May 2009

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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. They 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.


Thanks for the great article on greed and the economy. My favorite quote on the topic comes from Tavis Smiley :

Here's the problem: The rising tide lifts all boats, but when we get up, you're in a yacht, I'm still in a dinghy.


Tom Vincent

Dear Mr. Wallace:

read your article about lying and totally agree with you. I was brought up to be ethical and have become very confused by my own family. They think it's okay to lie so that someone is not hurt by the truth. My mother and sister lie to me constantly by lies of omission. They feel that if they tell me the truth about certain things it will hurt me. In the end I find out the truth and may be hurt, but am even more hurt by their deception. I like to know what is real and and if someone lies to me I am confused at all times as to whether or not something is really true, partially true or not true at all. I think that it is wrong to lie in all circumstances. My mother thinks that my children shoudn't know certain things because they are so young. I don't just tell them everything but if asked a question I tell them what is honest and in a way that is understandable for their age level. I am not afraid to let them know that I'm not perfect and neither are other people. I have been so disappointed with my family with their lack of honesty. They try to make me feel like I am wrong for being honest. This confuses me too. I think that this world has become so unethical that it affects everyone. There are probably very few people who tell the truth on a regular basis. I find that I never truly trust anyone because people lie so much. I think that when people tell one lie, you can be sure that they tell several lies. Does everyong lie?

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Have you written on homelessness lately? I know a lot of people here in Denver that are winding up homeless. is uniting all faiths in DENVER to defeat homelessness. Rabbi Schwartzman works with this group. It's very interesting.

This newsletter highlights what they're doing in a nutshell.

THANK YOU MR. WALLACE for being a good person. I am sure it is affecting your part of the WORLD & the rest of us, somehow.


I read your piece on the right to drive. At first it seemed energetic, but then it took ... a drastically wrong course.

You posit that we need less civil liberties. We need more civil liberties. The government is raping us daily and you feel it necessary to advocate more government control and less civil liberties? It's as if you're a lobbyist for the police union. [less civil liberties = more police over time, billion dollar industry can't be wrong can it] Ah well I'm sure this will end up in the trash. Who cares right? Throw more people in jail. Steal more money from citizens. All in the name of safety and protection.

Yours always,

Big Fan

I am particularly proud of this little satire from fifteen years ago. This is the first letter I have ever received in response to it.