2000 dogs on streets of Sochi are threatened with death by poison “in time for” the Winter Olympics. Sochi’s dog culler calls strays “biological trash”.

“Not even figure-skating costumes can charm Alan Cumming into watching the Winter Olympics this time around. ‘No. No,’ the actor told the Daily Intelligencer last night, at the New York Fashion Week kick-off amfAR New York Gala. ‘I’m so appalled about the state of LGBT rights in Russia that I just would feel that I was in some way complicit in the terrible persecution that’s going on there,’ he said of the anti-gay ‘propaganda and pedophilia’ law casting a shadow over the Sochi games”.

According to James Surowiecki in the New Yorker: “Whatever happens on the ice and snow of Sochi in the next couple of weeks, one thing is certain: this Winter Olympics is the greatest financial boondoggle in the history of the Games… Corrupt politicians put too much money into physical capital and not enough into human capital. Crony construction capitalism leaves us with too few teachers and too many ski jumps to nowhere.”

No simple homilies or solutions, but why are we there? What is our price for choosing to overlook degradation of humanity and failure of empathy?