I heard on Lateline last night that the US military is asking Congress to approve a further US$190 billion to fund its “projects” in Iraq and Afghanistan, much to the dismay of Congress:

ROBERT BYRD, DEMOCRAT SENATOR: If the Congress were to approve the President’s revised budget request, the total funding for the war in Iraq will exceed $600 billion, 600 billion, billion, billion dollars!

Meanwhile, something I had heard years ago was confirmed in a talk by Michael Walsh on Wednesday. At 100,000 pounds per year, for three years per language, it would cost some 900 million pounds (or AU$2.137 billion) to do some pretty solid documentation work on the 3000 languages predicted to lose all their speakers¹ by the end of the century. In Michael’s words, that’s equivalent to a couple of days’ oil revenue, in an average year. “Where else would you get such value for money?”²

I’m just sayin’, is all.

~

¹We don’t like using the term ‘die’.

²Based on: Crystal, D. (2004). The Language Revolution. Cambridge: Polity Press.