Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

In the ACLU v. Reno decision declaring the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional, Judge Stewart Dalzell called the Internet "a neverending worldwide conversation." The Spectacle is my way of participating in that conversation, and your letters make it a dialog. Keep 'em coming! Write to me at jw@bway.net.


Guns


Dear Mr. Wallace:

As others have pointed out, travelers are at something of a disadvantage when entering a state which has more liberal carry laws. Indeed, if one travels by plane, it does not matter what the laws are "back home"; guns are not permitted on airplanes, for most travelers.

The cure is not to attempt a universal gun ban. One simply cannot pass an edict and cause a hundred million weapons to vanish. Pleasant as that outcome may seem, it would require the entire country to turn into a nasty police state, and until the confiscation were complete, leace the rest of the population at a serious disadvantage with respect to the remaining gun-owners - who would be criminals and police.

Rather than waste efforts on attempting to rid ourselves of such ubiquitous items, let us diminish the disadvantage in a more direct manner. Let us permit travelers to rent guns at airports, auto rental shops, and other convenient places.

This may seem, to some, to increase risk. However, the statistics say otherwise. If there are good odds of another armed person in the vicinity, it is very foolish to pull out a weapon and attempt to harm others. One's own life may be forfeit. So-called "gun control" laws do not actually control guns; they control victims, and make it easier for criminals to harm others.

There's another side to the gun==slaughter semiotics.

"My life is worth defending."

May I recommend that you look up the "Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership?"

Juvenile crime ... did you know that, until about 1900, juveniles paid the same penalties as adults? The present system actually encourages adults to recruit children to perform crimes.

I would say that you can get better results, by far, by attacking the roots of the problem. Drug prohibition is one of the deepest; it has been demonstrated numerous times that the more effort is spent in trying to stop consensual trades of any sort, the higher the rate of non-consensual crime ( murder, rape, theft).

JPFO has pointed out the connection between the confiscation of guns and genocide - not only in Germany, but in many other countries. As I mentioned before, owning a weapon is a statement that one's life is worth preserving.

Terry McIntyre tm@switch.com


Dear Mr.Wallace,

In your text "Is There a Right to Revolution" you say that "There is no courage in anonymous actions. A terrorist bomb is not a courageous action;". I personally don't agree since I think that there are times where anonymous actions are the only answer. You live in America but if you lived in Iran you wouldn't think that way. I live in Portugal and we had a fascist government until 1974, we had a dictator called Salazar and no-one could openenly resist him. I was born after he left power in 1968 but for what I'm told an anonymous terrorist bomb killing him would be greatly apreciatted by the portuguese people. So sometimes there is a lot of courage and bravery in anonymous actions.

I also may disagree with one of your main references, Gandhi. I have some thoughts that it would be better if the Indians went to military force but I still have some doubts about it since I'm not a utilitarist so I'll write to you latter about that subject.

Oh and tell Patricia Nell Warren that when TV persons talk about white man, they refer to a persons with the white phenotype. Well, aparently persons with white phenotype have a lot more chances of having the HIV immunity gene than persons with the any other phenotype. I know that in America there are a lot of racial problems but there is no need to exagerate.

PS: Sorry for some gramatical mistakes.

Joćo Pedro damagalhaes@mail.telepac.pt


Dear Mr. Wallace:

What don't you understand about CONTROL?

Many people seem to have a misunderstanding about the act of control. They believe that it means to stop someone or something. Flood control --- stop floods. Crime control --- stop crime.

Actually, there are three factors involved in control. They are START, CHANGE and STOP. And they must be attempted or applied in that sequence.

A good example is the action of controlling a car. You have to start the car, both the engine running and then the car moving, then change the way it moves and then stop it moving.

When you think of trying to change that sequence, you can see that it just doesn't work that way.

In many cases, when people talk about gun control, what they are thinking of is GUN (OWNER) STOP. They are not thinking of GUN START, GUN CHANGE and then GUN STOP. They, of course, realize that there are gun manufacturers (start), gun sellers and buyers / users (change) and gun destroyers (stop).

