Reader’s Forum April 9, 2007


    Test of honor

    I do not have a clue who the RIAA group is, nor do I know much about major record label companies. However, I do know a little something about integrity. The question of whether music piracy is OK has nothing to do with whether someone will get fired for your decision. It has everything to do with your character.

    Those who allow others to rip off their music are giving something that is not theirs to give. Those who rip off music from others are taking something that does not belong to them. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that is still the definition for stealing. Therefore, forget all debates about music piracy, except one: Are you really willing to sell your integrity for a few songs? Stealing is stealing, no matter how small the merchandise.

    Robbie Buck

    Eagle, Idaho

    Define open-minded

    More so at BYU than anywhere, the word open-mindedness has had its fair share of misuse by a few, if not many.

    In all honesty, there is no such thing as being 100 percent open-minded. Such a claim implies that on any topic or ideology we have no preconceived notions or biases. That is untrue. Any reasoning contrary to this is in itself evidence we have a preconceived notion on the issue of open-mindedness.

    This is a final attempt to lay this fidgety issue to rest once and for all. To be open-minded should mean although we may have a position on a particular issue, we are willing to duly respect the opinions of others, sincerely evaluate their point of view and assess impartially their line of reasoning before arriving at our verdict.

    Open-mindedness is not demanding acceptance and approval of your way of life and political dogma at all cost. SoulForce in this sense is a culprit to some degree. Personally, I do not condone the breaking of civic codes and regulations, which infringe on the rights of others in an attempt to promote acceptance of your position.

    We can keep our moral values intact and still be open-minded. The heartbreaking reality is some who claim open-mindedness are the first to point an accusatory finger against any who dare think contrary to their stance. It should not be so. Indeed, if you find this article offensive, you are unfortunately very “open-minded.”

    Bismarck Odei

    Ghana, West Africa

    Lose skinny jeans, guys

    So when girls weren’t looking, the tides turned and guys started taking after a habit us ladies have had for years – wearing the clothing of our brothers and boyfriends. This is purely for comfort of course, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I walked outside the other day and saw my brother wearing my pants. I never realized guys could wear girls’ clothing. I mean aren’t there boundaries, shouldn’t there be certain areas guys refrain from emphasizing? But actually, I think I know what happened: After so many years of the Honor Code telling girls not to wear tight clothing, guys wanted to see if they could get away with it.

    They can’t get away with not shaving before going to intramurals or letting their hair grow a millimeter past their ears, but by the absurd amount of males I have seen waddling around campus like penguins, they must be sneaking by somehow with this latest endeavor. Guys just have to realize we have insecurities that come from seeing figureless men walking around in pant sizes smaller than our own. And, to be honest, I find it quite traumatizing so let’s make a pact- we’ll give you back your favorite sweatshirt, if we can have our pants back.

    Megan Erickson

    Wilton, Conn.

    Protest YouTube blockade

    I would like to propose we hold a silent protest against the university’s decision to block YouTube. Just like the Cheney demonstration I would like to make clear that my motives are only to gain attention and get on the news. All those in favor let us unite.

    Bryce Youngquist

    Plymouth, Minn.

    Red Sox – sensitive subject

    I have seen all the articles about politics. Debates about gay marriage, Soulforce, the pure evil of facial hair or women’s basketball are all commonplace. Usually I just get a good laugh, and shrug it off. But in the editorials Friday, how dare the paper make a crack at the Boston Red Sox like that? I was both shocked and appalled The Daily Universe would poke fun at the Sox.

    I mean, haven’t we been through enough? I do understand a vast majority of students here are fair-weather fans, usually wearing a Yankees hat because they think it looks “cool,” when in fact they are only supporting an evil, terrible team run by a money hungry, corrupt man. The prophets have counseled us to shake at the appearance of sin. I suggest that the next time you try and use a baseball team in a joke, try the Yankees. Perhaps the article should have read, “George Steinbrenner telling the truth occurs more frequently than do political demonstrations at BYU.”

    Mathieu Foley

    Franklin, N.H.

    Avoid ‘shame’ statements

    The controversy over the war in Iraq has generated a lot of political dialogue-even here at BYU (which is no small feat). Some of the dialogue has been productive; much has not. However, the most unproductive of all has been the increasing tendency by people to use the phrase “shame on you” to demean those on the other side. “Shame on you, Mr. President,” “Shame on you, Mayor Anderson,” “Shame on you, Sen. Reid,” “Shame on you, Dick Cheney,” “Shame on you, BYU Administration,” . . . the list goes on and on. It all sounds like a parent reprimanding a child and brings to mind an image of a child pointing an index finger toward another while sliding the other along it multiple times. I don’t really know or care who started it, but I think it’s unproductive and childish for adults to be using that phrase-especially in so-called political dialogue, where there are supposed to be (and probably are) legitimate views on both sides.

    Perhaps the phrase “shame on you” has a place somewhere in conversation outside the playground, but I don’t think this is it. Consider this letter as a plea to all of us-from Michael Moore to Sean Hannity-to try be a little better and stand a little taller in our communications with each other.

    Curt Bentley


    Proud of BYU response

    As the controversy surrounding Vice President Cheney has escalated around campus, I have nervously awaited to see the response the university would have to those who oppose Cheney’s visit. In my opinion, it has now become clear: The administration should be applauded and praised.

    I take immense pride in my alma mater for allowing this current dialogue to take place. As one now far removed from the university, I can testify this discussion has not embarrassed BYU as some have attested. Instead, my colleagues have expressed a newfound respect for the fact the university is allowing faculty and students to voice their disapproval without fear of reprisal.

