Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

More than 37,000 people visited the Spectacle site last month. As usual, letters came in from all over the world, responding to issues old and new, confirming the power of the Net as a means of democratic communication. I heard from a number of librarians and government lawyers thanking me for the paper on censorware in libraries, which seems to have helped influence some decision-makers away from the easy but unconstitutional decision of censoring library computers. A column I wrote about Cybersitter appeared in Internet Underground magazine and I did an interview about PICS with Interactive Week. Mike Green and I finished editing a law review article on Curing Analogy Deficiency: The Internet, the Printing Press and Freedom of Speech, forthcoming in Seattle University Law Review (I'll put it online when I can.) I also wrote the first draft of a short peiece on the pervasiveness doctrine for a DC think tank. Your email fuels The Spectacle, so keep it coming! Write me at jw@bway.net.


Capitalism


Dear Mr. Wallace:

This utopian view of business is not wrong, just unreal. By using "could" instead of "should" and "can", it comes closer to reality. Especially if you add the explanatory sentences, as to how it could.

That revolves about risk and dedication, that ownership and growth requires. If you don't have anything to lose, i.e., your invested money, time and effort, to build something, you don't have the caring, pride, motivation, and, yes, love a business requires to grow.

Ask any person who ever built a business; risked everything, dedicated every hour and thought to making it work, just how much the employees, customers, government agencies, and general public helped, in any way, to make the business work. Ask the owner who spent $4000 purchasing shovels, during the year, to replace the shovels lost and stolen. Ask the business owner who lost a business due to fraudulent worker's comp claims that were too costly to litigate. Ask the owner who went broke paying the bills for an alcoholic's treatment, and was prohibited from hiring a replacement worker. Then ask the shareholders; who, these days are mostly workers building retirement investment, and/or retirees trying to increase their retirement income, what their opinion is. The two groups (of the four you mention) who have a real investment in the busi- ness; a real risk.

Bottom line, I guess; dream on, but make an attempt to look at the real- ity of the situation. Maybe try it, so you will really understand. As they say, "Walk a mile in my shoes before you tell me how badly I walk".

Please remove my name from your newsletter. It's obvious that your opinion that the business world doesn't understand or operate in a moral, principled manner, is a generalization that I can't understand nor believe. Nor do I believe that all employees are in that unethical, unprinciples, category, either. They are all, owners, employees, customers, and general public,human beings, and so some are, some aren't; so, a gen- eralization, such as you make, is, in my opinion, both stupid, and dare I say unprincipled.

Nettie Kunz nkunz@cyberhighway.net


Dear Jonathan:

I just wanted to say I am enthralled with all of this, you, the web, the "spectacle"... I think your site is wonderful!

I am probably not a capitalist. I don't know what I am. I am struggling mightily to remain a loyal American, dedicated to the principles of liberty and justice for all, but I don't know where my feelings lie at the moment... I believe people, given enough time (and opportunity) to decide, will do the right thing, we just rarely have enough... that's all. That's why tyrants and capitalists can't afford too many idle minds sitting around, plotting mischief, inventing better mouse traps!

I guess I doubt capitalism can be "democratic" and "compassionate," much less profitable, all at the same time. The "tragedy of the commons," prevails... I suspect anything really important must be compensated for with a salary, so the only incentive is to excel, not profit.

I'm not sure, at the moment, I'm still trapped in my mind and memory of the past. The questions, though, are basic: who deserves what, when, how? How much? Food, water, shelter, medicine, clothing - privacy, respect, opportunity. Where do we draw the lines? How fine, broad, wide, narrow, confining? How hard, straight, smooth, ragged, harsh?

I agree with you and Gandhi, of course, that "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." I just wish it wasn't so demanding. "To be or not to be" - forever that infernal question!

So, thank you, Jonathan. I am jealous of your youth and skill. I love your words and expressions. You are making a proper "spectacle" of yourself that I am sure your ancestors would approve of and be proud of you... I'm sorry if you don't want me to be "ennobled" by you.

May God bless you and keep you, anyway, whoever he, she, or it is, or isn't... The important thing is that you are being good! And doing good stuff! I love it! We all should be so lucky.

Many Thanks for your Much Effort,

Ken_Smet@msn.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

If you honestly can't see just how capitalism is destroying America and Canaduh (my country) then you're blind... the real murderers, rapists, thiefs are those fuckers in office... if they ever cared for anyone but themselves... we could be out of all the problems that we face... Capitalism leaves too many people too die... and let's the rich get what they want.. ie: buying off the people in office. I'm so against your views on how to make this a better place its' sick. How could you be so mislead? So many people get fucked over by capitalism... *sigh* I bet you eat animals too... anyway... please mail me back and i promise i won't bitch anymore =) I'm a firm beleiver that we can make this world better if we can talk it out... and care for others as much as we care for ourselves.... capitalism does not work.. "let's try something different"

Kyle jksawchu@escape.ca


Freedom of Speech


Dear Jonathan:

Now that I've taken a few minutes to closely read your library paper I'm afraid I find it badly flawed, though I would be pleased if the conclusion was true.

