Watching the World
Argentine Beef Crisis
◆ Argentina has long been a major beef producer, consumer and exporter. But the country no longer has enough beef. Experts say at least 55 million head of cattle are needed, but herds have dropped to about 45 million head. Beef prices have risen swiftly. The Buenos Aires Herald reportedly said: “Thanks to a mixture of incompetence and shortsightedness, the very basis of the nation has crumbled.”
Bank Failures Increase
◆ In a 26-month period from the beginning of 1969 up to March 1971, nineteen banks in the United States went out of business. These had 126,998 depositors with deposits of $219,192,000. The failures averaged more than twice as many per year as during the nine preceding years.
No Letup in Taxes
◆ Most taxpayers in the United States already are subject to both federal and state income taxes. But in recent years thousands of cities and counties have begun collecting local income taxes. These income taxes are in addition to other taxes such as property, school, water and sales taxes.
Leaving the Farms
◆ The number of farms in the United States has dropped to about 2.9 million. That is about a million fewer than in 1960. Why are so many farmers quitting? Inflation has caused prices of goods and equipment to rise, but income has not kept pace. Also, taxes keep rising, with no end in sight. A feeling of crisis pervades among farmers throughout the country.
How Much Land?
◆ With cities becoming more congested, it may seem that there is not enough land for people to live on. But that is not the case. The Philadelphia Bulletin states: “If all farmland in the nation were divided equally among U.S. families, your share would be slightly more than 20 acres.”
More Women Sewing
◆ An increasing number of American women are sewing their own clothes. About 45 million turn out some 300 million garments a year. One reason for this trend is today’s high prices for ready-made garments, often of low quality. The cost of the average homemade garment is about 50 to 60 percent lower. Another reason is that many women do not like today’s styles in ready-made garments.
◆ The number of Catholics going to confession has dropped dramatically in recent years. Now communal confessions are being tried. In January the Vatican announced it would consider such a reform. Under the new experiment, those at the church service would simply join in a collective confession in general terms.
Denies Papal Infallibility
◆ Prominent Catholic theologian Hans Küng has denied the doctrine that the pope cannot be in error when he speaks on matters of faith or morals. Küng, Swiss-born theologian at Tübingen University in West Germany, also says that the doctrine of papal succession from the apostles has “feet of clay” because it is unfounded Biblically and historically.
‘No Longer Christian’
◆ England’s Guardian, reports: “England was a post-Christian nation—a land of former believers—Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster, said.” The cardinal stated that religion was no longer regarded as important or relevant. Who but the clergy themselves are primarily to blame for this condition?
◆ Many private institutions such as churches, colleges, hospitals, welfare agencies and cultural organizations depend on voluntary donations for financial support. United Press International editor Louis Cassels says that all of them “may be in serious trouble during the next few years.” Why? Expenses keep going up, but donations do not keep pace. The gap gets wider each year.
Catholic Schools Close
◆ At the end of the school year last June, more than 400 additional Roman Catholic schools in the United States closed, mainly due to financial difficulties. More closings are expected in the near future. The number of teaching nuns and priests also continued to drop.
Clergyman Proposes Fornication
◆ Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Fisher says that unmarried couples should be permitted to commit fornication with the church’s blessing. The Associated Press reports from London: “Lord Fisher, 83-year-old retired head of the Anglican Church, says sexual intercourse between betrothed couples pledged to wed ‘would not be regarded in the moral sense as fornication.’” But fornication is sexual intercourse between unmarried persons—regardless of how the clergy regard it—and God’s Word condemns it.
Permissive Upbringing Backfires
◆ The mother of convicted mass killer Charles Manson said: “If Charles wanted anything, I’d give it to him. He never had to do a thing to earn what he wanted.” She acknowledged that his every whim was satisfied and that, until he “came out to California when he was about 21, he never worked a day in his life.”
“Hate, Conflict, Destruction”
◆ After a heavy-weight boxing match, Toronto Telegram writer Dennis Braithwaite declared: “Love. Bah, humbug! What we really want is hate, conflict, destruction.” He noted that people everywhere “surrendered themselves to the universal cry for blood.” He pointed out that man’s “primary occupation, the main concern of his industry and intelligence, the product of his toil and the purpose of his wealth is to prepare for and to wage war, on scale small or grand; today, tomorrow, forever.” Is that what you want? God promises a new system of things in which peace will prevail.
