Watching the World
Equal Rights for Women
◆ Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is the basic law of the country. The amendment was then sent to the states for ratification. If three quarters of them approve, then it will become the 27th amendment to the Constitution. A dozen states have quickly ratified it already. The amendment is designed to end discrimination based on sex. It would invalidate current laws or practices favoring men, such as with employment and property rights. However, it may also mean altering laws favorable to women. For instance, it may subject women to the draft, make alimony available to either spouse in divorce cases, and alter child-custody laws, which favor the woman.
Why the High Taxes?
◆ The average person complains that taxes seem to go up and up. In fact, they usually do. Why? The Wall Street Journal gives one basic reason: the continued increase of spending by government—federal, state and local. Of all the money spent in the United States, the government now spends 22.2 percent. That is nearly three times as much as 40 years ago. And the money it spends basically comes from tax revenues. Also, the number of persons directly employed by government has multiplied four times in the same period while private employment has only doubled.
Childbirth Practices Questioned
◆ A faculty member of Northwestern University’s medical school, Dr. Niles Anne Newton, claims that some American childbirth practices are wrong and contribute to the nation’s relatively high infant mortality rate. She mentions the following, among others: health teams recommending that an expectant mother keep her weight abnormally low, though greater weight can help to avoid premature birth; compulsory separation of mother and infant in most hospitals, though facts suggest that this makes for poorer mother-child relationships; giving lip service to breast-feeding but then giving directions to mothers that result in breast pain and lower milk supply; permitting the baby to suckle only on a schedule rather than on demand, though the latter has proved superior for both mother and baby; giving drugs to pregnant women instead of warning them against their use; placing women flat on their backs for delivery, though a sitting or squatting position improves delivery.
Friendly Animal ‘Enemies’
◆ According to some authorities, so-called “natural enemies” in the animal world have no real hatred for each other. The animosity comes when they have to compete for food and territory. Joan Luckey, a director of Animal Talent Scouts in New York, says: “Practically any animal raised by a human from a very early age can learn to live with any other animal” when food requirements are satisfied. Most students of animal behavior agree that the conditioning (educating) of the young animal, not just instinct, is the main factor determining how it later behaves.
Myths About Homosexuals
◆ Dr. Martin Goldberg, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, writes in Consultant of March 1972 that some long-accepted ‘facts’ about homosexuals are really myths. One such is that homosexuals are usually men. Another assumption is that homosexuality is caused by some organic or hereditary disorder. But Dr. Goldberg declares: “To my knowledge, no convincing evidence of a true organic or hereditary cause has been established. . . . Most modern psychiatrists view homosexuality as a behavior pattern that is learned.”
Running Out of Water
◆ The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports that the human family will run short of water within a century because of the swiftly increasing demands of industry and an ‘exploding’ world population. Some areas listed as already affected by chronic water shortages are the following: Spain, southern Italy, the Dalmatian Coast, Greece, the Anatolian Plateau, all Arab states except Syria, most of Iran, Pakistan, western India, Japan, Korea, the western and southern belts of Australia and New Zealand, the northwest and southwest African coasts, the American Southwest, Panama, northern Mexico, central Chile and parts of Peru.
Science No Longer ‘Sacred’
◆ At one time science was viewed as a ‘sacred cow.’ Many people felt it had the answers to mankind’s problems. Now that view is changing. In a recent poll, a sizable majority of Americans who were questioned, 76 percent, indicated that they believe that there has been an overbalance, too much emphasis on scientific progress and too little on the human side. There is a growing feeling that science “has failed to solve even the most elementary human problems.”
◆ A science professor at the University of Hawaii believes that world famine is due in several years and will be accompanied by severe repressive measures, turning the world into an armed camp. So Dr. Jan Newhouse plans to leave for a Pacific island where he has purchased land. New Yorker magazine explains: “He has assembled an extensive survival kit that includes essential medicines, birth-control devices, and rudimentary tools. Newhouse and his wife have electively had their appendixes and gall bladders removed and all their teeth pulled, in order to prevent future need for such basic medical services.”
Paper from Garbage
◆ One American manufacturer is said to have successfully recycled unsorted raw garbage into paper that has qualities acceptable for printing. Until now, paper recycling had been confined mainly to paper separated from other garbage, an expensive procedure. The new process utilizes the whole garbage as it comes from the garbage can.
