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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
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July 14, 1977     The Perkins Journal
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July 14, 1977
 

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6-The Perkins Journal Thursday, July 14, 1977 Get ready for the Metric System [Editor&apos;s Note: There is much discussion, pro and con, as the United States embarks upon Metrication of their measuring system. The following report taken from the May 16 issue of SPOTLIGHT, a weekly news. paper printed in Washing- ton, D.C., explains some of the problems concerning this project. We are also reprint- ing it here because it gives some history of the measure- ment system, as well as the metric system which many may not be aware of. The Journal will welcome re- marks from the "other" side, or from Journal readers concerning their views on the conversion to metrics. ] WASHINGTON--New in- formation uncovered by The SPOTLIGHT shows that "metricating" the U.S. will cost you tens of billions of dollars while international bankers and multinational corporations will reap the benefits. "Metricating" the U.S. means abolishing the inch, foot, yard, mile, ounce, pound, quart, gallon and every other traditional mea- surement and replacing them with international metric units. Last week, The SPOT- LIGHT examined the esti- mated $100 million cost of changing the nation's speed limit signs to the metric system. The $100 million figure is the "official" estimate. Private estimates run considerably higher. But changing every speed limit sign on every road in the country is just the government's foot-in-the- door. The bureaucracy plans to ram the metric system down your throat in every- thing you do.  So if you re a homemaker ho sews your own clothes, regulations, the speed signs will only be in metric--not even a transition period of both metric and miles-per- hour so you can get used to the changeover. And how high is your truck? You better watch those underpasses. When the height-restriction sign as you approach an underpass has a big "4" on it, that will mean four meters clearance. But your truck is 11 feet, 10 inches high. An inch is 2.54 centimeters. A meter is made up of 100 centimeters. Quick, do the calculation. But remember that one meter is just over 39 inches. And while you're working on that, a speed limit sign says "50." Hurry, do the calculation from 50 kilome- ters-per-hour to whatever mph. A kilometer is three- fifths of a mile. A mile is 1.6 kilometers. Just hope you don't shear off the top of your truck going into that underpass, and watch out for "smokies"--the speed limit changeover will be a boon to states wanting to drum up some cash with more speed tickets. If you're a carpenter, homebuilder, or even a prospective homeowner, the metric craze will cost you time, money and efficiency. Since Colonial days, the home.building and construc- tion industry has been geared to the English system of foot-pound-gallon. But not even the housing industry will be immune from the metricrazed bur- eaucrats. The housing indus- try is already in a depression and metric conversion will hurt it more. Metric conversion will affect everything in the building industry since ev- erything that goes into construction is based on 'inehev and pounds-per- quare-inch. House framing  100 years ago. But where did this "metric madness" come from and why is it being rammed down your throats now? The first country the metric system was introduc- ed in was France, but it took a revolution to do it. On May 8, 1790, less than a year after the French Revolution be- gan, the radicals forced the metric system on people. In fact, the metric system was based on a very inaccurate system of decimal fractions of the quarter meridian running through Paris. But the radicals were determined and the metric law was enforced by spies and the secret police. Everything was "metrica- ted". Months were divided into three periods of 10 days each and days were divided into 10 hours of 100 minutes of 100 seconds. So fanatical were the metric zealots that they made it a crime to buy or sell anything by the dozen--you had to buy 10 or 20 of what you wanted. But the committee that worked out the metric measurements was amply rewarded for its work. On August 1, 1793, the Weights and Measures Committee was taked for its work--and Lavoisier, the great scientist and principal member of the committee was sent to the guillotine. Many of the metric fanatics had lost their heads, but not like Lavoisier. Finally, the Emperor Napoleon brought back the Gregorian Calendar in 1805 and also permitted use of the traditional measurements, freeing the French people from the burden of the radicals' legacy. And al- though the metric system was returned by law in all measures except time in 187, even today many French secretly use the billion. All that money, drained from the economy, will be unproductive. Not a cent will be used to build plants, hire workers, build houses, plant crops or anything else that is truly productive. It will all be used on changing road signs, redesigning machinery to fit metric standards and the like. Gross said: "Every dollar of the cost will ultimately be paid by (you,) the purchaser, customer and consumer." Who will reap the bene- fits? The multinational cor- porations that owe allegiance to no country and want the U.S. to adopt the metric system to help their corpor- ate profit sheets. This does not mean that "businessmen" favor metric conversion. On the contrary, all but the very biggest businessmen will lose much from conversion. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) says that: "Forced conversion to the metric system could prove the difference between success and failure of many small firms that do not have the capital or the expertise to make the transition." But the very large multinational corporations want to be able to standarize their holdings, so they want the entire U. S. to convert to the metric system. For instance, they want to he able to ship widgets, made in Mozambique (labor's cheap- er there) everywhere in the world. A single standard of measurement enables them to keep their costs down. As long as the taxpayers pay for the conversion, they don't care. One multinational com- pany pushing for conversion is the Bendix Corporation, which has promoted the metri system ifi its era' pounds, so if you're out to get two pounds of coffee, you'll end up paying for even more. A liter is about five percent more than a quart, so the cost of your milk will be going up too. In fact, all your spending habits will be invisibly restructured to benefit big business. All this metric madness-- beginning with the plan to turn speed limits to metric-- can be repealed. The first step is to prevent the FHWA from implementing its plans for roadside signs. The address to write to the FHWA to comment on their proposed regulations is: FHWA Docket 77-7, Room 4230, Federal Highway Administration, U. S. De- partment of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590. But that's just the beginning. Public outrage can easily prompt Congress into repeal- ing the 1975 Metric Convers- ion Act, from which the FHWA regulations and all the other conversion plans flow. Your representative's ad- dress is: House of Repre- sentatives Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Your senator's address is: Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. 20510. -O- Local Item Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Allison and son from Farmington, New Mex. were recent visitors of his mother, Mrs. Florence Allison. Then on July 2nd other family members from Guthrie, Tulsa and Dallas were guests of the Allisons, also Mr. and Mrs. Charles Minnick and. daughter of Oklahoma City called in the evening. Forno rational reason- The two most frequent arguments heard on behalf of converting the U.S. to the metric system are that, "Everybody else uses it so we should too," and "It's so much simpler" than the traditional English system of foot.pound-gallon measurements. But just how simple is the metric system? For Britain, it has turned out to be a disaster. Britain is now in the 12th year of its "10 year plan" to go metric and it's estimated that it will take another five to ten years. In addition, British shopkeepers complain that being forced to use the complicated metric units drives away balky customers. But British shopkeepers are fined if they don't observe the metric requirements. The zealotry of British bureaucrats compares favorably with the fanatacism of the French revolutionaries who first introduced the metric system, however. The French radicals had people thrown in jail or beheaded if they failed to honor the metric system. But it is true that about 90 percent of the people in the world live in countries using the metric system. Such industrial giants as Outer Mongolia and Afghanistan are on the metric system. Super-powers like Chad, the Sudan and Mauritania also use the system. But if everyone should use one system of measurement, why not one language? If only 10 percent of people use the English system of measurement, only about 10 percent of the people speak English. If only 400 million people in the world speak English, shouldn't they be required to switch to another language as well? Perhaps Chinese. After all, more people speak Chinese than any other language. But to avoid argument, how about "Esperanto? .... Esperanto" is the "universal language" invented by an internationalist European intellectual decades ago. And isn't internationalism the real key to the metric debate? When the internationalists are done, there will be no differences between nations. National identities will be gradually phased out, to be replaced with "international citizen- ship." And doesn't every international citizen need a world government to tell him how to run his life? Why, after all, should the U.S. adopt the artificial metric system? A meter, the standard metric length unit, is defined as "1,650,763.73 wavelengths in a vacuum * of the orange-red line of the spe&rum of the element krypton-86." What possible tion" have to anything you might your everyday life? You'll spectrograph now, too, in addition to! calculators and computers. Natural measuring units, as op the artificial metric units, have beeal history of the great civilizations. In $,Wl: B.C., the Egyptians standardized cubit, their main measuring unit. It equivalent to what is now 18.24 i.,i the length of the bent forearm fro .... point of the elbow to the tip of the mTi finger of the outstretched hand. ,_<' Would the Egyptians have been able,' build the pyramids if they'd b shackled with the metric system? ! cubit was used to build all .  