The Snnday Notebook What's an Inch? Kansas is going to be feeling its way Into the metric system of weights and measures in the next 10 years whether it wants to or not. The task will be complicated and confusing. It won 't be easy. Change never is. Especially change of something that has stood for more than 200 years. , Housewives will be buying milk by the liter (1.05 quarts), farmers will be planting wheat by the hectare (2.5 acres) and measuring their yields by the kilogram instead of the bushel. Motorists will be traveling by the kilometer and students will be looking for that silly millimeter (0.04 of an inch) on their rulers. State Sealer John O'Neill, resident expert on weights and measures, frankly admits that "there are some third grade students who know more about the metric system than us old- timers." But he says he is fairly sure that Kansas will join the national trend "although it may take more than 10 years here." There undoubtedly will be some attempts to turn the tide, and keep the American way of measuring and weighing. Such attempts have been highly successful in the past. The metric system has been proposed and turned down hundreds of times since the United States became a nation. A strong push shortly before the turn of this century was blunted by a group of American scientists who forwarded a "pyramidology" argument. They held that the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt, had been constructed by the hand of God and by elaborately manipulating the pyramid's dimensions "proved" that the Anglo-Saxon race was one of the ten lost tribes of Israel and that Anglo-Saxon weights and measures, represented by the customary English system that the U.S. is clinging to even as the British are abandoning it, were of divine origin. Where did the inch come from? It came from "three barleycorns, round and dry, placed end to end" in the 14th century. The mile was deduced from a Roman soldier's 1,000 paces. The yard was the distance from the nose-tip to the end of the thumb of England's Henry I. The metric system was established by a group of French scientists and its units are interrelated. These are points to ponder as the weights and measures issue swirls in the days to come. How Not to Save The new Law Enforcement Center, which will open here in November, is a perfect study of unchecked zeal to save taxpayer money. The Center was to have opened in July, and then September, and then October. The hangup now is a very Important sliding door and the delay has been criticized by Police Chief Bob Adams. Adams also notes a lack of electrical outlets in some offices in the Center, an auditorium without chairs and there are four extra toilet stalls with no toilets. Obviously the building committee let this zeal guide much of its planning. In such an atmosphere it isn't unusual to get plugless offices, chair- less auditoriums and toiletless toilets. "Why they put those stalls in is beyond me," County Commissioner John Sutton chuckled when he was told about the extra stalls in the men's and women's public and em ploye restrooms. Sutton voted with the majority on the building committee to eliminate the four toilets. He noted it saved the taxpayers $300 each. He didn't say how much the wasted stalls wasted. He did add, however, that the committee might now have to "put a portable pot in there. . ." That probably won't work. There aren't any windows in the Center, either. The Living Land A true delight in America is to watch an attitude formed into action. It's happening here. There is a move afoot to convert Dillon Park into a national science center that will emphasize nature studies, ecology and conservation. The planners, including Fred I. (Bud) Shaffer, Mrs. Richard Dillon and Bill Mills, envision a Center building near one of the two ponds in the park, development of the ponds into study ares for inland water life and creation of a marshy, semi-swamp situation for other wildlife. It has been suggested that part of the park be returned to a wilderness state and that plantings of trees and shrubs native to Central Kansas is a natural. The National Science for Youth Foundation is providing planning. Federal and private funds will be Thieu Vs. Thieu sought to raise at least $150,000 for the project. The Living Land Foundation is the name of the group that will spearhead the project. The name sums it up. It's an exciting development for America. "I drew life ... bow about you?" "He must be dead . . . my mind just went blank!" Reveal LBJ Memoirs Dick Not Only President Who Felt Press Hostile Anderson By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON - Like most Presidents before him, Richard Nixon feels terribly abused by the press. He is convinced that the press will never give him a break, that he will be assailed in, print no matter what he J does. He has made a fierce re- 1 solve, therefore, not to let! the press get under his / skin and not to be influenced by what he reads in J the papers. Yet in his private conversations, his antagonism toward the press' keeps bubbling to the surface. It has become an obsession that has spread to his aides