforming assets as a percentage of total loans and other real estate was 5.5 percent for the three months ended June 30, 2009, compared to 2.02 percent in 2008, and nonperforming assets to total assets was 4 percent, up from 1.54 percent a year earlier.
The company deems “it prudent to continue making significant provisions for loan losses during the second half of the year that may exceed those recorded in the first six months, if economic conditions continue to weaken,” the company said in its SEC filing.
Peoples lost more than $8 million in 2008, but managed to post a $558,000 profit during the first three months of 2009. Earlier this year, the company was approved by the US Treasury for $12.66 million under the Treasury Capital Purchase Program.
Stock in Peoples is trading for around $2.70 a share.
Cooked, salted or dried, field mice strung on sticks are sold as a popular delicacy in the country, which is among the world’s least developed and most densely populated.
The mice are hunted in corn fields after the harvest when they have grown plump on a diet of grains, fruits, grass and the odd insect.
Malawi, with a population of 12 million, is among the poorest countries in the world, with rampant disease and hunger, aggravated by periodic droughts and crop failure.
The most widely eaten species is known locally as Kapuku, gray in color and with a shorter tail than the more common rat, according to The Associated Press.
“Young boys have to be quick as they chase the mice through the fields and catch them. But local villagers have also come up with an innovative trap,” the wire service reports.
“One method involves digging holes and putting clay pots filled with water into them. The mouth of the pot is smeared with fried corn husks,” it adds. “As some of the mice fight for the husks, they fall into the pot and drown.”