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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Coulter’

Some of my readers assure me that Ann Coulter means everything she says or writes. Her post about soccer on June 25 was so outlandish, I thought that surely it must be satiric. I still have my doubts. Is she really that clever, or is she really that stupid?

Let’s just pull out her point number 8, a diatribe about the metric system:

(8) Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren’t committing mass murder by guillotine.

Despite being subjected to Chinese-style brainwashing in the public schools to use centimeters and Celsius, ask any American for the temperature, and he’ll say something like “70 degrees.” Ask how far Boston is from New York City, he’ll say it’s about 200 miles.

Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?

— Ann Coulter – America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer, June 25, 2014

If Coulter really means what she writes here: this is idiotic.

Granted, America is the only industrialized nation that does not use the metric system. Only two more nations in the world, Liberia and Burma, also eschew the metric system. I would venture to state that 95% of the world population could not point out Liberia and Burma on a map. So yes, the fact that America is not using the metric system is an astonishing reality in 2014.

Let’s look at the world population compared to Liberia, Burma and the United States:

population 2

This chart shows the relative populations (in millions) of the three countries that do not use the metric system compared to the rest of the world, assuming the world has 7.1 billion people as of 1/1/2014.

 

The chart may be insightful, but I found it more revealing when I looked at in on a pie chart:

population 1

I grew up in one of Ann Coulter’s liberal, socialist, Chinese-style brainwashed, murderous, soccer-crazy and metric system loving European countries: Germany. By being exposed to such brainwashing for the first 18 years of my life, I now have a reasonable grasp of six languages, and I am English/Metric bi-cognitive. That, according to Coulter, makes me a liberal.

In Coulter’s view, I must have be disqualified from ever being a true American.

Regarding the metric system, I have the advantage that I learned it first, and then I became familiar with the English system.

The metric system is an internationally agreed decimal system of measurement that was originally based on the mètre des Archives and the kilogramme des Archives introduced by France in 1799. Over the years, the definitions of the metre and kilogram have been refined and the metric system has been extended to incorporate many more units.

Wikipedia

The United States officially sanctioned the metric system for use in 1866, but it has not adopted it as its official system of measurement.

I can tell you from my own experience that you can learn the metric system in elementary school in a few years and everything makes sense. You can do complex scientific calculations and general math for construction and engineering in your head quickly and efficiently. I have been using the English system now for 40 years, since age 18, and I still – I am embarrassed to say – keep having to look up fluid ounces in pints and quarts, and I still have trouble with weights. I am fluent with temperatures, but I admit that I have a mental chart in my head that is projected overhead whenever I have to deal with temperatures across cultures. The chart looks like this:

English - Metric ChartI find myself referencing the cross reference chart in my head, depending where I am (Europe or US) and who I am talking with. But the temperature scale is the least of the challenges.

In my younger years I built houses. Of course, it is completely impossible to build a house in the U.S. using the metric system. What would be a 2×4? What is a 2×6? The length of a stud is 92 and 5/8th inches. Drywall and plywood sheets are 4×8 feet. Ceilings are 8 feet tall. Counter tops are 32 inches tall. I could go on and on.

Of course, when people compare the measurement systems and they don’t understand the point of view of either, they are confused. For instance, Ann Coulter in her infamous post that I still don’t know if it’s satirical, said:

Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?

Yes, how do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?

orange juiceThe same way you visualize that a carton of orange juice is 1.89 liters!

Sadly, many Americans of lacking scientific education just don’t get it. The rest of the world does not build containers that fit exactly 64 FL OZ (2 QT). They build containers that fit 2 liters.

The funny thing is, I have never in my life seen a 2 liter container a that says:

2 liters = 67.72 FL OZ. How do you visualize 67.72 ounces?

So what’s going to happen? Regardless of the rest of the world, the United States is still the third-largest country in the world by population and is growing. It is by far the largest industrialized nation in the world, and its commerce is founded in the English system of measurements. So I cannot see it changing – ever. My children and grandchildren will need to fiddle with:

64 fluid ounces, how may quarts is that?

Just like I always do.

And what about Ann Coulter? She is conservative, she is loud, but she is not stupid. Therefore, this post must be satire.

 

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Honestly, I cannot figure out if Ann Coulter’s recent column on soccer is satire. If it is, great. It’s funny. If it isn’t – then I have a whole different kind of problem with Coulter.

She says:

Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.

Please, somebody tell me this is satire!

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