April 2010

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Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. T hey will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

You point out in your article Democracy Is Failing that Christian Fundamentalism is taking root in the military academies (and the military as well as this organisation works to fight: http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/).

Couldn't this lead to a Cromwellian style take over of the US?

I would add in the disturbing trend toward removing firearms regulations and guns in public places. It is becoming easier for criminals to acquire and carry weapons, yet people are missing this security risk. The anti-terrorist measures adopted by the Bush administration lacked these sensible tools for public security, yet removed people's rights

. I have to agree with you. Although, I am not sure what they future may bring.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I read your Craisglist piece. I couldnt agree with you more. Ive been searching the reasons behind Craigslist ghostings and blocking. I believe they are using some outside source to do this and allow the common users to flag. A double edge sword killing my needs on Craigslist. My question to you is have you heard anything about this outside filter source Craigslist uses?


Jonathan, I don't know how you found Captain Joseph M. Collins, but I hope you can persuade him to keep writing for the Spectacle. His article was full of information and logic, and I enjoyed reading it.

Collins pointed out the prospect that some in the U.S. military could be prosecuted and punished for their actions of torture. I hope that happens, and I'd like to see the prosecutions continue for everyone involved, all the way to the tippy-top of the command structure. Ordered to or not, no U.S. soldiers should have participated. The Nuremberg Trials made it clear that following orders is no excuse for committing illegal acts.

Given the nature of what genuine terrorists do, U.S. forces would have been much better off shooting them when captured committing terrorist acts. Even if the U.S. forces fed the bodies to pigs and buried the bones with the pig excrement, it would have left the U.S. in better moral and legal shape than committing torture. The real damage is to the moral fiber of the country.

When the Red Brigades captured former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and later killed him, some in the security forces called for the use of torture on a suspect. General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, who was himself later murdered by the Mafia, responded that "Italy can survive the loss of Aldo Moro. It would not survive the introduction of torture." The same is true of the United States.

Bruce Clark

Hi Jon, I love the way you rant especially when it's about the need for compassion. Unfortunately, in a society hung up on money and structured on a win-lose system where winning constitutes kicking the other guy in the teeth, compassion is going to be in short supply.

re: St. Vincent's. I'm familiar with this hospital's commendable mission and there is a way to avoid the collapse of such worthy institutions in favor of for-profit hospitals. St. Vincent's is collapsing under the weight of an emergency room overwhelmed by gun shot wounds incurred in drug deals. If drugs were legal and regulated and guns were appropriate controlled, a hospital like St. Vincent's could survive as a non-profit. I don't expect to see that happen, but it would remedy the problem.

Toni Seger

Dear Johnathan Wallace,

I agree with you Completly Natural RIghts do not under any Circumstance exist. They were said to Americans to bait them as if we were fish and to reel us in. When in truth They simply do not exist. To bad though.Huh?I mean how sweet would it be if Natural Rights really did exist...Well hit me back if you don't mind. Thanks.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I ran across your post. Interesting points of view. I disagree with most, but found your perspective educational. [Note: I have no idea which article(s) this responds to. J.W.]

For the record-
I am well educated (MBA) and successful by any standard.
I have been very happily married for 35 years with four children and one grandchild who are well educated, happy, and productive.
I have black friends and Asian friends.  I don't know any native Americans.
I have a few gay friends.
I contribute to my community and my church. I give more to charity than Al Gore.

I have voted for Democrats and Republicans.
My mother was a very liberal schoolteacher and my father was a very conservative government employee.
I grew up in a loving family.
Your points can be refuted with simple 1-2-3 logic if I had the time or the inclination. I realize that you disagree, of course. 
I'll accept that you sincerely hold your beliefs and can support them if you will grant me the same courtesy. Perhaps we can both realize there is more than one perspective and one view in the world on any given subject.
Of course, I think mine are the correct ones. LOL.
Best wishes to you and yours. Sincerely. And keep an open mind. I'll try to do the same.