and permeates the White House. Early in his administration, Nixon decided it was hopeless to try to win over the press. He made a calculated judgment, therefore, that he might throw the press off balance by going on the attack. He gave the assignment to Vice President Agnew who, at first, balked at doing the hatchet work. He told friends, unhappily, that he was expected to take out the President's spite on the press but that the press would strike back at him, not the President. Agnew felt this meant the President considered him expendable. Ironically, Agnew began to relish his role as press baiter, and Nixon eventually had to restrain him. In his speech to the Associated Press managing editors' convention, Agnew wanted to Iambast the three television networks, New York Times, Life, Look, Time and Newsweek by name. The President overruled Agnew and asked him to delete the names. LBJ Anti-Press It may come as a surprise to Nixon and Agnew, but Lyndon Johnson felt the same intense hostility toward the press, thereby demonstrating that the feeling at least is bipartisan. In his unpublished memoirs, LBJ writes: "I did not believe . . . that the nation would unite indefinitely behind a Southern President. One reason the country could not rally behind a Southern President, I was convinced, was that the metropolitan press of the Eastern Seaboard would never permit it. My experience in office had confirmed this reaction." The former President cites what he calls "derisive articles about my style, my clothes, my manner, my accent and my family." Declares Johnson: "I received enough of that kind of treatment in my first few months in office to last a lifetime." LBJ alleges that the Eastern press reflected "a more deep-seated and far-reaching attitude—a disdain for the South that seems to be woven into the fabric of Northern experience." 'Lurid Accounts' He also takes the press sternly to task for its coverage of the communist Tet offensive in Vietnam. "The media," he reflects, "seemed to be in competition as to who could provide the most lurid and depressing accounts." For that matter, the late President John F. Kennedy got so outraged over what the New York Herald Tribune said about him that he angrily cancelled the White House subscriptions. And old Harry Truman, during his White House years, put up his dukes at the mention of the press. Gee, That Was a Close Election! By ART BUCHWALD WASHINGTON — Some of us here, but not all, still have not recovered from the exciting presidential election held in South Vietnam last Sunday. All of us stayed up all night as the election seesawed back and forth, first Thieu then the ballot mutilators picking up strength in the cities. The lights were on at the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. High government officials, whose reputations were at stake on free elections in South Vietnam, stayed glued to their TV sets in anticipation of a new era of •elf - determination for this great bulwark of democracy which all Americans had learned to love and respect. The neighbors.gathered at oar house In the evening. My wife had made sandwiches and hot coffee and we had beer fat MM Ice box. We had set up three television sets in the living room so we could watch ABC, NBC and CBS at the same time. Then was a festive air in the Buchwald room. After eight years our investment in South Vietnam was finally paying off. The first results came in from the town of Bu Dhang Bien. CBS reported 156 for Thieu, one ballot mutilated and 2,345 of the enemy killed. Eric Sevareid came on and analyzed the vote. He said that Bu Dhang Bien had always been considered a Thieu stronghold and there was no reason to believe that this was a trend for the rest of the country. Just then John Chancellor came on with a bulletin that Chu Phuoc Hai had gone for Thieu by 98 per cent, but the highway between there and Saigon was still not safe to travel at night. Cronkite Report Chancellor put great significance in this vote because in 1962 Chu Phuoc Hai had given Madame Nhu a solid majority. He said that the high Thieu vote could be attributed to volunteer work the army has been doing in the past few months, round- in? up the people to vote. Harry Reasoner said that ABC had given the entire Mekong Delta to Thieu—at least those parts of it that still weren't in Viet Cong hands. This was at 9 o'cock. He did say that several ballots, four to be exact, had been mutilated in Due Thanh and. therefore it was too early to predict who would win. Walter Cronkite then started reading returns from the north. Thieu had won in Di Boup, Chu Yang Sin and To Bong. It turned out that To Bong was one of the crucial towns in the election because three of Vice President Ky's relatives lived there. But the police had been campaigning since August and To Bong had gone overwhelmingly for Thieu, with 761 votes for him and 20 students arrested. By this time precincts from all around the country started reporting in. NBC had Thieu leading by 95 per cent of the vote, CBS by 91 per cent and ABC had switched to a rerun of the Monday night football game. But despite the heavy Thieu vote, the