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Viewers Speak: Metric System and Political Leanings
Jun 30, 2014
Editor’s Note: The following comments were received following the June 28-29, 2014 edition of U.S. Farm Report…
VIEWER REACTION #1: I'm sorry but after World War II we had conquered the Germans and Japanese. It was at that point that we should have imposed our system upon the world since we paid to restore Europe. It would have been easy to make the inch the "centi-inch", the yard the "yeter", the quart the liter etc. We were in a rush to be so European. The Engineers and Surveyors routinely use inches, feet, and yards in 10ths so it could have been done. I don't want to be French so let's continue with our measurement system whether France likes it or not. Tom Jacques - Hartville, MO
VIEWER REACTION #3: Mr. Phipps, thanks for your fine job….now comes the "but". Please, since you are well educated, please consider this. In your commentary on Sunday June 29, 2014 I think maybe you appear to be somewhat misinformed on the ways of our Governmental process. Many of our procedures are based on Rome and Greek Law. We have a system of checks and balances. Each Branch has a purpose. The executive branch executes the laws. The congress takes issues and hopefully passes laws by the will of the people. The Supreme Court is to test the Constitutionality of measures passed by Congress and executed by the president. This is our process. Now to your premise of gridlock – liberal and conservative - the wings of the parties are becoming more extreme – yes…but why? Our nation has survived by only one premise – the rule of law - the Constitution. In my opinion the real battle is the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party thinks the constitution is a living, breathing document. The new very conservatives believe the constitution is the law, unyielding to the whims of people. If you have a legal document that can be changed by the wishes of man and because man is a fallen, selfish creature, he will work the system to his favor. These new, so called tea-party conservatives believe in the strict interpretation of the constitution. So where in lies the war or gridlock that you mentioned. We as a nation need to make a decision – The rule of the law or anything goes.
Craig Winters - A North Iowa Farmer
P.S. Was in Central Illinois last week – to Lincoln. Do you have a corn crop or what!!!
VIEWER REACTION #3: I did see your discussion of the metric system and did see your request for listener ideas on this as an issue. I did not get the email address or site location you flashed on the screen. I tried various searches and could not locate it. I would like to discuss the views you talked about. The metric system is not a perfect system. It is an arbitrary system. It is a conditional system. It is an authoritarian system. One may say it is based on 'tens', but a metric minute is based on the Babylonian system with 60 as its base. It does no better at defining 'zero' than any other system. When working internationally on programs, I found one country using millimeter, another centimeter, and another meters. It is very non-standard in Europe as well. One uses a zero point, for locations on the aircraft, defined way up front of the aircraft, another uses a point way below the aircraft. Zero is not defined, and its conditions are acknowledged. The metric system is a system devised by a dictator and to accomplish his intentions, the intentions of a dictator; Napoleon. Napoleon did not win his war, the rest of the world did.
In college, MSU, I had to memorize a German poem; 'If Germany had won the war' [Wenn wir das kreig gewonnen hetten.] by Erick Kestner. It talks about what the world would look like if Germany had won the war. Germany used the metric system. They had the best scientists of the day, we are told. American politicians believed this and after the war they employed only German rocket scientists to employ and technically run our Space Program. These German Engineers were no better than, and probably far worse than Goddard, aka The Father of Modern Rocketry who achieved the first successful flight with a liquid-propellant rocket on March 16, 1926. Van Braun and the other German scientists had employed slave labor, in Germany, to accomplish their ends. American rocket people could have been hired, people could have been trained in rocketry and by Oct of 1957 when Russia launched and orbited 'Sputnik' we would have had a better technical program in America. For one decade, working on the goal 'to place a man on the moon, in this decade.' America made strides in technical things. Germany did not win the war. The metric system did not win it either. American know-how placed a man on the moon, and brought him home. These days the Department of Defense, DARPA, says the United States has lost a vital national resource and it must be replenished. Israel and Japan are providing the technical innovation at the heart of many DOD projects. It is not supplied by Americans. Others are being employed to supply such technology, just like after WWII. DARPA is once again playing catch up, where American Education has failed them. American Education promotes the metric system heavily, and fails to teach innovation, initiative, inventiveness, and decreases intelligence.
The metric system is a system employed by tyrants. It is an authoritarian system. That being said, if it were a 'perfect system' I would consider it seriously. If it had a technical advantage over some other system, not just an arbitrary choice from a tyranny with no other difference from any other system, I would consider it. If anyone actually proposed building 'a perfect system' I would applaud it. Define zero. If it is to be conditional, then define it that way. If a length is defined in terms of an arbitrary (a platinum-iridium bar in a vacuum enclosed chamber in the Louvre in Paris, France), say it is an arbitrary, don't say it defines space. Don't say that it is any different, or more perfect, than the platinum-iridium bar in a vacuum enclosed chamber in the Tower of London, of another workable system. But to accept an arbitrary system from a tyrant that lost the war, or from a political system not in the best interests of the people, or from an educational system that does not know how to provide for students that are the best in the world. No, I don't buy it. Offer me a better system, not an arbitrary one...at my cost. Tell me how it is conditional, don't leave us hanging with a zero that is not defined, like Einstein using an equation like E = Mc^2, that was derived with an equation where the speed of light was divided by zero, or we could say, not valid at all. Not a high point for German Science or the Metric System. Leon L. Hulett, PE
VIEWER REACTION #4: I am a long-time viewer. Your program has gotten to be very boring. The first half is a total waste. I disagree with John Phipps liberal views 90% of the time. Put together a program of interesting stories. Help promote agriculture to the 99% of the people not engaged in farming. (It’s) time for John Phipps to go. Merle Anderson