There are some people who advocate outlawing the making, selling and owning of guns by private citizens. The more "reasonable" groups only want to outlaw the private ownership of guns.

Lets assume that a federal law to that effect is passed, and withstands the constitutional challenge.

I will leave it to you to compute the odds of making much of a dent in the number of weapons that remain in private hands, not neglecting to count those in the hands of the barbarians embedded in our society.

Thinking about control and automobiles, what is the ratio between the injuries and deaths because of motor vehicles and those caused by guns? The last figures that I recall placed auto casualties at about fifty thousand per year compared to the approximate figure of fifty seven thousand for the twelve years of the 'Nam war.

If society wishes to use it's resources for the maximum return on effort, we should be working very hard to outlaw, at the national level, the private ownership and use of motor vehicles. Possible next scenario?

I know the basic difference in the design function between a gun, of almost any kind, (How about a mortar used to shoot at the snow slopes in the mountains to trigger snow slides?) and motor vehicle, of almost any kind. (How about battle tanks?).

I also know that every tool, animate as well as inanimate, ever developed by humanity has been used to harm or kill.

But I do not know of any non living tool that, of its own volition, went about trying to kill.

Bill Carter gabby@snowline.net


Dear Jonathan:

Regarding your "Middle Ground" piece on gun control, I would like to respond point-by-point. You acknowledge that they apparently don't need "gun control" in White River Junction, Vermont, but you say you definitely need it in parts of New York City. Here's where you make the classic liberal mistake. You mis-identify the problem. You already have "gun control" in New York City. You need people control. The difference between White River Junction and New York is the people--not guns. Liberals simply refuse to acknowledge that people are accountable for their actions. They look for any excuse available to divert responsibility for events. Do you believe, with the array of human debris in New York, that a magic wand wave, removing every gun in the city would keep the scum bags from preying on innocent people?

As for your (truly specious) argument regarding the First and Second Amendment, you have that wrong too. If the anti-gunners had their way, there would be NO Second Amendment. To hell with the argument over the extent of limitations or compromise. That is the "tactic" that we gun owners use when comparing the two amendments. Anti-gunners like Sara Brady and Charles Schumer aren't interested in any "compromise" they want guns to be in the hands of the military and police exclusively. Yes, I agree that a gun can be more dangerous than pornography. So can a car, a swimming pool, and a match. Your argument has no validity, only misplaced emotional zeal.

It's the Anti-gun rights advocates who are selfish. Because of the liberal retinal blind spot which results in the inability to determine cause and effect, they would seek to nullify a basic Constitutional right to self protection which 100 million Americans depend on for their security. For every little roller skating six year old "catching a bullet" story you can dream up, I can cite an actual, real event where a law abiding citizen defended him or herself (with a gun) from some low life intent on robbing, raping, or killing. It happened to me, and my life was saved because someone had a gun. Emotionalism about hypothetical six year old skaters does not dispute the hard cold fact that someone is responsible for firing that bullet. Only when you decide that six year old's life is worth the price of putting responsibility directly on the c.a.u.s.e of that event...a real person who is so sick, evil, and out of control...then you might address the problem. Instead, you do the liberal blame dance. It's not the killer's fault. He came from a broken home. He had no father. He was on drugs. His parent abused him....on, and on. I know, it was the gun's fault. Bullshit Jonathan. Get real. Guns are not a pollution problem. Non-sequitur analogies do not disguise the truth. Our problem is a general morality breakdown, liberal law enforcement, and lawyer overload. Defending criminals is so profitable that it just doesn't make sense to turn the system around.

You continue your outrageous analogies when you compare gun ownership to polluting water with PCBs, then you have the absolute audacity to demand that gun owners "take responsibility" . . .a concept completely foreign to the liberal mind set. Most insultingly, you further demonize gun owners by implying that we are bigots who secretly believe that it is "only trash people killing each other." Such fanciful imagined absurdities only serve to illustrate that you are totally out of touch with the real world, and that you allow your skewed values and stereotyped prejudices to govern your mind. Other than that, Jonathan, I pretty much agree with everything you said.