pyramids--and so accurate a mesS ment was the cubit that each side of !i Great Pyramid measures 500 cubits, all measurements are in multiples fractions of cubits. The perimeter ofi pyramid measures 2,000 cubits--one' a meridian mile / froir The meridian mile also dates ..I .,- least 4,000 B.C. It is still used by se the world over today. It consistedof cubits or 1,000 Egyptian fatho ': I fathom originally being about six . long. It too is still used today, and I another natural measurement, this tip ! the length of the outstretched arms. In fact, the ancient Egyptians / Chaldeans were so accurate in  astronomical and land measuremenll:,. made with the meridian mile--that e greatly im rove  . modern science can't p il  jj these 6,000-year-old measurementsi_. The Egyptians also used the span ' length between the tips of the thumbnail I little finger of the outstretched hand.  l:It "just happened" to be exactly one-h cubit. The universal size of the brick, s<,.. use today, was based on the span. #.U in The statute mile is almost equallhe -- old. One thousand paces was establi as the statute mile several hundred before the birth of Christ. That was to 5,000 feet, or four-fifths of a meri mile. ! / / The ancients were so much more aw of the accuracy of natural measureme:a,. and the use of correct numbers, that th systems are still accurate : : today. / divided The Chaldeans first the c" ' into 360 degrees several thousand Y ago. They knew the value of the null six, as opposed to the sterile de system based on 10. The numbers two, six, 12, 36, 360 and their was the system their calculations based on; calculations that improved on even today. you'd better get ready to studs are 2-by-4 inches, traditional measurements ployee newspapers for years. -o- throw out all your patterns. Rafters and joists are 2-by-6 despite laws enforcing met- Secretary of the Treasury application could this bizarre "define- They'll be useless once the or 2-by-8, Bricks are just ric use. Michael Blumenthal is a bureacracy shoves the metric under 2-by-3-by-8 inches, an The U. S. never paid much former Chairman of Bendix system onto cloth manufac- easily handled size. Cement attention to the metric and is also a member of the turers. Of course, you can blocks are usually eight system until 1975, when 300 Trilateral Commission. always "convert" your pat-inches high and eight inches representatives passed a bill In addition, metric conver-I / Ci[/ttO  terns to metric measure- long, their thickness either to make use of the metric sion will also hurt the U.S. ments--ifyou have an IBM four, eight or 12 inches, system compulsory. The defense capability. The De- 360 computer. Again, experience shows Senate had already passed it. partment of Defense's report Likewise, you can throw these are the most easily The 63 members who voted on metric conversion found your cookbooks and measur- handled sizes. Try convert- against the bill were the that: "The added costs to  cstoe V y 16  ing cups and measuring ing all those measurements most far-sighted members of maintain constant (defense) spoons. Cups and teaspoons to metric, the conservative ranks, capabilities while converting will be out, along with Since building involves so although some conservatives to the metric system is _4-"1"'1J- everything else Yu're famil" many Prfessins and indus" were duped ant vting fr estimated t be apprxi"  D[/ j ! ear with--metric will be in, tries--surveyors, architects, the bill, which President mately $18 billion (in 1970 which means you 11 have to engineers, building inspect- Gerald Ford then signed, dollars) and are such that know how to cook with ors and product manufactur- How much will total metric they cannot be absorbed kiigrams f sugar' millili" ers--everyne invlved has cnversincostyu?Yuwill withut deteriratin fthe " '" r " ters of mdk and scores of to speak the same language, bear the cost, one way or (U.S.)mdltarypostu e. otherarca, nemeasurements. They already dowith inches, another. And who will Huge corporations that watch out. You d better get a square-inch. After metrica- also reap a bonanza from portable calculator to handle tion", perhaps everyone in Former Rep. H. R. Gross conversion. They'll be able ,--"I the conversions from the the building will, also be (S.lowa) sald the total cost to sell larger, more expen- at t metric speed limit signs to required to learn Esperan would reach $60 billion. And sive quantities of their mile-per-hour. Under the to, the universal language that was a few years ago, so products to naive consumers. Federal Highway Adminis- some pointy-headed Euro- inflation has already pushed A kilogram is about 10 tration's (FHWA)proposed poan intellectuals concocted the cost up at least $80 percent more than two Agricultural Weather ForecaSt Farm and Ranch Forecast for Week Ending: July 19, 1977 WEDNESDAY July 13 H. 97 Lo: 77 RH% 35 Fair Furnished as a Public Service by Oklahoma Farm Bureau Prepars#, by Weatnerscan Interaational Bethany, Oklahoma NORTH CENTRAL OKLAHOMA THURSDAY July 14 Hi: 98 Lo; 78 RH'/. 35 Fair FRIDAY July 15 Hi: 99 Lo: 78 RH % 45 Fair SATURDAY July 16 Hi: 97 Lo: 75 RH % 35 Fair SUNDAY JulY 17 Hi: 96 Lo: 76 RH % 35 Fair MONDAY July 18 H;: 97 LO: 76 RH % 45 Partly cloudy TUESDAY July 19 H;: 98 Lo: 77 RH % 35 Fair I STATEWIDE SUMMARY: Temperatures will tation viii be sparse. sections as weak upper Major storm track viii remain well north of 0kla. continue slightly above seasonal norms. Prectpi- Best chances for rain will be in northern level disturbances move across the state. 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