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Daily Times tierald EDITORIALS Peacetime POWs Thursday, July 25, 1974 Organic Fai rmmg Few subjects are of such continual, consuming interest (pun intended) as what we put into our stomachs. The author of the latest'diet book, especially if it has a catchy title, can be assured of instant, if fleeting, fame. Cookbooks roll off the presses with a regularity matched only by the Bible. Organic food stores have blossomed across the land. Indeed, one of the most burgeoning businesses — and hottest controversies —these days is the organic food-organic farming movement. In many ways, it has taken on the aspects of a religion, and as with any religion, while there is an abundance of < testimonials from converts about its benefits, there is a dearth of objective facts upon which an impartial person can base a judgment. One hears claims of the marvelous results when farmers switch from synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to compost, manure and natural insect enemies. Their crops are taller, heavier, more resistant to disease, better tasting and more nutritious. Their soil is sweeter and richer, the earthworms more abundant and their families are healthier. This is passing strange, for at one time all farmers farmed "organically." There was no other way. Yet we know that where once one farmer was able to feed a handful of other people besides himself, today only about five per cent of the population supports 210 million Americans with surpluses to spare. Mechanization and chemicals', not organic farming, made this possible. On the other hand, the opponents of organic farming are also sometimes guilty of extremism. Scientists warn that if every American farmer went organic it would doom millions to malnutrition, if not starvation. A symposium in San Francisco last February sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science bore the title, "The Food Supply and the Organic Food Myth," suggesting that the issue was already settled. It is difficult to find an agnostic in this controversy. One expert who seems to have an open mind is Joan Dye Gussow, a nutritionist at Columbia University Teacher's College. One of the troubling aspects of modern farming, she points out, is its ^normous energy cost. The huge "fossil fuel subsidy" represented by nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, tractors, gasoline, irrigation and so forth, was acceptable as long as energy was abundant and cheap. Now that energy no longer is cheap, we see that American agriculture is "efficient" only in terms of reducing human labor. Moreover, agriculture is now the single largest source of solid waste in the United States. Half of this waste — more than one billion tons a year — is manure, much of which does not go back into the soil to increase tilth and fertility as it did 20 years ago but has become part of our solid waste problem. One advantage of organic farming is that instead of producing waste, it attempts to make use of it. It is extraordinary, she says, how much hostility the relatively small band of organic growers and those who consume their products, has generated. "Here is a group of farmers who choose to produce food by a variety of energy-conserving and nonpolluting agricultural methods. They are not breaking any laws; their food is safe and no less nutrious than food produced by farmers using other methods. Surely in this vast, free country we ought to be able to tolerate such independence of mind." The supposedly canny American farmer has not, as some suggest, been sold a bill of goods by the petrochemical industry. Nor does organic farming have all the answers. But it is more than just a fad, and in many ways offers increasingly viable alternatives to an environmentally-conscious generation. Viewpoint U.S. Sets the Pace By Ray Cromley *j Advice Fool Around Men Her Weakness By Abigail Van Huron DEAR ABBY: Al and I were married for three years. I divorced him because I caught him fooling around. I gave him "one more chance" so many times I lost count.' The I met Hughie. He was married, but he caught his wife fooling around, so he left her and moved in with me. He didn't get a divorce right away because of financial problems, but I wasn't in a hurry to make it legal because I wanted to be sure before marrying again. Meanwhile, I grew to love Hughie more and more and started figuring out ways to help him with his money troubles so he could get a divorce and Homemaking marry me. Well, wouldn't you know, I caught Hughie fooling around! It just about tore me up. He swore the chick didn't mean anything to him, and be begged me to give him another chance.. Are all men alike, Abby? Or do you think maybe I can't hold on to a man? LOSING CONFIDENCE DEAR LOSING: All men are.not alike, any more than all women are alike. Your weakness seems to be men who do a lot of fooling around. Every dog is entitled to one bite. Give Hughie another chance, but if you catch him Climate Wrong? By Polly Cramer POLLY'S PROBLEM DEAR POLLY — I will be moving to Florida this summer and have been told I should not take my two leather-topped tables because the climate will cause them to spot and stain. I do not want to part with them. I would like to hear from others living in such a climate as to their experiences with such tables. — H.C. DEAR POLLY — My Pet Peeve is with those women who do not even try to be clean when they use a self-service laundry. In the one I own the washers have complete lists printed on them and say one half cup low- sudsing detergent. Still the women come in and use two to three cups of a high-sudsing detergent and their clothes do not wash or rinse properly because they are over sudsed and then they blame it on the washers. They pour soap all- over the tops of the machines and make no attempt to clean them off. If people want a clean laundry then they should do all they can to help keep it clean. If women do over-suds the washers, they could add a little fabric softener to the wash. It kills the suds very well..