Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

President Bush is appointing exactly the kind of Supreme Court justices that he should be under the U.S. Constitution. Two of his three picks--Roberts and now Alito--are judges with a scholarly bent and a commendable commitment to the law itself as an instiution and process. Their conservatism informs their understanding of the law but does not over-ride it. To call them "ideological" suggests wrongly that there is a candidate out there somewhere who is not. Everyone has an ideology of some kind; one expects a President to pick judges who share his. I am grateful that he has not been picking nut cases and tools, people who will run the conservative football down the field no matter what damage it causes to the courts as an institution.

Even Harriet Miers did not offend me as a choice. Though she did not have the track record or intellectual crackle of the other two, she shared their respect for institutions. Though the accusations of cronyism had some validity, the people uttering them sounded a little like Claude Rains saying that he is "shocked, shocked" by the gambling in Rick's. I think Harriet Miers would have been a decent, quiet judge, committed to fairness and to doing the job with the same high standards and lack of granstanding with which she served the President as his counsel.

All of which is not to say that the Democrats shouldn't fidget, question, and shed light on the President's beliefs and their likely consequences. But the kind of purple rhetoric we have heard recently, suggesting that the President is sending the country to the dogs with his appointments, is just wrong. This time around, he was democratically elected, and he is entitled to choose justices sympathetic to his views.

Jonathan Wallace jw@bway.net

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. The following is this month's example.

You are a perfect spectacle of stupidity gone to seed.

You need to get to know Jesus Christ.

mred mred@godsbest.com

Mr. Wallace:

I like your web site, partly because your views parallel my own, partly because of its simplicity.

Like you, I am old enough to have participated in 'duck & cover' drills in elementary & junior high. And I actively remember the Kent State fiasco. To this day it still fills me with horror.

"Good, It's about time they started shooting protestors." is as exact a quote as I can remember. It was from the lead in the operator in the mill department. I was working as an apprentice toolmaker on the evening shift when we heard the newscast on the radio.

I was immobilized with rage. Part of me wanted to smack the SOB that made the statement with a Crescent wrench; part of me wanted to scream at the ignorance and stupidity of such a statement. In the end, I walked away silently. Words literally could not express how I felt at that moment.

Still can't.

Never Forget.

Stephen Fey

Dear Jonathan:

I've been in Asia for more than 26 years.

i was very naive when I came here, even though I was a Viet Nam vet, and it was years before I recognized what cultural differences were.

Most Americans are naive and will remain so if they persist in the perfect soultion. We may have been wrong in getting in Iraq the way we did. Most overseas Americans realized it would have created a power vacuum and tried to express that opinion.

(Hillary missed a good chance at the white house and history. Bush Clinton Bush Clinton)

If we pull out now it will be worse. We have to make the most of a bad situation. Give a means to pull out.

The Islamic die hards will make problems in many country's. not just Iraq. Notice Thailand.

I believe in what you are saying but offer a solution.

David Cherbonnier

Dear Sir:

Regarding On Lying:

If this brief email finds you alive and well...then I applaud you, I was so very confused and your words helped.

I can only imagine the pain you must have been in-perhaps like mine presently. I truly admire the strength you possessed...to be able to stop, and put it aside long enough, to share it with the strangers who would someday read it.

I, for one, have benefited from your willingness to share a clear definition/explanation of this "Moral Imperative." As you articulated...it is a Universally shared definition. There are different levels of consequence from its breach...from a small personal shame, to life altering events that can't be controlled (because the trust is forever doubted).

I Thank You Sincerely,


Dear Mr. Wallace:

there is no freedom if there is no truth

lying is the lowest truthing is the highest.

truthing benefits all the same lying does not .

very simply lying vs truthing is the core issue of all thoughts and creations.

ty for sharing info .

Re An Auschwitz Alphabet:

would just like to thank you for the time and effort you have devoted, it was a most interesting ,(sad) obsorbing work. well done!

Chris Henry

Hello Jonathan,

my wife and me have just returned from a short visit to Krakow. We hoped to reap the benefits of favourable zloty-sterling exchange rate, and to see the sights of the city; visiting Auschwitz was not on our agenda at all; but, as things turned out, we did go. We are still reeling from the brute blow of the experience, a blow we imagined we would comfortably accommodate, but find we cannot. We wish to express our gratitude for your site, its humanity and good sense.


Jim Buck & Julia Duggleby