ballot mutilators refused to concede to Thieu. NBC and CBS had both set up their cameras in the palace of President Thieu to cover the victory celebration, but Thieu said he wanted to wait until every vote was in before he made a victory statement. The funny thing was that most of us went to bed believing Thieu had been elected president of South Vietnam. When we woke up in the morning you can imagine our surprise to find it was true. News I Hutchinson News Sunday, Oct. 10, 1971 • • Nixon-Dole Ticket? Politicians in Search Of Missing Majority By WILLIAM V. SHANNON (C) mi New York Times News Servica WASHINGTON — In a period of political upheaval such as this country is now experiencing, both parties strive to put together a new majority coalition. This effort shapes Jhe choice of candidates, programs, and campaign strategies. President Nixon's highest political ambition is to convert the Republicans into the nation's normal majority party. As the incumbent, he has the opportunity for successful party leadership because it is easier to widen a political base while exercising power than it is while rebuilding from a defeat. Political parties usually choose presidential candidates who are close to the center of their respective parties. Nixon is no exception. Republicans in 1968 wanted a moderate conservatice who was acceptable to the party's right wing but would not be regarded by the public as a dangerous reactionary. He was also esteemed as a skillful politician who would do what was necessary to win. His narrow victory validated those assumptions, but in the White House, he has not been able to turn his fragile personal success into a broad mandate for his party. The nation continues to have two major rival parties each commanding the support of about 40 per cent of the electorate, while George C. Wallace holds the greater part of the remaining 20 per cent. The present period of party instability can be traced back to the last years of the Eisenhower administration when the huge Democratic victories in the mid-term election of 1958 made it clear that despite his two successful campaigns, General Eisenhower had not transformed the G.O.P. into the nation's majority party. Domestic Rally President Kennedy was well on his way toward re-establishing the Democrats as the majority party on a new, post-New Deal basis when he was killed. President Johnson might have completed the achieve ment if he had not blundered into the Vietnam debacle. By default, the opportunity passed back to the Republicans. Since entering office, Nixon's overriding preoccupation in shaping domestic policy has been to hold the support of the Goldwater - Reagan - Thurmond conservatives and to bid for the one voter in every ten who supported George C. Wallace. This Nixon approach is based upon painful personal experience. In 1962, he defeated Joseph Schell, a right-wing conservative, for the Republican nomination of governor of California. In the subsequent campaign, Nixon denounced the John Birch Society and presented himself as a middle-of-the-roader. He lost. From that defeat he concluded that it Is impossible for him to win without the enthusiastic support of the right wing. He set out to cultivate that support and he gained it. The backing of Senators Goldwater and Thurmond at the 1968 convention blocked Governor Reagan's bid and made Nixon's renomination possible. His bold China initiative has now distressed his ideologically committed conservative followers. Significantly the President has taken care lo win public endorsements for his new policy from Goldwater and Reagan. Nixon and Dole? Against this background, it is highly probable that if Nixon should decide to drop Vice President Agnew for tactical reasons, he will not replace him with a liberal. He v.ill choose the new conservative hero, Senator Buckley of New York, or a safe party regular like Senator Dole of Kansas or Senator Baker of Tennessee. There is political logic as well as personal experience in Nixon's cautious course. But it means that he is locked in on the right. The time has passed when he might have detached a significant number of liberal and moderate voters from the Democratic opposition or the floating center. He can win re-election but he is not likely to establish his party as the strong, stable majority party which is now the missing factor in American politics. Western Front 'More Worthless Promises' Asks About Local To Our New Auto Insurance UN Observances I read the article about how the state improved the auto insurance—. All I have to say is "big deal" to me and any one with an average income. I think it's a candy-coated copy of what we had, except that it has more worthless promises yet to be evaluated, only to keep the federal government off the State's back. I don't suppose the state will turn down all the money that could be called a kick-back. I always thought we paid these people enough to live on. I have to live on $6,000 a year with seven dependents, and I am sure that any one of these state people will double what I get and probably with half the dependents; so why do they have to initiate any further