—GEORGE. DEAR POLLY — Jacqueline asked if there was some powder she could put on her suede coat collar to keep it from being soiled by body oil. So many women only think of wearing scarves for ornamental or comfort purposes. I also enjoy them for these features but would never wear a nice coat (eliminating knock-abouts) without a scarf to protect the collar from the soil she is dreading. I am amazed she did not think of this. — E.L.A. DEAR POLLY — To keep white shoe laces from becoming soiled and discolored I paint the shoe eyelets with several coats of clear fingernail polish. -PATSY. Barbs There's a shortage of pennies — and we also note a shocking absence of folding money, too. We're back from vacation — the boss just returned from his. Saving-on-metal note: Some typewriter ribbons now come packed with an extra spool. fooling around again, consign him to the doghouse! i DEAR ABBY: I go with this man who likes to drink. He lost his driver's license so I have to drive him around. He tells me that after we are married, he will straighten out. I love him, but I don't believe him. I want to get married, but I'm afraid he won't keep his word'. I've had one bad marriage and I don't want another one. Please tell me what to do. I keep changing my mind. YESAND NO ' DEAR YES AND NO: The word from here is NO! Tell him. tp straighten himself out first, and then you'll marry him. •' -. '.'..''' • DEAR ABBY: My husband and I just had our eighth child. Another girl, and I am really one disappointed woman. I suppose I should thank God she was healthy, but, Abby, this one was supposed to have been a boy. Even the doctor told me that the law of averages were in our favor 100 to one. To begin with, my husband and I decided on only four children, but when they were all girls, he wanted a boy so much we had a fifth. When it was another girl I agreed to try just once more. Well, we got another girl. And still another and another, and now we have EIGHT girls, so I told the doctor to fix me up so I wouldn't have any more. Now I feel guilty for asking to be fixed up in case my husband asks me to try for a boy. I guess I'm writing to you because I want you to tell me that I have done my duty and I shouldn't feel guilty. Will you, please? MOTHER OF EIGHT DOLLS DEAR MOTHER: Absolutely. Don't feel guilty. And it's not too early to start saving your money for all those weddings you may have to foot the bill for. There are many fancy explanations for inflation. But there's one that's real; low productivity gains mean high costs and high prices. Output per man hour in U.S. business and industry grew a paltry 3.3 per cent a year between 1960 and 1974. That contrasts with 11 per cent in Japan and 6 per cent for the major nations of continental West Europe. It compares with 4 per cent for Britain, where industry has stagnated these past few years. The situation is worse even than these sad statistics. Output per man hour here has been increasing only slightly more than 2 per cent annually of late; forecasts for the next decade run between 2.4 and 2.5 per cent, which insures continued inflation. In the long run, improved productivity is normally the result of increased private investment. Those lands with heavy investment show strong upward trends in output per man hour. Between 1960 and 1974, average private investment in the United States was 18 per cent of Gross National Product, excluding defense spending. This was the lo*vest rate of all Western industrial nations. Japan's investment rate was 33.4 per cent, almost double ours. Germany was not far behind Japan with 26 per cent, followed by France with 24. The United Kingdom, with 19, was about in the same boat with the United States. The question then is why U.S. industrial investment has not kept pace with that in foreign countries? The answer is simple. Investments are made when they are profitable; sm.all profits — small investment. To say industrial profits are low will shock many readers. But stock markets give the message loud and clear. Shares of great companies are selling for bargain basement prices. If profits are so great, why don't we all march down to the New York Stock Exchange and cash in on this opportunity? The door is open. But investors are staying away in droves. On the one hand we complain industrial profits are too high; on the other we say they are so low investments aren't worthwhile. We can't have it b'oth ways. Actually, the exorbitant prices we pay these days are — in the main — a result of inefficiency. This is not to close our eyes to some gouging and windfall profits. We can cut profits further and get les^s investment, less earnings and almost no gain in productivity — and higher prices and lower real incomes. It's from the company-income pie that both the worker and the investor get their money. And it's only with increased productivity that a lid can be kept on prices. Without that increase, all the government controls the mind can imagine will do no good. One note of explanation: To be sure, inflation is even greater in Japan, Western Europe and other industrial areas than in the United States. But their problems are greater. They are not blessed with America's huge resources. They must import extremely large percentages of their fuel, food and other major materials. Labor in Europe and Jappn has been making intense efforts to raise wage levels to those in the United States. Japanese industrial workers, for example, have won wage boosts which have averaged more than 15 per cent a year for the past decade — and this year it appears Japanese wages in major industries will go up by a whopping 20 to 30 per cent. Health Is Spleen Needed? Dr. Lawrence E. Lamb, M. D. Firecracker Ban DAILY TIMES HERALD The fireworks manufacturers got their way. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission held back on demanding an immediate nationwide ban, and in states where firecrackers and such are still legal it was a gloriously clamorous Fourth. That should end it. The public interest will clearly be best served henceforth by nationally outlawing sale and possession of dangerous fireworks other than those intended for organized community display. The manufacturers pooh-pooh the idea that firecrackers, torpedoes and other explosive devices are hazardous. The plain fact is that they are indeed hazardous, all the more so because they are handled by children, often without adult supervision. Shooting off fireworks is fun; few would deny it. But the record of harm done argues that it is a kind of fun we can get along without. 