Your friend in free speech,

Bob Wilson Homefndr@aol.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I hope this message and my earlier one in July have not given you the impression that I read your site only to pick on its typos. To the contrary, I pick on the typos because I like your site so well that I want it to be flawlessly presented.

With that in mind, I must say I think your September 1996 issue on gun control is not entirely up to your usually high standard. It seems to me that you could present your side of things more effectively. Here are some specifics that, in my opinion, could make your presentation stronger:

1. You appeal to emotion by referring to a "six year old on roller skates" gun victim. It sounds like you have a real incident in mind. Wouldn't this emotional appeal be stronger if you gave the victim's actual name, and maybe a sentence or two of human-interest background? Then readers could better identify with the tragedy of her death.

2. Following up on the young victim you say, "There is nothing you can do to protect her which involves putting more guns in the city. Arming her or her mother will not help." This kind of strawman argument is great for preaching to the converted. But it won't persuade anyone on the other side of the argument. They will respond with statistics showing that crime generally goes down when gun control laws are repealed. Because of this they may feel, quite sincerely, that the girl's death is precisely due to the kind of laws for which you are arguing. If you want to persuade these people, you need to discredit those statistics.

3. Yikes! Then again, maybe preaching to the converted is your purpose here. Why else attribute sentiments like, "I'm all right, Jack, so fuck you," to the other side? If that is your purpose, then ignore my preceding suggestion.

4. Finally, if I'm not way off track by now, the main point of your "Middle Ground" essay is to say that a compromise is needed. Yet you never get around to suggesting what it would be! I'm left with a sense that maybe you accidentally deleted the last paragraph of this essay. (Not really -- that would be a pretty big typo :-) -- but that's how I felt when I got to the end.)

Anyway, thanks for putting in the effort to produce the Spectacle. I know it's a *lot* of work, and I for one appreciate it. See you next month.

Jesse Perry jap@unx.dec.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Your comment "What seems to have happened is that the NRA called in a favor"...... is typical of those who don't understand politics. The NRA is not Exxon, Mobil, IBM or any other large commercial establishment with financial gains. Rather it is a citizens group of the most dedicated Americans in this country. When the NRA speaks, it is speaking for 3 million people. Those elected "doggies" as you like to call them are having that favor called in from the NRA members that elected them, not the NRA. The NRA didn't vote them into office, it is merely carrying our message to Capitol Hill. That is what a democracy is about.

I must clarify my position on taggants. I agree that the high cost of ammo is not a point of debate, merely a by-product of my argument. My opposition to taggants, is that it is a round about way at gun control. By making ammo expensive and difficult to obtain it in effect neutralizes the citizens firearms. NO AMMO = NO GUNS.

The idea that in the event of a revolution, pipe bombs will be a major weapon is a naive thought. The government will know their enemies and any confrontations will be face to face. Besides, their are more readily available explosives than blackpowder.

In closing I think you fail to realize that the Founders of this nation are in favor of Revolution. That is why they guaranteed FREE SPEACH and GUNS to back it up. The NRA merely supports the basis and theory of this Nations Constitution.

Karl wooffer@ix.netcom.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

It amazes me that you could possibly be for gun control after reading all of your Auschwitz articles. If they had weapons (and a will to fight like in the ghettos), they would have seriously hurt Germany. In the beginning they may have been nieve about what was going on but later they new and could do nothing since they were defenceless. Don't you see this as a perfect reason to abolish gun controls??

By the way after seeing that you are Jewish, I think you also should definately read the Turner Diaries and Brotherhood of Murder. It is totally anti-semetic and grotesque against jews. If more jews would have read Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler before his rise to power, they would have seen the holocaust coming. He specifically stated what he would do to the Jews. Unfortunately, most Jews said either, that could never happen here or I don't want to read that anti-semetic stuff and they fell victim (history is said to always repeat itself). There is a military saying, "You should know your enemy". I emplore you to read those books to understand just how screwed up some individuals in US are and also to learn just how unresponsive and ineffective the US government is. They only found out what was happenening in 1980 because one member spilled his guts when he was caught for counterfieting, otherwise, the US government had no clue as to what the Brotherhood was doing. Even if you disagree with the gun points I stated, you should still read these books to understand the hatred here in the US.

