Letters to the DU Editor December 10, 2007


    U.S. and them

    The U.S. and Iran would make great friends. Consider the similarities: The presidents of the U.S. and Iran use the same torture techniques against prisoners, and both presidents are becoming incredibly unpopular. What makes the U.S. so different from them? Don’t both America and Iran agree that Coca-Cola is the best cola drink?

    No, seriously, America and Iran have a lot in common. Both have free elections. Both have a judicial, legislative, and executive branch. Both support the United Nations Alliance against Terrorism. Both have patriotic pride. Both are currently engaged in a debate about energy policy, and there is growing support on both sides for nuclear power plants in the future. Both nations have a monotheistic religious tradition.

    Given the similarities, America and Iran should become better friends. The United States and Iran would make a great team fighting terrorism. Think of it: when the United States of America becomes allies with all the Middle East, including Iran, then who will be able to get away with violent terrorism? Al-Qaeda will be in a tight spot. So let Washington become better friends with Tehran, and that way the free people all over the globe can win the chess match against radical Islam.

    I believe that beefing up Iran-US relations would be a good tactic now, because it will help us win the war on terror. It makes sense now, because we know that Iran officially has no nuclear weapons to speak of, and they are a lot like U.S.

    Joel Wilson: Louisville, Colo.

    DT demolition

    As a transfer student, I never appreciated the grandiosity of Deseret Towers as expressed in a previous letter, though I can understand some remorse over the lackluster style of its demolition. However, as a facilities management major — which deals with the life cycle of buildings from birth to demolition–I am naturally curious to the other variables that may be involved in the decision to not use explosives.

    Reason 1: Save money. For buildings the size of DT, traditional demolition could cost between $100,000 and $200,000 whereas implosion could cost more than $2 million. A much larger building, where implosion may be appropriate, may cost $5 million to implode, but $25 million using traditional demolition.

    Reason 2: Save lives. Building materials must also be considered. Though asbestos is not harmful to humans in its solid state, imploding a structure that was built during the asbestos era could unleash a cloud of cancer-causing fragments into the air. Special removal of this type of harmful material is most effectively done through traditional demolition.

    Reason 3: DT was not a Vegas casino or valuable landmark. BYU’s tradition of little architectural flair (only recently eclipsed by the new JFSB and Hinckley buildings and funded primarily with non-tithing monies) demands the removal of the DT in a humble and respectable way.

    That DT be replaced with architecturally beautiful, well designed, and financially stable buildings should be our demand as a university.

    Anthony Criddle: Winnemucca, Nev.

    Less government

    I write this in response to Monday’s viewpoint titled, “Christian Responsibility” and wish to ask Peter Johnston a few questions. First, are you well aware that our health-care system is in the mess it is because of government intervention? Licensing laws that interfere with the free market have reduced the number of doctors available and thus prevent competition in order to keep costs down. Not only that, but the enormous regulations the FDA places on new drugs are what keep the prices of them up as well.

    Second, are you aware that people from countries where the health care system is government-run prefer to come into the U.S. for treatment? Not bad for a country with the “not so best” system.

    Third, are you aware that most of the “millions” of uninsured people in this country are either illegal aliens, people who can afford insurance but choose not purchase it, or people on Medicare? Factor those in and the number of “millions” takes a sharp decline (from about 47 to less than 10).

    And finally, can you please show me in the scriptures where we’re directed to surrender our agency to government officials who consider themselves as to know what’s best for us? It is indeed our commission to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but at our own choice and with our own money. Less government, not more, is the key to fixing our system.

    Dave Paradise: West Jordan

    BYU deserves Vegas

    I was awe struck after reading Ryan Comer’s article on Dec.5 in which he calls the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl game with UCLA a “mediocre pairing.” What happens to most college football teams that start their season 1-2? Do they typically go on to play in a BCS bowl game, regardless of whether the team plays in a BCS conference? No.

    After avenging last year’s loss to Arizona, BYU lost to two teams that are “middle of the road.” They then went on to run the table by beating all the teams in the below-average Mountain West and an outclassed Eastern Washington team. How does that qualify as above mediocre?

    BYU had a chance to prove that it can play with the big boys when they faced a ranked UCLA team (which after a losses to Utah and to Notre Dame clearly was highly over-rated at the time) in September and once again, failed to come through against an average BCS conference team. This isn’t a BCS conference winner mind you, but a BCS “middle of the road” team that BYU couldn’t beat.

    Mr. Comer then mockingly quoted Coach [Mike] Bellotti of the University of Oregon when he said that BYU “couldn’t compete at the highest level in the Pac-10.” Well, what has BYU done to prove otherwise? They can’t compete at the highest level in the Pac-10. Did they beat USC when they played them a couple years ago, or did they stay with USC for about a half and get blown out like usual?

    Time and again over the last decade, the BYU football team has failed to beat high quality BCS conference teams and they even struggle with mediocre BCS conference teams, like losing to Arizona last year and UCLA this year.

    Mike Zundel: Miami, Flo.

    Stop complaining

    BYU fans need to stop complaining about the bowl match-up with UCLA. It’s out of our control. All the bowls have tie-ins that are predetermined. Who has reason to be upset? Try Missouri fans. Mizzou was #1 in the nation, and after losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, failed to make a BCS bowl game. Kansas, who lost to Mizzou two weeks ago, did make a BCS bowl. Missouri still could have made a bowl game, but the Rose Bowl chose tradition, pitting the Pac-10 champion USC Trojans against the best available Big 10 team, Illinois. Missouri beat Illinois earlier this year. That’s something to complain about.

    A two-year conference sweep by BYU will still do nothing to help its prestige. The terrible TV deal, that only shows Mountain West games on the Mtn., hides the Mountain West teams away from voters in the polls. Utah made a BCS bowl before the Mtn. deal, and beat three teams from BCS conferences. The WAC gets more coverage by ESPN; Boise State did even more for the midmajors by beating Oklahoma in its BCS bowl and playing teams like Oregon State during the season.

    What I wish could happen would be the creation of a mid-major super-conference made from the best of the WAC and Mountain West: BYU, Utah, Boise State, Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada, TCU, New Mexico, Air Force, and perhaps San Diego State. It would not have the TV deal with the Mountain and would have coverage by ESPN. It would give all schools a tougher conference schedule and be highly entertaining. This new conference would have better shots at getting its teams to better bowls.

    Josh Feil: Visalia, Calif.

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