Lawlessness Continues Rise
◆ Crime statistics for 1970 in the United States show the same trend as in recent years. The grand total of major crimes known to police was 11 percent higher than in 1969, about ten times the rate of population growth. The highest rate of increase, 15 percent, came in the suburbs.
Crime Wave in Ghana
◆ The Ghanaian Times carried this headline: “Crime Wave on the Ascendancy.” It noted that crime in the West African country rose by 85 percent between 1967 and 1969.
Britain’s Worst Year
◆ Last year was the most violent for crime in Britain, says London’s Daily Mail. It spoke of “an unprecedented rise in most types of crime, but the most alarming increase is in violence.” There were, on an average, 100 muggings or other acts of violence every day, twice as many as a decade ago.
Australian Suicides Mount
◆ The suicide rate in Australia increased by almost 50 percent between 1955 and 1965, and is still growing. Professor Basil Hetzel of Monash University listed suicide as the fourth leading cause of death in Australia, exceeded only by heart disease, cancer and accidents.
Epidemic Drug Use
◆ The Perth, Australia, Weekend News tells of a 1,000-percent increase in drug use in West Australia in the past two years. Drug taking has reached what are now called “epidemic proportions.”
Marijuana Effects Serious
◆ After an exhaustive study of marijuana smoking, Dr. F. W. Lundell of Montreal concludes that the effects are far more serious than many people believe. Among the adverse reactions he noted were: mental instability; problems in perceptual and motor organization; inconsistency or a reversal of social values; unbalanced attitude toward food; lack of judgment and fuzziness of memory; a drop in motivation and interest; and emotional irritability.
◆ Health authorities have discovered thirty-eight new cases of malaria in California. This is the largest outbreak of the disease in the United States in nearly twenty years. The outbreak has resulted from contaminated syringes and hypodermic needles used by those who take drugs.
Hepatitis Toll High
◆ The American Druggist recently carried the following item: “Serum hepatitis poses a serious threat in the number of cases caused by transfused blood each year. This means is known to be the cause of 30,000 incidents of overt hepatitis with 1,500 to 3,000 fatalities yearly. However, the annual incidence is estimated to be as high as 150,000 cases since many subclinical cases are never reported.”
Aspirin Allergy Can Kill
◆ The common aspirin can kill or disable those allergic to it. That conclusion was reached on research by Doctors Stephen Lockey of San Francisco and Bernard Fein of San Antonio. In severe cases, the physicians said, symptoms are sudden and include signs similar to those of a heart attack. Fein warned: “The patient may die if not given immediate treatment.”
Deaths from X Rays
◆ X rays used routinely in screenings for tuberculosis, periodic physical examinations and tooth-decay detection may be responsible for as many as 29,000 deaths a year. That was the claim of Dr. Karl Morgan, a director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States. He said that unnecessary exposure, especially in offices of doctors and dentists untrained in radiation protection, accounts for thousands of deaths from genetic mutations, leukemia, thyroid cancer and bone tumors.
◆ The nuclear powers have such a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons that they could kill each person alive with a destructive force equivalent to fifteen tons of TNT. As for conventional arms, the United States is the number one supplier of major weapons to the nations of the world and the Soviet Union comes in second, it was reported in the yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Soaring Cost of Crime
◆ A report from the United States Government in December 1970, revealed that the cost of fighting crime has more than doubled from 1960 to 1970. It was $3.5 billion in 1960 and the estimated cost for 1970 was $8.5 billion. During this time reported crimes jumped up 148 percent. There is no present indication this upward trend will change.
Woodpecker Nears Extinction
◆ The ivory-billed woodpecker, largest in North America and second largest woodpecker in the world, is joining the ranks of the passenger pigeon and dodo bird. This woodpecker, a handsome species with black and white plumage, was last reported as being seen in 1967. Its decline resulted from extensive lumbering operations. When the timber was cut, the birds’ food supply of insects living in the trees disappeared.
Drought in Kenya
◆ Some areas of Kenya have been hard hit by drought. More than 140,000 persons have been placed on famine relief. Cholera is spreading. Crops have been burned by the sun; wells and rivers have dried. Thousands of camels, goats, cows and other animals are dying of thirst.
◆ The United States Public Health Service estimates that there are about 100 million rats in the country. Each is said to destroy up to $10 worth of food and other material a year, a possible economic loss of $1,000 million. Ratologists say the only certain way to control rats is to deny them garbage and other food, as well as the shelter of sewers and buildings.