Metric Conversion and the Assault on Reason

Posted: January 14, 2008 in Personal Growth

According to The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, December 23, 2007:


It was on this day in 1975 that Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act and started the "go metric" campaign with school activities, bumper stickers, public service announcements, and wall charts. But in 1982, Ronald Reagan disbanded the Metric Board and canceled its funding. The metric system was developed 200 years ago, during of the Age of Reason, and is based on numeric intervals of 10, while the U.S.‘s measurement system is based on seeds and body parts. Today, the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only nonmetric countries in the world.

Ok, so I’m skeptical. But, it is possible that this could have happened. Inasmuch as some presidents take the initiative and do things that are apparently unconstitutional. I can’t imagine the legal basis for a president to override a congressional act with a presidential proclamation. It is only – in my view – possible with a complacent congress. I could find out if this was a Democratic or Republican congress; but what would be the point? We are finding that this supposedly opposition congress is almost as complacent as the Republican one that preceded it. Yes, there are many congressional investigations; but I am wondering if they are merely for show. They do make good theater. If I were into masochism I would turn on the channel that shows congressional goings on.

I guess if anybody cared somebody would have sued and gotten the proclamation overturned. But the vast – or half vast – public consensus that the rest of the world be damned: we should stand our ground and keep the English system of weights and measures. After all, our forefathers came over on the Mayflower[1].

It is interesting to me that the metric system of weights and measures was created during the age of reason. I wonder if Al Gore has included this little tidbit in his book The Assault on Reason. If I don’t get that book for Christmas, I will purchase it the next day, I swear.

So, I blame a complacent congress and an equally unconcerned public for this mischievous presidential sabotage. But, what if I did some research and found out that somebody did sue to get this non-sense reversed? Could a politicized court have put the stamp of approval on this? Ya-think?

I will have to write another essay on my take concerning this Democratic congress being complacent…

[1] This is a quote from “Stan Freeburg Presents The United States of America” – I think. It is meant to be humorous; and is symbolic of an arrogant nationalistic attitude.


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