Readers’ Forum July 13, 2006

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    Puzzling headline

    I am still puzzling over the title of the front page article ?Congress grants Geneva protection to terror suspects? in the July 12th issue of the Daily Universe. The body of the article clearly states that the decision to give Geneva protection to suspected terrorists was made by the Bush administration. After doing a little research on the matter, I found that the decision was made public in a memo released by the department of defense. I?m still puzzling over the reason the title of the article gives congress credit for the decision. Silly me! Now I get it! It would be a gross violation of journalistic principles to actually give the Bush administration credit for a decision that could be interpreted as positive by the public- especially in the title of a front page article.

    David Holland

    Henderson NV

    Plums on campus

    I am writing because I am concerned about the plum situation at this university. The fruit from the plum trees growing on the south end of campus largely goes to waste. I think BYU should hire people to prune the plum trees so that they will produce larger fruit. The resulting plums should be harvested and preserved in some manner. They could then be sold or donated to starving people, not excluding some of BYU’s own students. That way starving people get fed, more students get employed (hopefully, or I anticipate receiving hate mail from the grounds crew), and I don’t have to walk on rotty plums on my way to campus.

    Rachel Kramer

    Carrboro, NC

    EFY confession

    The Police Beat that was published in The Daily Universe on Thursday, July 6, 2006 was completely inappropriate. The article repeatedly pointed out that a “black male” was doing this or that. I do not believe in racial profiling and if you are going to mention that this male was black, well then you better be mentioning the race of every other male or female in the article. Why is the race important? Can you please explain to me why you felt that the race of these males was relevant?

    My second complaint is about the last entry under suspicious behavior. The poor EFY participant was so courageous to speak up about a very serious matter. Why should all of BYU campus know about her very private matter. What is the purpose of the Police Beat? I thought the purpose of the Police Beat was to warn us to act cautiously and avoid mishap. There is no reason whatsoever why it was relevant to publish that poor girl’s confession.

    This was not written to be published, I wrote this so that you can be more sensitive in future Police Beats. I know I was not the only one offended by the racial profiling in this Police Beat and I hope not to tolerate that again.

    Thank you,

    Cami Macias

    South Jordan, UT

    Bring ’em down

    In response to Jason Larsen’s opinion piece questioning the financial accountability of tearing down the Deseret Towers buildings, I wish to reassure him that no decision as big as this one would be made by the brethren without careful consideration of cost.

    There are many reasons for the demolition of DT aside from Mr. Larsen’s perceived “five star” living standards of current BYU students. Primarily, the cost of maintenance for the buildings far outweighs the cost benefit received from students. Rather than being a waste of tithing dollars, this project will save tithing money in the long run. Not to mention that recent studies by the BYU geology department conclude that in the event of an earthquake, the buildings we now call DT would be reduced to rubble within minutes, along with any unsuspecting freshman or EFY participants.

    You can rest assured that President Hinckley is well aware of all of this information, and has made the right decision to tear the buildings down. Like yourself, I have many fond memories of DT life, but we can’t let our attachment to DT outweigh our good judgment; DT must come down.

    Aric Johnstone

    Beaverton, OR

    Bitter letters

    Wow – so many bitter and easily offended students we have here. Where does one begin? Maybe Mike Pratt’s offense that the police were called about a statue-praying man? I’ll venture a guess ? maybe someone thought he was mentally unstable? Or we could look at Greg Bean’s anger at the Police Beat’s writer for using the word “black.” Wait ? isn?t the Police Beat compiled from actual police reports? Hmm…

    Then, Peter Johnston was upset at the use of Chinese fireworks (p.s. where else would we get them?). Maybe he didn’t understand, in his diatribe on China’s “economic expansion,” that American industries actually move their companies to China ? China isn’t just creating cheap alternatives to American goods.

    Oh, and Jason Larson’s disappointment in the demolition of Deseret Towers. I lived there too, in 2000-01, and believe me, the demolition is sorely needed. Besides, I didn’t see Jason yelling about the SFLC or Alumni House being torn down to make way for better, more updated buildings. Oh, and don’t worry about “financial accountability” – I think the First Presidency takes care of that, as they approve every new building.

    My plea to you BYU students: stop getting offended by everything, and quit masking that offense as “righteous indignation.” It’s not.

    Adam Buchanan

    Bellingham, WA

    Church in control

    Jason Larsen?s comment on the Deseret Towers demolition was disappointing. Rather than lashing out over things we don?t understand we should be doing research and seeking understanding. If we turn to the article ?BYU to raze two buildings in Deseret Towers housing complex? in the June 27th issue of the Daily Universe we read: ?Over time the residence halls? maintenance costs have steadily increased to the point it is no longer prudent to operate them, said Brian Evans,

    administrative vice president and chief financial officer at BYU.

    ?The buildings also are not equipped to handle the needs of today?s students, he said. ?For instance, unlike in 1964 when students came with a radio alarm clock, students now come with computers, MP3 players, hair

    dryers, curling irons and more. There are simply not enough outlets to handle their needs.??

    The person who oversees the committee that approves tithing expenditures and the BYU Board of Trustees is our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley and if the people under his direction feel the Towers need to be torn down then it should be done. We don?t need to attack the Church over issues the leadership has well in hand.

    Justin Draper

    Tucson, Arizona

    CleanFlicks’ editing policies, and an alternative

    Finding commercial video editing illegal was the correct thing to do (see front page of July 11). I like CleanFlicks too, but copyright law protects movies from derivative works, particularly when derivatives benefit commercial firms. Whether our copyright law is right is a separate question.

    Directors sometimes make movies, not just for entertainment, but for instruction. Some movies, like Schindler’s List, are meant to change the way you think, to move you. This is sometimes accomplished by showing shocking and disturbing images. Right or wrong, I might be upset too if someone took my movie and cut all the parts that might impact the audience.

    That said, Schindler’s List and its kind are not for everyone, certainly not for children. For CleanFlicks addicts, check out ClearPlay. It is a DVD player that skips the “naughty bits” on commercial DVDs. It is legal, there is no derivative work, just skipping. For new movies, you can download filter files from clearplay.com which tell your DVD player where to skip. You can also set the level of filtering of violence, nudity and profanity. It has been smoother and cleaner than CleanFlicks films too. Since you use normal DVDs, cheap DVDs from Walmart work just fine.

    Sean Giambattista

    Fairport NY

    Free firework trade

    So we imported 4th of July fireworks from China. So what? We import a lot from China. To the uneducated, international trade appears to decrease independence. To the educated it increases the standard of living and creates safety in the world. Would we ever attack China now that we get so much stuff from them? No. The same goes for any two countries which trade sufficiently.

    Let me tell you about the Iowa car crop. Iowa grows grain very well. Each year Iowans take some of their grain and convert it into nice cars. What space-age technology is this? Trade with Japan. Imagine a world without any trade ? you could only consume what you could create. Since I can’t farm, create cars or computers I think it’d be pretty lousy.

    If you want the lower standard of living that comes from refusing to trade (i.e. the depression) please do it elsewhere; don’t impose it on the rest of us.

    Sean Giambattista

    Fairport NY

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