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So-called independent thinkers are anything but

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Dear Editor:

Mr. Sutton, in his most recent letter to this publication, this one on the plagiarism of another individual, is attempting to do nothing more than defend the indefensible. There is never any reason, or excuse, for plagiarism of any type or for any reason. He all too frequently sees conspiracy by those "pesky liberals" behind anything and everything. Such as Mr. Sutton, while they may believe that they are "independent thinkers" are anything but that. They are afflicted with what is referred to as "group think." Their claim of being independent thinkers (although they may actually believe they are) is but a self-delusion and, unable to think (and thereby act) on their own, cannot conceive of anyone else doing so.

As to Mr. Herby himself, he attempted to excuse his plagiarism with the specious argument that he did what he did because of how he personally felt. We all "feel," but some of us have learned not to allow ourselves to be guided solely or primarily by our personal feelings. Mr. Herby is old enough by now to have learned that lesson. However, like many of my fellow seniors (as well as many others), he apparently never did. There is no problem with expressing one's opinion. However, to plagiarize or speak the words of others (without giving credit to the source) is not only irresponsible but reprehensible. Those who do that are not really expressing their own "opinions" but those of others. To put it another way, they are merely regurgitating, not only the words of others, but their ideas. That can go by another word. That word is "gossip," something which is "believed" only because the individual wants to believe it.

Robert I. Laitres

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