◆ A Stanford, California, psychology professor, Philip Zimbardo, conducted an experiment to create a situation comparable to prison life. The object was to understand better what it means to be a prisoner or a guard. Young men who were considered mature, emotionally stable, normal, intelligent and from ‘middle-class’ families were chosen. They were divided equally into ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners.’ The experiment was to last two weeks. But after six days it had to be called off. The psychologist said that within that short time “the ugliest, most base, pathological side of human nature surfaced.” About a third of the ‘guards’ became tyrannical in their use of power. Half the ‘prisoners’ suffered acute emotional breakdowns. The psychologist was dismayed at the resulting ‘Frankenstein monster’ with “an unbelievable capacity for creative evil.” But long ago, God’s Word truthfully recorded that all humans are born in sin and tend toward doing what is bad, needing the vital instruction that comes from God to set their thinking straight.
Criminals Should Compensate
◆ Quebec is the seventh Canadian province to provide compensation for crime victims. However, so far the compensation has been with the taxpayer’s money. Many now want to know why the criminal should not assume his share of the burden. Montreal jurist Mr. Justice Roger Ouimet says that the criminal “should be made to pay at least part of the cost of his crime.” He added: “An offender who has served his sentence has only discharged part of his responsibility. Compensation is a far greater deterrent than a severe sentence—and a far more positive one.” Compensation by offenders was a major feature of the law code that God gave to ancient Israel.
“They’ll Steal You Blind”
◆ That is the conclusion any manager might reach, suggests Industry Week, after employee theft in 1971 rose to a staggering $16 billion in the United States. A study by the Commerce Department shows that such theft increases about 20 percent each year. The “bluecollar” workers were said to be “small time” thieves compared to the “whitecollar” workers.
◆ Police in New York city captured four burglars who had committed over a dozen crimes in two months. The group was well organized. Three of them would break and enter while a fourth carried a ‘walkie-talkie’ radio and served as a lookout. But an unmarked police car spotted the group breaking into a store after a regular patrol car had passed by and the lookout had given the ‘all clear.’ Three of the well-organized burglars were 13 years old and the fourth was 12 years old.
◆ Dr. Eric Briault, Chief Education Officer of the Inner London Education Authority, reports that in some classes in North London one out of three children are absent without excuse every day. In all London it is said that so many teen-agers are skipping school daily that their numbers could fill eight secondary schools. Yet, these startling figures have been branded as “phony” by many educators. They insist that the situation is far worse.
Salvation Army Dwindling
◆ Apathy toward the preaching of the Salvation Army is hurting ‘recruitment’ of new officers. The ranks of paid full-time officers around the world has dwindled from 27,000 ten years ago to 25,000 now, according to Salvation Army officials.
Whipping Still Legal
◆ Delaware is the last state to hold onto whipping as a means of punishment for any of several dozen crimes. However, while it has been a legal punishment there for nearly three centuries, it was last used in 1952 to administer twenty lashes to a convicted burglar. While some lawmakers have recommended doing away with it, others recommend reviving its use.
Assembly Line Boredom
◆ At one time the mass-production assembly line was considered the ‘last word’ in business efficiency. But now workers are starting to rebel against the discipline and boredom that are products of the repetitious and uninteresting work so characteristic of production lines. The difficulty is especially apparent in the automobile industry, where it is widely used. Absenteeism has doubled in the last few years. In many plants up to 15 percent of the work force does not report for work on Fridays and Mondays. One large manufacturer reported that almost half of its workers did not complete the first 90 days on the job in a recent year. Another reported that the equivalent of 96 percent of its work force had to be hired new each year.
College Sports Changing
◆ Intercollegiate sports are falling upon troubled times. More and more colleges are losing money on their sports activities. Student attitudes in many schools are changing, and excitement for ‘the old team’ is waning. But while attendance at sports events in many colleges drops, costs rise. Because the financial burden gets heavier; numerous schools have cut down sports programs. For instance, New York University, once a basketball ‘powerhouse,’ dropped the sport after the 1970-1971 season because “we were losing $150,000 a year,” a spokesman said. Loyola of New Orleans, once a football opponent of Notre Dame, dropped the last four sports it had—basketball, baseball, tennis and golf, because of losing an estimated $2,000,000 in ten years. The National Collegiate Athletic Association concedes that last year college sports ran a deficit of $40,000,000.
How Many Alcoholics?
◆ Medical World News estimates that in 1958 there were about 5,000,000 alcoholics in the United States. But it estimates that the number was 9,600,000 in 1971. The rise in alcoholism was about five times the increase in population during the period. Also, in one year, 1971, the loss in wages and productivity as a direct result of alcoholism was said to be about $10 billion.