DH hhr@webspan.net


Dear Sir,

I have seen your home page on The Spectacle.

I am very impressed at your work, especially the rhetorical power of your writing.

Just in case your are interested in expanding your links section, I have recently put up a page devoted to the argument that guns should be more strictly controlled. It discusses the 2nd Amendment, various statistical studies, and other issues. The address is:

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zj5j-gttl/guns.htm

Thank you for your consideration.

Jason Gottlieb zj5j-gttl@asahi-net.or.jp


What is Government for?


Dear Mr. Wallace:

"Government is Force", or so said George Washington. Any other aspect of government can as readily be done by other entities, such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army.

When can you, acting on your own authority, use force in an ethical manner?

Is it ethical to use force to require one person to surrender money to another? To require a person to ingest ( or not ingest ) certain substances? To require a person to own, or not own, certain items?

As a Libertarian, I maintain that the government has no more authority to use force than the individuals who comprise it. If you and I, personally, have no ethical grounds to use force, we cannot delegate authority to some third person to use such force on our behalf.

Terry McIntyre tm@switch.com


An Auschwitz Alphabet


Mr. Wallace:

Just read the May, 1996 piece "If We Forget." Could you explain to me what the purpose of this piece was other than to defame "Pols" [sic]? It is basically a hate piece against Poland, which somehow gets blamed by Mr. Daniel Tatar for the Holocaust, which, last time I checked, was a German-conceived and German-run undertaking. Germany--by the way-- is never mentioned by Mr. Tatar, who decries the "uneducated" hate of Polish teenagers. How educated is Mr. Tatar if he doesn't even know the Holocaust was a German event? Has he even heard of the nation-state known as Germany? He fears another Holocaust at Polish hands, as if Poles did it in the first place! This really is madness. If he was taunted by idiotic teens and children, I am truly sorry, but prove to me that youngsters in NO OTHER COUNTRY ON PLANET EARTH engage in despicable racist, ethnocentric, sexist, etc., baiting of others, and I will willingly consign myself and the entire worldwide population of Poles and their descendants to Hades forever. We truly must be the children of Satan. Or so Mr. Tatar seems to believe. It seems he went to Poland looking for anti-Semitism and got what he was looking for. So what is he upset about? I wouldn't be upset at all if I were superior to the "Pols." Especially if I could read minds like Mr. Tatar does with the Polish boy scout he mentions. Funny how he KNEW the scout thought he was a "dirty Jew." Gimme a break.

Mr. Wallace, please show some editorial discretion with your pieces. Spelling wasn't checked, facts weren't checked, nothing was checked. You published a hate letter to the Polish nation.

Congratulations. Polack baiters around the world salute you.

Kenneth S. Kiesnoski kkiesnos@cmp.com


Hi,

Ok, since you asked for opinions ("Please let me know what you think") I will give you my thoughts.

Some of the stuff you've put into the dictionary seems a bit inaccurate or incomplete. I admit to not having gone through the entire dictionary, but here are my comments on some of the entries.

Arbeit Macht Frie, Yup, it wasn't intended to be a joke, I believe Hoss was thinking of his days in jail. As I recall, he wrote or maybe implied something about work taking ones mind away from (freeing you from) the surroundings. As for the idea of scarifice bring spiritual freedom, maybe, but in that case it probably would be a joke, I think that Hitler wrote that the main evil of Jews was their inability to self sacrifice.

Block 10, I am curious about your reference to turning people into cultures. I have read a book, "Doctor 117641," by Louis J. Micheels MD, that says that some of the Hungarian Jews (who mostly went directly to the gas chamber) were turned into rations for the camp inmates. He references a book by Filip Muller, but the book by Muller seems not to support the claim by Micheels. If you have any thoughts or comments on this I would really like to know.

Esacpe, I remember seeing someone on TV talking about a succesful escape and how dogs could be confused by a mixture of gasoline and tobacco. If you could find a source for this it would make a great addition.

