WILTZ: Are we literally poisoning ourselves?Having lost good hunting friends in the not-so-distant past, and having current friends who are suffering, the subject of cancer has more than touched me.
By: Roger Wiltz, The Daily Republic
Having lost good hunting friends in the not-so-distant past, and having current friends who are suffering, the subject of cancer has more than touched me.
When I received my master’s degree in 1970, I wanted to put my new degree to work immediately. I had one self-imposed stipulation. I wanted to live in Gregory County — a place I perceived to be a hunting and fishing paradise.
In late winter 1971, two administrative openings existed: superintendent at Fairfax and high school principal at Burke. I was offered both positions, and I chose Burke. The Burke years proved to be some of the happiest of my life, and that Gregory County outdoor Mecca I envisioned truly existed.
At this same time, a high incidence of cancer seemed to exist in the Burke area, and research was supposedly being done to identify the cause. I don’t believe that anything came of it, but it currently appears to me that the same thing could be said of the Wagner area.
Too many people are victims of cancer, and we know far too little about its causes. If it isn’t hereditary, it makes sense that we must be ingesting a cancer cause in the air we breathe, the water we drink or the food we eat. I recently read some disturbing information in the March/April 2013 issue of Sporting Classics magazine. It was in the “This ‘N’ That” section on page 12. The gist of the piece is that for health reasons, we should eat more venison.
Here’s what the Sporting Classics editors had to say. Recent studies indicate that the antibiotics used to fatten livestock are posing a threat to Americans, and children especially, as their immune systems are less resistant to biological invasions than adults.
Roughly 30 million pounds of antimicrobial drugs are used annually to promote the growth of our cattle, pigs and poultry. We buy this meat in cellophane packages at our super markets. We know far too little about the long-term effects of these drugs in our meat. Furthermore, we aren’t going to readily find the scientific answers we want as “Exemption 4” of the Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to withhold trade secrets and commercial or financial information. With this exemption, I think we’re kind of “shooting ourselves in the foot.”
While proofreading today’s column, Betsy suggested that even a venison-meat diet is flawed as the wild critters we hunt most likely feed at one time or another on wheat, corn or beans that have been commercially fertilized — not to mention treatment with herbicides and insecticides. She makes a good point.
If what I’m inferring has some validity, there are things we can do to cut back on the toxins entering our bodies. We could eat more venison, but I assure you that many column readers are not hunters. We can buy quarters of beef or hogs from farm friends, who do not use growth drugs to fatten their livestock. We can do the same with poultry. Though what I’m saying isn’t new, I’m definitely looking forward to the feedback I get from today’s column.
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South Dakota certainly made the national news when our school districts were given the authority to arm school personnel. I’m a big believer in local control, so I have no problem with the legislation. However, a while back I was asked at a Rotary meeting how I might have felt about being an armed principal at Wagner High School. If the school board had instructed me to carry a firearm, I would have resigned my position before doing so. I don’t want guns in the school. It would be too easy for three or four students to gain control of my gun in a hallway. Improved security is the answer in my opinion.
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What will you be reading about this coming spring in the Nimrod column? I have tentative fishing trips planned for both Lake Erie and Ontario. The Erie trip will be a new experience. I’m also thinking about a May trip to Devil’s Lake, N.D. There will also be a fishing/camping trip on Oahe in June. My only fishing experiences on Oahe have been in the Cow Creek — Spring Creek area, and I’ve never seen the mouth of the Cheyenne. I am excited!
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Last week, I mentioned that Robert B. Stinnet’s book, “Day of Deceit,” confirms that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor before it happened. I also commented that Stinnet sympathized with FDR up to a point. Why was this so?
In 1940, Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan entered into a pact. Attack any one and you’re at war with all three. At this same time, 80 percent of Americans were isolationists. They did not want to enter what would escalate into World War II.
FDR and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were close. England was on its knees as a result of Hitler’s bombing, and Churchill believed the only way to stop Nazi aggression was for the U.S. to get involved. Churchill begged for help, and FDR knew that Churchill was probably right. FDR wanted to get into the war, and the attack by Japan, provoked by FDR, brought us into the conflict by virtue of the pact.
It bothers me that no one seems to care anymore about FDR’s involvement or Pearl Harbor. I agree with FDR and Churchill that Nazi Germany had to be stopped. However, FDR badly underestimated how much damage the Japanese would do at Pearl Harbor. He felt losing a battleship would be acceptable. We lost 2,400 men, seven battleships and countless aircraft.
I’m no military scholar, but I feel that the price FDR paid for American support of the war effort was horrendous. I could be wrong. Perhaps FDR was a genius, but in my opinion, we should take his profile off our dime. See you next week.