    I encourage those on both sides to continue this important, civil conversation in a manner in which both sides may continue learning something from the other and, more importantly, I urge the administration to allow this dialogue to continue so that everyone’s views may be heard.

    Nate Trayner

    Ann Arbor, Minn.

    Missing the point

    A lot of the recent letters defending Vice President Cheney have been missing the point. Writers have been defending him as if his support of the war is the only complaint protestors have against him. If that was the case; if he was simply a man with differing opinions on war or differing political views, then I might not find it appropriate to question his integrity. There are many politicians who have opinions on the war very different from my own who also have my full respect.

    I won’t say that we shouldn’t allow the Vice President to speak at our school. A university is a place for education, open exchange of ideas, and debate. However, in this particular debate, let’s not pretend supporting war is the worst thing this ruthless, corrupt and deceitful man has done.

    James Cragun

    Eugene, Ore.

    Protesting wrong actions, not political affiliations

    In response to several letters: yes, I protested Dick Cheney and yes, I did it on moral grounds. Yes, other invited speakers may have personal opinions that aren’t 100 percent compatible with LDS beliefs, but let’s not compare being “pro-choice” to waging war. I am not a democrat, but I know anyone can be a “pro-choice” democrat and still be a Mormon bound for exaltation. Being “pro-choice” doesn’t mean “pro-abortion” and it doesn’t mean “anti-LDS.”

    Would I have previously protested Clinton? I may have, especially after the U.S. blunders in Africa, but that’s irrelevant. Let’s protest what’s wrong now and whatever wrong comes our way. There are protest-worthy mistakes that should be addressed at an opportune time.

    For now, let’s consider Cheney’s mistakes that have, so far, ended over 134,000 human lives and destroyed human rights. And, for you “embarrassed” servicemen and women, I admire your willingness to serve, and I know you’ve made many sacrifices, but it does not matter if you are “winning” or “losing.” You are not fighting for our civil liberties; you are fighting for U.S. foreign markets.

    “Winning” in Iraq will not be a victory of peace, it will be a victory of profit over people. At least in Iraq, fighting for peace is like fornicating for chastity.

    Max Seawright

    Heber City

    Democrats Assisting Cheney

    During the protest April 4 I noticed a sign held by one of the Democratic demonstrators saying “Cheney, When are you going to tap my phone?” This was the same girl who, after the protest, was walking through the JFSB Courtyard talking really loud on her cell phone (she was still carrying her sign). I was about 30 meters away, and could still hear every word of her conversation over the fountain.

    Listen sister, the NSA doesn’t have to tap your phone to know what’s going on- you are already broadcasting your conversations to everyone around you. Oh, and I’m sorry to hear that your roommate broke up with her boyfriend over an argument about Beto’s.

    Paul Brown

    Kirtland, Ohio

    Focus on positive

    As this year comes to a close, I would just like to say thanks to most of you. I’ve witnessed a few things this year that have been quite unlike what I expected to be at BYU. What ever happened to the concept of being grateful and appreciative for the little and great things that we’ve been blessed with?

    Lately we’ve seen the results of the controversy of Cheney’s visit, the BYUSA elections come to a close and various other complaints against the campus. My question for you is where is the spirit of being a Cougar?

    Might I remind you of Elder Holland’s maxim for life, “no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.” In preparing to come to BYU, all I thought about was how great it would be to have a campus filled with the spirit of Christ. Now I’m not saying there are no Christ-like people, but by reading the paper and being on campus, sometimes it’s hard to see people’s grateful attitudes shine.

    I’m personally thankful people contribute to BYUSA and other service opportunities on campus, no matter what is said about them. I’m also grateful that we can be at a place where Christian values are intertwined with our education, despite the complaints about the Honor Code. My challenge to you is to quit complaining and just try and focus on the positive while here at BYU.

    Hide Higashi

    Tsukuba, Japan

    Be modest

    I am just writing to tell you my concern for your modesty on campus. I find myself singing my favorite hymn more and more every day. It seems as the days get hotter and hotter some girls wear less and less. As you start your day please make sure that you look modest, and especially that your front end is well covered. It would greatly help us guys out. Thank you.

    I also strongly suggest you read a great talk by Sister Bednar given September 2001 at BYU-Idaho. You can find it on the BYU-I Web site by clicking on quick links, then clicking to All Devotionals and Speeches.

    Jon Cozzens

    Burlington, Wyo.

    Long tradition

    In a recent letter to the editor, the author of “Soccer better than baseball” (April 6) recommended we research sports such as hockey and soccer to gain an appreciation for their history and tradition, just as we do (or should do) for baseball. He ended by saying, “Baseball probably doesn’t come within a mile” of the 130 year old tradition of a number of soccer clubs. While I agree completely with his recommendation, his final comment is downright silly. Just as any novice of baseball history knows, the National League was formed in 1876. Its 131 years of history easily surpass the longevity of any soccer league in any country, as well as, from what I can ascertain, that of any league in any sport in the world. Never mind, of course, the few clubs that survived the National Association (1871 – 1875), the fact that the Cincinnati Reds began playing professionally in 1869, or the cross-city semipro baseball rivalries that have existed since before the 1840s (think, for example, Brooklyn and New York). In reality, while it does approach baseball in terms of longevity and tradition, not even soccer can compare to the “national pastime”.

    I recommend the author, and other curious individuals, pay a visit to to browse the archives and learn about the past. Additionally, one is sure to find a wealth of information browsing the free Sporting News archives (1884 – present) at

    Daniel Evensen

    South Jordan, Utah

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