Mussellman - You seem not to say in this entry that the term describes people near death because of the position they would take. The position of a Muslim praying, i.e. kneeling with the body in contact to the legs and parallel to the earth. I've even seen photos of people in the position in news reel footage of liberated camps.

Why - An almost perfect encapsulation of the entire Holocaust. It reminded me of a quote I saw recently at some White Supremecy site; "Might will be right when obedience is a duty." I think that you might cross reference the "Why" entry with your entry on There is no God ("Shut up and stop asking questions.")... However, I believe (ok, ok, you didn't ask me what I believe only what I thought) that it is a requirement of human existance to constantly question everything. For those who won't do this I must sadly observe that stupidity and ignorance are an evolutionary dead ends and brings their own rewards.

Zyklon B - I think that Robert Jay Lifton (I think you quote him elsewhere) wrote some of the most interesting things about Zyklon B, its use, its procurement and the (German) law regarding it, that I've ever read.

"There is no God" - Ok, but I'm not sure I agree with all of your reasoning. Why is Aushwitz proof that no god exists, why isn't Noahs flood a good enough proof, and if its not then how can Aushwitz be, Please, don't tell me that a rainbow is proof of a deity. As for not worshipping because god didn't stop it.. maybe a deity would have its reasons, unfathomable to mere logical mortals.

Condemned to Repeat History? - Ask the Armenians, ask the Cambodians, ask the Muslims in Bosnia, but start by asking the Canaanites.

Thanks, I had a great time at your site. Lot's of sites are fun, not many provoke thought. I also appreciate the huge amount of work you must have done.

lruss@superlink.net


Dear Jonathan:

I would like to say Thank you for the job you've done, for your contribution to All victims of World War II, and especialy to those at Oswiecim_Auschwitz,

I'm polish, catholic and reside in Canada due to another attempt of 'nazi' kind by communists in Poland, Thanks God it is over,

I'm writing to you also to ask if know of any pages on russian camps (Archipelag Gulag) if you do please let me know !

I'm working on my home page which will include links to your page (Auschwitz Alphabet)

Best wishes

Andrzej Palka kare@dlcwest.com


Jonathan,

I wanted to contact you regarding your Auschwitz Alphabet site. My name is Kevin Scharff and I am a UCLA graduate student in the Film and Television Department, with a concentration in critical studies and digital media. Before coming to Los Angeles I have had extensive exposure to Holocaust studies, having the opportunity to work with Michael Berenbaum while studying at Georgetown University and Robert Wistrich during my year as a Wallenberg Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I am currently working on a paper to be presented at the Society for Literature and Science Conference in Atlanta this fall and I have a few questions that you may be able to help answer for me. The topic of the paper is to be entitled something like "Virtual Testimony: The Holocaust and the Authenticity of Digital Interface." I am exploring the unique ways in which digital media is being used in Holocaust studies. I have spent a good deal of time on the internet, explored several multimedia projects, and have visited Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem and the Wiesenthal Center. Having spent significant time also surfing the internet, I have found your site to engage in the unique questions the digital environment is posing to Holocaust studies. Thus, I hope this email is able to find someone who may be able to help me with some basic questions:

1) In what way do you see digital media shaping Holocaust testimony, education and information? Do you feel that a digital interface/environment jeopardizes authority and authenticity?

2) Do you have any estimates of the number of hits you receive or general reaction from people who have visited your site? Do you find the internet to be a superior way to reach an audience?

3) I am intrigued by your decision to utilize the non-linear narrativity of digital media in constructing your site. How do you feel your site has advantages utilizing the internet as opposed to existing in a more "traditional" form (such as a book, picorial, etc)?

4) How do you evaluate the abundance of accessible material, such as photographs, written testimony and audio-visual accounts, now found on the internet and other digital modes of communication (such as CD-ROMs)? Have there been accounts of manipulation of these forms of documentation? Do you find that such materials are able to reach new audiences and/or enhance other, more traditional means of education?

5) Have you encountered much Holocaust revisionism on the web?

6) In what ways do you see the digital environment shaping the future of representing Holocaust testimony?

