Pride of Achievement
It seems like making things easier is the rule-of-the-day any more. They made public schools easier and now we see high school graduates with poor reading and math skills. When schools required a reasonable level of performance, graduates had greater pride and reaped more benefits after they finished. Now parents and students are complaining that the SAT exams are too difficult. How else can a minimum level of education be measured? I like the fact that they're grading schoools in Florida according to student SAT scores and allowing students to go elsewhere with vouchers. We all lose if our kids don't even try to make the grade.
Anyway, I said all that to say that ham radio seems to be going the same direction. Some hams say that making licensing easier will bring more young people into ham radio. I think not; they have cell phones, iPods, PCs and broadband internet where years ago, ham radio was more fascinating because there wasn't so many other choices and we could build our own radios. I think that, as the FCC makes things easier, we will see more CBer types on the ham bands. Also, after the CW exam is eliminated, we will start losing those portions of the spectrum to commercial users. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminate the written exams altogether.
CW was something to compel the applicant to work a little harder for their ticket. I never did make the 20wpm grade and stayed with my 13wpm General for many years. I upgraded after they lowered the requirement to 5wpm. Now, I have Extra privileges and, since I'm on-the-air 10 hours/week on HF CW mobile, I can operate well above 20wpm but don't feel like I really earned it.
On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation.