August 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. 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:

How the heck I stumbled upon your http://www.spectacle.org website I cannot exactly remember, I think I was googling "Scorpion and frog" and somehow came upon "Crocodile and monkey". Well several hours have gone by and I must stop surfing your website, but must tell you that I really enjoyed your website, and could not stop reading several articles such as your explanation of the "Prisoner's Dilemna", your biography and life experience with software companies (I work in software), your view of corporate sharks, and your very moving, sad, disturbing, searching Holocaust Alphabet pages. I am probably less sympathetic to pro-Israeli/Jewish viewpoints than many, but yet find it quite easy to listen to everything you have to say :-)

Keep up the good work, your website is great, it touched a nerve in me (a good one!) so please don't stop with your writing...

Take care,

Rich P


Dear Mr. Wallace:

This letter is in response to the articles covering the Supreme Court's ruling on the case concerning racial discrimination against white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut as well as the Senate Hearings to determine confirmation of Judge Sotomayor. Both events concern the issue of Affirmative Action.

The articles state: "the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New Haven, Connecticut had discriminated against white firefighters, reversing a key decision by high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor."

The purpose of affirmative action in the United States was to create government programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. There is no question that past societal discrimination occurred in the United States and perhaps the only appropriate remedy at the time was affirmative action. However, this policy has outlived its purpose. Anywhere you look in the United States, minorities are well represented. Besides, there is a limit to punishing people for the sins of their forefathers. It is unfair to award preference based on race when all other qualifications are equal. This not only undermines the means to determining the best candidates but also serves to de-legitimize the accomplishments of someone who was given preference based on race. Those opposed to affirmative action look to section one of the fourteenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States:

Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

The minorities of this country have been given enough time to allow for the "cream to rise to the top" and now must take their equal position along side of the majority. The time is long overdue to stop rewarding underachieving individuals because of their race and start rewarding overachieving individuals because of their accomplishments. To do otherwise, would mean denying the very principles set forth in the fourteenth amendment.

Joe Bialek