The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on UNC athletics, driver’s ed, guns, GPS ban, lottery, Donald Trump

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


12 steps to UNC delirium

We have learned a lot about “The Carolina Way” in the last few months, and it seems to be a 12-step process in a recent example of 18 years of academic and athletic fraud:

Step 1: Bury the whistleblower

Step 2: Spend $1 million to hire PR spinmasters

Step 3: Conduct obligatory internal review lite 1

Step 4: Ease out unaccountable AD into early retirement with full benefits, move chancellor back to professor

Step 5: Stall, obfuscate, stall, see if news reporters can figure it out

Step 6: Hire friendly investigator, who sees no need to really interview anyone

Step 7: Trot out head coaches to earnestly claim they had no idea

Step 8: Bury whistleblower No. 2: player who took the courses ... well he’s crazy

Step 9: Just to keep him around, extend the head basketball coach’s contract

Step 10: Keep those pesky reporters happy with real investigation

Step 11: Interpret results yourself, take 89 days of NCAA 90-day response period, come up with a new delay to get through football and basketball season, keep the BS flowing to the new recruits

Step 12: Throw Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach under the bus, get her set for early retirement, problem solved!

Geoff Williams



Too easy for ‘boiling kegs’ to get guns

The Sept. 2 editorial cartoon perfectly illustrated our politicians’ basic driving force in our nation’s domestic and foreign policy agenda.

Secluded in gated communities, having an arsenal of killing machines at home and in our possession when we go out, we confidently proclaim we are free to do whatever we want!

Now, because of several incidents of national news of hate-filled killings, politicians are groping on the straw that mental illness is the root cause and not the proliferation of guns. But, as with the recent shooting of the TV reporter and her cameraman indicated, the suspected killer was a “boiling keg,” according to his own words.

It is an educated guess that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals who may be at their boiling point at one time or another, and it is foolhardy to even think of them as mentally ill.

Instead of as the grieving father of the slain reporter did, the media focused on mental illness, conveniently sidelining the “elephant in the room” – the proliferation and easy accessibility of guns.

Raghu Ballal

Chapel Hill


Unrealistic GPS ban

Regarding the Sept. 9 Dome item “ Senate stalls bill to make GPS stalking illegal”: This seems to be a knee jerk reaction by Rep. Josh Stein based on the case in which someone “illegally” used a tracker to stalk someone and ultimately kill them. Passing a state law will not prevent anyone from misusing a tracker anymore than a restraining order can stop someone from being killed.

Private investigators use trackers “legally” all the time, and the benefits are to their clients who are being cheated on by their spouses. Private investigators are licensed professionals who operate within strict guidelines in many areas such as video recording and surveillance. Private investigators are exempt from many laws such as “peeping tom” and “stalking” as long as they can show that their activities are being conducted within the guidelines of an investigation. The same guidelines should apply in regards to the use of GPS trackers.

The use of tracking devices has also made investigations much safer as private investigators are no longer trying to speed through traffic to keep up with someone they’re following .

The use of the tracker should have strict guidelines, and the misuse should have harsh penalty, but a ban on them is unrealistic as technology is ever increasing.

Michael Brannan

Licensed PI since 1992



An unemployment lottery

Regarding the Sept. 4 Point of View “ Lapping up that lavish $350”: Since the North Carolina Education Lottery has done so much good for schools, North Carolina should have an unemployment lottery.

When unemployed persons prove they’ve made the required five contacts per week, they receive a free lottery ticket.

When an unemployed person peels or scratches off the instant lottery ticket, he may find that he has won 13 weeks of unemployment insurance! It’s a win-win-win situation, hope for those without any, less work for those who administer the program and a big economy of tax funds!

The scratch-off portion of the ticket can be printed at the bottom. In recipients’ hurry to see if they are a winner, the Unemployment Lottery can be called, “Race to the Bottom!”

Gilbert Brown

Chapel Hill


Young drivers need instruction

Keeping driver’s education in the Wake County public schools as well as all of our state public schools is vital! Good drivers come from good instructors.

Taking away this valuable experience from those who can’t afford to pay for private instruction will result in more poorly prepared drivers with higher insurance rates because they couldn’t afford the expense.

Losing the training and discipline taught by driver’s education will result in more accidents by inexperienced drivers. Also, the graduated license training received in school requires good school grades and behavior. Students who drop out of school lose the training that they could have received from the driver’s education program.

Young people who want or need after-school jobs will not be able to drive to work. They also will not get the two years of driving experience that they could have gotten from the ages of 16 to 18.

Keep driver’s education alive and well by funding it for all of our young people.

Karen Kauffman Fletcher



Looking up to athletes

Regarding the Aug. 28 Point of View “ Football’s high toll on high schoolers”: The article does not mention the fact that most North Carolina high schools and colleges have the mindset that football and basketball players are the great role models, and the high academic achievers are not good role models.

Marcus Henry



Bill would ease profiling

Regarding the Aug. 12 Point of View “ Less fear, more safety in N.C. with license law”: I am a Latina student, and I will be able to drive soon just like many of my peers.

The only difference is that many of my friends won’t be able to get their licenses because they’re undocumented. They have duties and jobs just like me.

My friends can get stopped due to racial profiling and get a ticket because they’re driving without a license just trying to get to their jobs. This causes fear in our community and limits us from what we’re capable of contributing.

People often don’t understand the daily struggles we face as Latinos, much less being undocumented.

House Bill 328 is important because it’s an opportunity to be able to get from jobs to families without fear of being targeted just because of appearance.

Alejandra Mendez



Follow law despite idealism

One of the most attractive features of our beloved nation, the envy of the civilized world, is the supremacy of the rule of law. America’s reverential devotion to upholding the rule of law above all else is unique and admirable.

The wisdom of the Founding Fathers to establish laws separating state and religion is most reassuring.

Because of these rather simple reasons, I believe Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Ky., is wrong not to issue marriage licenses to the same-sex couples. Her whimsy to challenge the law of the land on religious basis needs to be corrected.

Regardless of one’s religious beliefs and political ideology, one should abide by the laws of the land. America does not need theocracy – a bunch of mullahs –governing us.

Our respect of, and obedience to, the rule of law ought not to be diluted by religious zeal and political idealism.

Assad Meymandi



Trump not like Ike

Pledges, through the years, of Republican candidates running for president during their first campaign:

“I affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is.”

“If we practice what we preach, if we provide a bright leadership, we can help to show the world the folly of war. With all the strength I can command, and the devotion I hold for my country, I pledge myself to this objective.”

The first is from Donald Trump, the second is from Dwight Eisenhower. My, how the times have changed.

Patrick Murphy