508 North Court Street Carroll, Iowa Daily Except Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays other than Washington's Birthday and Veteran's Day, by the Herald Publishing Company. JAMES W.WILSON, Publisher HOWARD B. WILSON, Editor W. L. REITZ, News Editor JAMES B.WILSON, Vice President, General/rtanager Entered as second-class matter at the post-office at Carroll, Iowa, under the act of March 2,1897. Member of the Associated Press The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to the use for republication of all the local news printed in this newspaper as well as all AP dispatches. Official Paper of County and City Subscription Rates By carrier boy delivery per week $ .60 BY MAIL Carroll County and All Adjoining Counties, where carrier service is not available, per year $20.00 Outside of Carroll and Adjoining Counties in Zones 1 and 2 per year S23.00 All Other Mail in the United States, per year $27.00 BERRY'S WORLD © 1974 by NEA, Inc. "I'm glad you like my overalls, but I have a confession to make — I've never done a day's work in my life!" DEAR DR. LAMB — I am writing to you to ask if a person has his spleen taken out does that shorten the number of years he can live? DEAR READER — That is a hard questi9ii to answer unequivocally. Most,,, people have the spleen removed because of some medical problem which is benefited by its removal. In those instances the removal of the spleen should prolong the life and health of the individual. If you lost your spleen from an automobile accident it might not make much difference. Many of the functions of the spleen are duplicated by other • parts of the body. As an example, it produces antibodies important in our immune system, but that function is also accomplished by other parts of the body. So, while the spleen is important, it is not essential to life in normal people. DEAR DR. LAMB — Will you tell me what ventricular tachycardia is? How serious is it and will one always need .drugs to control it? Is air travel allowed in this case? DEAR READER — Tachycardia means fast heart rate. The ventricles t are the heavy pumping muscular chambers at the bottom of the heart. When a spot in the ventricles becomes overactive it can take over electrical stimulation of the heart beat. If the spot causes the heart to beat fast then it causes ventricular tachycardia. Why does the spot get overactive? There are many reasons. In some people it can be from underlying heart disease, including fatty cholesterol deposits in the coronary arteries. In other instances there seems to be no Viewpoint associated heart disease at all. It makes a lot of difference what causes the problem. When the ventricular tachycardia occurs as a complication of a heart attack, it is very important and ,can progress to'rapid twitching of the heart muscle w'ithout any effective full heart beat to pump blood. This is life threatening. I have seen ventricular tachycardia in young healthy persons, sometimes unaware that the attack had occurred if the heart rate was not too fast. When the problem occurs without underlying heart disease, it can still be troublesome if it causes the heart to beat too fast. If the tachycardia is because of heart disease or is fast enough to cause symptoms, then it is usually necessary to take medicine either to abolish the episode or to prevent its recurrence. A person who has recurrent attacks with symptoms, even without other heart problems, usually takes medicine thereafter to prevent future attacks. About air travel, it depends again on the cause. Clearly if the ventricular tachycardia is caused by serious heart disease one wouldn't travel until after recovery. For recurrent attacks without other medical problems, one can travel by plane. Even if an attack should occur in the plane it would be no worse than on the ground. The problem might be in getting immediate medical attention. Commercial air planes are not really that much different from a bus. The cabin altitude is not allowed to be over 7,000 feet and usually is much less than that. Remember, Denver has an altitude of 5,000 feet, and the mountains nearby are much higher. Not a Politician Bv Don Oaklev The outcome of Gen. William C. Westmoreland's brief fling in politics was both unexpected and instructive. When this top-level retired Army officer announced that he would seek the Republican gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina it was widely thought that he would win — probably by an impressive margin. On the contrary he was badly defeated, and has left little doubt that he considers his political career to be over. The question is: Why did the voters so thoroughly reject Westmoreland? He is a handsome man, a man of presence whose air of command has been acquired in the course of a distinguished military career. He enjoys the prestige of having been Army chief of staff before his retirement from active service. When he told voters of his ability to lead, years of leadership experience backed up that self-appraisal. Somewhat paradoxically, his emphasis on leadership in more or less abstract terms may have been one of the factors that led to his defeat. It appears that the» voters were more interested in the candidates' views on issues, above all economic issues. It would seem that they wanted not so much to be led as to be assured that something would be done to deal with pressing concerns. Westmoreland was 'not able to come to grips with such matters in his campaigning. Possibly, too, he was in part a victim of lingering disenchantment with the war in Vietnam. Though his role as U.S. commander there made him well known, this identification may also have been something of a disadvantage. The voters may be "turned off" on military leaders in general, for the time being. Finally, there was Westmoreland's inability or unwillingness to put himself forward as a man of the people. By his own admission he found it hard to relate to the man in the street — to introduce himself and shake hands and engage in the mingled badinage and issue talk that is expected of politicians.