Any information to these questions would be of immense help to my project and presentation. Many thanks and mazel tov on your site.

Kevin Scharff ivanhoe@ucla.edu


Jonathan - I have spent the last hour reading through your work and have found it to be informative, interesting, and frightening. I came across it by looking for information on Oskar Schindler. I was trying to think of any constructive criticism for you, but was unable. I Thought for example about the usage of more pictures but then thought they would distract from what you are trying to say and inform the reader about. I also have thought about your idea of the "Walk through" I can not decide if it would make it a game or not. I think it would be effective if you could find a good way to make the reader feel involved to the point where they don't want to make a single wrong decision that would led to death or other undesirable event (for lack of a better term.) I am by no means an expert on the subject but am interested in how a people can turn on another with such cruelty. I have lived in the Midwest and southwest all my life and have not seen the predigest here as I have in New York and in the south. While in New York someone used the turn JAP I took this to mean Japanese (I had only heard it in W.W.II Movies) It wasn't until I finally asked what they were talking about did I realize what they ment. It is amazing that can still go on after what we have learned (at least some of us) from past mistakes. I hope you continue to do more work on the subject. Are there any letters written by prisoners or the soldiers and doctors that survived the war that you might be able to include? I read a book full of letters from Vietnam that really opened my eyes to what those involved thought about from day to day? I realize letter writing could not have been very easy for prisoners but I thought they may have written some that where found by the Russians after the war.

Thank you for your efforts.

Richard Bennett ee81597@goodnet.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

We are pleased and proud to announce the opening of a show of photographs of Birkenau at the award winning websight London Calling Internet:

http://www.demon.co.uk/london-calling/artgal.html

Krysia Jacobs, web page design:
http://www.bravenewweb.com/MM/
Alan Jacobs, photos and captions: http://www.bravenewweb.com/idea/

Krysia Jacobs kjacobs@bravenewweb.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am very impressed with this site. However, my only comment would be a request for photo captions: I find it difficult to understand sometimes what a particular photagraph is doing in a certain section without an explanation of what it depicts, and why and where and by whom it was taken.

All the best,

Hens Breet pristine@interport.net


Jonathan,

I want to thank you for your site. What happened should never be forgotten. I too am interested in the Holocaust and am formulating a site. What I am looking for is as complete a list as possible of the victims, or numbers by country that perished. I am just beginning my journey and would appreciate any help or pointers. Thank you for your time.

Shalom,
James Pohl jpohl@ist.ucf.edu


John,

The Auschwitz Alphabet is one of my bookmarks. I've shown and told many friends about it. On my visit tonight, I tried several of the links on the links page and found them out of date. Could you update them and possibly myself as well? My father, Adam Weisblatt, was one of the hidden children in occupied Poland. He thinks he is listed as dead in the archives. I want to change that if I can.

Thank you for taking time to read this. I am truly amazed at the work you have done.

Paul Weisblatt kitebaron@aol.com


Dear Jonathan,

Everything in your site is excellent! The Schindler's List page and the comment (on Schindler's List) in the McVay interview are very curious and bizarre to me ... extreme cynicism is my perception.

As for the rest -- keep up the good work...!

Sincerely,
John Munro jlmunro@texas.net


Sir:

Though I am a newcomer to the Net, I have been a student of the Third Reich from childhood to the present. Your page was perhaps the last thing I expected to find, but it restores my faith in human nature to see it there.

I am gratified to see that there is someone who has chosen to use this newest of mediums for something more noble than selling videos, cracking jokes, or engaging in lewd and meaningless cyber-encounters. Just as I was beginning to wonder if there was any humanity to be found on the Web, I blundered onto your page.

Were it up to me, Auschwitz Alphabet would be required browsing in every high school and college campus; it would be a harsh yet valuable lesson to a generation that knows little of the present and even less of the past.

We must never forget.

Sincerest regards,
Timothy P. Coyle timcoyle@ici.net


A Shaggy God Story


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I wrote last week asking if you were the author of " A Shaggy God".

