Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

I spent most of a day scraping a metal railing that runs around three sides of my deck, then painting it with primer. When I was a computer industry executive, I hired people to do this kind of work. Now that I am an emergency medical technician, at a much lower salary, I want to do these tasks myself. The weather was sunny with sparse wispy clouds. The view: dunes and the ocean. It was breezy and my baseball cap kept threatening to blow off so I tied a bandanna around my head. I brought the portable CD player outside; here is my playlist:

The Eminem Show (great music to get energized to start the job)

Nora Jones (breezy music for a slow, beautiful day)

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Greatest Hits (needed to speed things up a little)

The B-52's, Greatest Hits (for an additional dose of energy at the end)

Best painting music: Creedence Clearwater.

I seriously doubted I had the attention span to do this a whole day, but I found I got into a kind of a Zen state. There were no interruptions and the slight, repetitive physical work was pleasing. Can't wait to do some more.

I can be reached as always at jw@bway.net.

Jonathan Wallace

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 also respect that. 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 your 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:

Simply outstanding

Glaister Denham Wallace Jr.

Dear Mr. Wallace,

Thank you for writing about Lying. You have put into words what I have thought about this subject. It was validating to read it. The opening paragraphs and the closing one spoke to my heart. It is sad to be lied to and it also creates disappointment and anger, because it seems to happen so often. If everyone were to get totally honest, the world would be a much better place to live it, much healthier, much happier, and much less stressful.


Jean Jordan

Hi there -

I'm apparently late to the table in finding your publication, but I've been enjoying it immensely, and certainly admire your thoughts, caring and effort. I've been reading some of your essays on God (from 1995), spurred on from "G" in the Auschwitz Alphabet, and wonder what responses you received regarding those essays. I have lots to say in response to what I've read so far, but wonder if others have already said what I want to. Do you have archived responses or anything similar that I can read?

Thanks again for some great reading!


Deb Paxton

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have noticed you have a link to Kenny Richeys campaign on your site.

The link you have is no longer in use. The correct site is the one below. If you could please change the link it would be appreciated, when you have some time of course:)


Karen Richey
Campaign Manager

Hi Jonathan,

As usual., I'm enjoying the latest crop of Ethical Spectacles and, although i disagree with some of Evan Maloney's piece on the Great Media Meltdown, especially his blindness to right wing bias while he is being nicely sensitive to the left wing version, there is an error of fact with which he leads that I'm sure he would b happy to correct.

The claim that only 33 priceless treasures went missing from the national Museum of Iraq is a claim that had much mileage in the right wing press and was never, to my incomplete knowledge, corrected there.

Let me offer the opportunity.



While these sources may attract some accusations of their own biases, the people quoted are, I'm sure, available for confirmation.

Keep up the good works.


Earl Mardle

Dear Jonathan:

Re Ethics of a Fish Dinner:

Serendipitously, I have just finished reading _Listening to Whales: What the Orcas Have Taught Us_, by Alexandra Morton (NY: Ballantine Books (Trd); 1st edition, April 30, 2002). It is a wonderful book about her twenty years of research in the Canadian west coast. She has a much dimmer view of commercial salmon farms than you do. Here is an article she wrote a couple of years ago; she basically says the same thing in the last chapter of her book.


Bill Meacham

An Auschwitz Alphabet

After reading your introduction on the website (http://www.spectacle.org/695/intro.html) I was extremely sadden to know that many people believe that there was not Holocaust. I'm not Jewish, as you can see by my e-mail address, or have any affiliation with anyone who is Jewish, but after reading my first book, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, it really was something I felt I needed to educate myself on. I am currently reading Primo Levi's, Survival in Auschwitz, and I am glad I came across your introduction. You have reached to at least one person and that has been me.


Raquel Michel

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I have come across your site and do not know what age you are. Growing up during the 1939-1945 with my father so shocked over what happened at Auschwitz and the other concentration camps we were not allowed to view any pictures. Being a christian English & white you must believe there is a God and I view the situation in that all the disasters in the World could it be that those circumstances serve as a warning not to happen again. My late husband had to go into one of the camps and only spoke about it once.

I was against the Iraqi War with the killing of the women and children, but no one takes any notice.

What can I say to you apart from God Be With You. One of my ancestors was Saladin, a Kurd.

With best regards.

Mrs. G.M. Harmar

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thank you for posting your Auschwitz Alphabet. I found it very moving and informative.

Thanks for taking the time to put this on the internet.

Kate Burch

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I read your alphabet and thought it well written and informative. I found it on google search while doing a personal research on WHY were the Jewish people singled out. I still don't understand.

Alexander Pfleger

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thanks for much for the website. I'm trying to give an overview of the Holocaust to my 8th graders, and it's so overwhelming. (I just really do need an overview, because we're reading a book about a boy's grandfather who might be a Nazi guard in hiding.) Your site really helped me tremendously in being more concise, and, more importantly, more graphic in my presentation. I've realized that with 8th graders, one HAS to be graphic. To simply say that "the Jews were tortured" means very little to them. They hear it, they may even empathize a bit, but they don't GET it until one provides actual examples. Thanks again.

Anne Carmitchell-Wysock