Letters to the Editor for May 30, 2019

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of  opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

Admission without merit is very wrong

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman could go to jail for using a side door to game an already unfair education system by buying their children’s way into a college and I think that’s not only unjust but, in fact, very wrong.

A former assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Southern California admitted (May 14) to creating fake sports profiles for the children of wealthy parents, including Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, in exchange for bribes.

Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer, mastermind of the “nation’s largest-ever college admissions scandal,” so-called.   Singer pleaded guilty to bribery in March.

There are dozens (perhaps scores) of people involved in offering and accepting bribes for the purpose of obtaining a chip in the big game.  Did these people do wrong?  Of course, that goes without saying.

But here’s the thing – and I really believe we need to think this through carefully until the whole picture is revealed, beyond just the bribery angle. We’ve been granting access into our colleges and universities for decades for reasons totally unrelated to merit, why all of a sudden this immense concern?

I was active-duty Navy (in my 13th year), serving in the Mediterranean aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), an aircraft carrier, in 1973.    During the early ’70s, the Navy (and I assume the other branches of the military) wrangled with the explosive pros and cons of “affirmative action.”

It was determined that in order to “level the playing field,” long established traditional measures of ability, aptitude, proficiency, etc., plus a long list of essential requirements and prerequisites would have to be discarded, tossed to the four winds, never to be seen again.  High standards, fundamental principles and basic but indispensable guidelines that had served our nation well up to that point were abandoned to the ash-heap of history along with Martin Luther King’s dream “that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.”  Almost from the moment he uttered those words we’ve been vigorously pursuing the precise opposite course for the last 50 years.

Not all that long ago UNC-Chapel Hill was found to have admitted some 3,100 students to the “Flagship University” (over a period of 18 years no less), “students” who did not have to attend classes, take tests, or perform academically in any meaningful way.  No one went to jail, in fact, no one hardly flinched. They’d still be doing it today had they not been caught.

Sonia Sotomayor proudly admits to having been accepted at Yale University under affirmative action guidelines because she was Hispanic and female.  She now sits as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and for the very same reason.

Now really, what is the difference between being admitted to college under affirmative action guidelines which have been in place for half a century, or buying a seat for your son or daughter because you happen to be rich?   The fact that you can go to jail for one and not the other aside, in my view, there is no difference.

The standards for acceptance into any college or university should be high (with no exceptions), otherwise a degree from that institution is next to worthless.  The purpose of the United States Navy is to control the seas.  To reduce standard of entry and fitness jeopardizes that mission and puts lives in danger.  You have only to read the news to see the problems the military is having from the academies on down.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong without paying a heavy price.   I see a nation, and a people, that have lost their way.  By exchanging exceptionalism for inclusion, by disregarding accountability and ignoring moral and ethical responsibility, we have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to all that was once great about America.

  David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

 

Third truck pull for Relay Saturday, June 1

My name is Steve Anderson and as the team captain of Macon County Emergency Personnel Relay For Life Team, I would like to tell you about an upcoming event we will be using to raise money for relay for Life.

Sixty percent of firefighters’  deaths are from cancer and we want to help our brothers and sisters defeat this awful disease by doing what we can do. Being a firefighter myself and realizing these stastistics, I approached some of my fellow firefighters and emergency personnel about coming up with an idea to start this team. We are made up of firefighters, EMS and law enforcement officers.

The team wants to raise money for Relay for Life by hosting our third fire truck pull.

This year’s event will include a Fire Truck pull and new this year is a bucket brigade, a BBQ dinner and also a live band concert that evening. We will also have a ton of stuff for the family to do and enjoy. There will be a K9 demonstration performed by Macon County Sheriff’s dept, also a Junior Firefighter obstacle course for the kids. We will also have a bouncy house for the kids along with popcorn snow cones. All this will take place on June 1 at the Macon County Fairgrounds, 441 south here in Franklin.

At the fire truck pull this is where any six-person team pulls a loaded fire truck a predetermined distance the team who does this very hard feat will win a trophy that team gets to keep for one year and of course, bragging rights.

Bucket brigade competition between fire departments is where a six-person team will take a bucket of water and throw that water on to a structure where the water will run off into a gutter system and into a barrel. Once this barrel is overrun the team doing this the quickest will win.

Please come out and help us raise money for Relay for Life and have some fun while doing so.

  

Steve Anderson – Franklin, N.C.

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