For years, I have always been engaged in a search of sorts for what I call the "core". With the passing of time, and as I reach different stages in my own life, the search has ebbed and flowed to varying levels. A friend of mine recently wrote [referring to me]: "I really think you have a talent for pursuing a line of reasoning or an angle of perception down to the last defin- ing detail. Sometimes I notice that you are still searching every nook and cranny of a room, whereas I might have paused in the doorway and said, 'Hmmm, that looks interesting', before continuing down the hall."

I chuckled when I read this because even though he was trying to give complement, it was not lost on me that some see my search as excessive or in the past even obsessive. At this point in my life, married with a beautiful two year old boy, the search lingers sometimes annoyingly in the background. Day to day living now takes front row!

I found your writings both poignant and enthralling. I have often questioned the usefullness of a God which would allow for such atrocities as exist today and even more have existed in the past. My search has taken me not only on the philosophical route, but also the scientific, reading books that might give a glimpse into the nature of some sort of higher reasoning. I suppose I was trying to find some "loop-hole" somewhere that argued for the inclusion of pain, suffering, and unjustness for the system as a whole to work. I came up short-changed. I understand the value of faith among more than one person- I have seen wonderful developments from these unions....I have also witnessed horrible ones.

At one point, I began to think that my search might lead me to look behind the curtain only to be terribly disappointed. If we look TOO close at our own existence, we might find that like looking under the lens of a highly magnified microscope, what we find crawling around on our own skin can be quite alarming!! It was at this point, I thought maybe I had invested too much energy into discovering the Undiscoverable Core of Truth.

Enter, your writings- from a self-proclaimed agnostic. I found your decriptions of the Galapogos Islands enchanting. I had never heard much of them before. The story of the Blue Footed Booby was So unusual I found myself reciting it to my husband the next day. The islands with all their unusual creatures stayed vividly in my mind all the next day after reading your story. Along with the island, I thought much of the fact that maybe I had run the gamut of what I could discover about the existence of a Higher Power. The next day, I walked to the mailbox. I pulled out a couple of letters along with a catalog from The Nature Company (something I've received for years). There, on the front staring out at me was a beautiful,yet very UNUSUAL looking bird! As my eyes followed down the catalog to the bottom, I saw the huge, BLUE feet! To the left was the caption: "In the Galapagos Islands you can see the amusing mating dance of the Blue Footed Booby". Amazed, I opened up the catalog to find all kinds of Galapogos treasures. Excitedly, I went back in the house , to the computer, to the Bookmarked site of your writings, just to make sure this was the same Blue-Footed Booby you had mentioned and I had read about just 2 nights before. The one and the same.

Now, I know, you're probably thinking "Big Deal". Occurances, of this kind use to happen to me quite often. In fact, lately they have been very few and far between and frankly missed. Even the events which led me to find your stories were unexplainable. Coincidence? I prefer epiphenomenon! Call it what you may. It is the vague happenings in life which leave one to wonder and imagine. And without imagining Something or Anything, life would ultimately be left in limbo. I would have been reluctant to write to you (I've never done anything like this over the internet or otherwise) except for your writing which described your very personal experience concerning your brother. I felt like you, too, were not closing doors which would never be opened or examined again.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I am again searching..........

Charla Scivally cscivaly@vallnet.com


Freedom of Speech


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I enjoyed your pages but find them somewhat hypocritical. Where are the bomb recipes and the links to juicy or truly nasty porn?

Michael cammer1@telico.bioc.aecom.yu.edu


Dear Sir,

I have a web site dealing with free speech and privacy issues related to the Internet. It provides both links to Ethical Spectacle and also the book Sex, Laws and Cyberspace.

You have good links from your web page and I hope to be included in that list.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Yaman Akdeniz
LAWYA@leeds.ac.uk
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/pgs/yaman/yaman.htm


Miscellaneous


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I applaud your premise and your article about dissolving the CIA. Why not carry the ball further and start a PAC, sell t-shirts, rate congressmen?


I think your piece on Mike Tyson shows how fucking biased and idiotic you assholes really are!!!!!!!!!

benji benji@worldnet.att.net