hardships on the people than is a necessity (for either personal or state gains)? This is not the opinion of the people, but only of a few wealthy insurance companies and attor- nies. This is one reason the people weren't given the right to vote on a matter this important. I would go along with the majority regardless of how I felt about the outcome. "Don't you trust the elected men to use their judgment." After what I have seen, no. I frankly wonder how some people get elected; it makes me wonder who the rascal was who put the blindfold on the Statue of Justice. — JAMES H. DOTY, 428 East 5th. Go to School to Learn Not Measure Hair Length Does a dress code affect the behavior of the students at Dodge City Senior High? Have we had knifing in the restrooms as was rumored at the Garden City High School? To set the record straight, there has been no knifing at D.C.H.S., nor any misbehavior directly or indirectly caused by our lenient dress code. Our lenient dress code states that we have to be clean and neat, and we have to wear shoes. The dress of the students at D.C.H.S. is set by their own moral standards, and the general appearance of our student body is quite commendable. We go to school, not to measure length of hair or skirts, but to leam! We have a fine school in which Dodge City takes pride! - MARK OREBAUGH, Member of the Senior Class of Dodge City High School. Other Editors Iola Gives Up Title' (From The Iola Register) Iola gladly gives up its Sin City title, deferring to Great Bend as the more deserving. After all, Attorney General Vern Miller was able to haul the loot away from this modest den of devilment in a couple of car trunks. It took a van and a rented truck to rid Great Bend of its impressive store of slot machines, pimenboards, blackjack tables, chips and dice. Of course, Miller went all out in Great Bend. He invaded the privileged sanctuaries of the Petroleum Club, the hallowed halls of the Knights of Columbus, the brotherly diggings of the Eagles and Elks lodges and raided all three of the veterans' clubs. He was satisfied at Iola with a single call. Iola isn't complaining. We've grown a bit bored with the Sin City jokes by now and are ready to relinquish the title. Great Bend should not be burdened with it long. A. G. Miller is working on the theory it is good to start small and work up. By the time he finally gets around to his hometown it should take a train just to haul away the decks of cards used for gambling purposes in Wichita. On returning to Hutchinson after several years away, I see that The News has maintained its excellence as a 'medium size' city newspaper, not only in your world news coverage but also in local news and such excellent features as Wayne Lee's series on alcoholism. The calendar of local events you apparently publish the first of each month is a distinctive service also. I'm concerned, however, to see nothing listed in observance of United Nations Week, Oct. 17-24 (adding World Order Sunday). When I was here before, quite significant church, school and community celebrations were enjoyed. If such are planned this year, I'd appreciate knowing of them.-DON C. McMILLAN, 724 East A. (The News has received no information on a local UN observance this year. -Ed.) She Agrees That Alcohol Is No. 1 Drug Problem I have been reading comments of Rev. Richard Taylor — thanks for giving us his comments. They are right down to earth where we live. I fully agree with him that "alcohol" is our number one drug problem. You state that most alcoholism rehabilitation experts say it is not alcohol that makes an alcoholic. Any sane person knows that no one is or ever will be an alcoholic unless he imbibes in alcohol. Why make more alcoholics as fast as it is possible, only to make wads of money for the dealers in beverage alcohol? I feel for any poor helpless alcoholic. God have mercy on everyone of them. In one of your articles recently you mentioned that our Governor drinks and wound up by saying, most of our officials drink. If that be true, then I 'm sure it Ls time that the people of this state and nation resolve to have a change in officials. If anyone in this nation needs a clear mind and keen intellect, it is our men and women who are making the decisions daily. — MRS. M. L. GILLUM, Box 207, Johnson. Parents Have Big Job, So 'Let's Do It!' I returned home from the Juco football game, very upset! Firsts the children playing on the field during halftlme ceremonies were told to get off the field and finally a policeman had to tell them a second time. Where were their parents? Second, a gang of (colored) youths surrounded and took money from another (white) youth. Where were their parents? Third, a (colored) teen-age girl called my nine- year-old girl a terrible obscenity. Where were her parents? Is this the reason our teen-agers are in trouble because they are looking for attention they don't get at home? Do parents expect society to raise their children so they can spend their time as they want? We, as parents, have a big job, so let's do it. - MRS. JOHN R. GUERRERO, Jr., 3109 North Plum.
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