Section I hinges on the removal vs. selection analogy. Your argument here is based on one statement: "a library installing computers with full Internet access has, in effect, acquired the entire contents of the Internet." There are many problems with this claim, but one only has to consider that access points are limited resources just like shelf space and acquisition budgets to see that the phrase "in effect" doesn't express the whole truth. I don't think appealing to the fact that only one person can check out/browse any particular book at once can work because checking out one book does not keep someone from checking out another the way use of terminal keeps someone else from using it. The result of this is that blocking a site is not directly analogous to removal of a book. (It's also not directly analogous to not selecting a book.) The question is, is it still close enough to allow us to depend on Pico. In any case I think your paper would benefit from a little more analysis of this point.

Sections II and III both seem to be unclear on what exactly the government role is in this case. It's certainly not as "sovereign" as it is in the CDA case. I'm not sure if it's exactly "proprietor," but that seems like a closer fit. These terms are from the "Cyberspace-Law for Non-Lawyers" course, I'm not sure how common they are.

A minor nit: You might have a hard time showing you are blocked by Cybersitter "for...criticism of the product", even if that is the truth. No need to clutter up the paper with non-facts.

David Ball dball@qur.nrl.navy.mil


Dear Jonathan:

I agree with your general principle you only need to make your ranting more structured so that it makes sense and isn't superficial. You take bits of all of these cases and form them to fit your principle. If you maybe made things flow better and used better examples more people would pay attention to you.

Tom Bryant tbryant@spyglass.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Might I suggest a solution to the library problem? Maybe a list of unobjectionalble sites could be maintained for different regions. Each public library could download a list of these sites from their regeonal database and allow access to these sites. Public users would not be able to access weirdsex.com in the library because it isn't on the list. The library doesn't have that book on the shelves. The list would make it so that each library wouldn't have to spend years compiling its own list.

Andy Mereness amarinus@gunnison.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have no quibble with the fight to strike down the Communications Decency Act. To me, it seemed ill-considered, ill-conceived, and overbroad. On other subjects, I found your reportage in Sex, laws and Cyberspace balanced.

I take issue, however, with the Jake Baker chapter. The federal judge refused to convict Baker for transmitting an interstate threat, because the threat was not targeted at Doe. Baker should've been convicted b/c he showed a malicious disregard for whether or not Doe would receive the threat--why use her name if he didn't seek her attnetion. With usenet search engines, it is easy to search for mention of one's name. It is clearly forseeable that eventually the threat would eventually reach Doe.

Moreover, the concluding sentencing at the end--something to the effect of "Let Beauty and Truth triumph over violence and smut!" incensed me. It reeked of complacency; the complacency of someone sure that truth will emerge from the marketplace of ideas.

I have a lot of problems with this notion:

1) Aren't you overvaluing truth? Aren't there more important values such as privacy? One way I can gauge how you would come out on this is to see whether you think the Florida Star-decision (1989) was wrongly decided . . . 2) Consider Tribe in American Constitutional Law: "Especially when the wealthy have more access to the most potent media of communication than the poor, how sure can we be that 'free trade in ideas' is likely to generate the truth."

And before you say that the Internet is different, that both the rich and poor have equal access to it--look at the state of America's public schools and the differences between rich and poor school districts. Check out Jonathon Kozol's Savage Inequalities.

3) I think that a better 1stA jurisprudential approach is advocated by Steven Shiffrin--he argues that an emphasis on DISSENT would be preferable to an emphasis on the marketplace metaphor. Shiffrin argues that we need dissent-centered 1stA law because there are gross inequalities in the speech-arena.

In 78 Nw.U.L.Rev. 1212, 1281 (1983) he makes the following argument: "Living in a society in which children and adults are daily confronted with multiple communications that ask them to purchase products inevitably places emphasis on materialistic values. The authors of the individual messages may not intend that general emphasis, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. [Advertisers] spend some 60 billion per year. [Those] who would oppose the materialist message must combat forces taht have a massive economic advantage. Any confidence that we will know what is truth by seeing what emerges from such combat is ill-placed."

Gita Sen ITiresias@aol.com


Dear Jonathan:

Horrified by Censorware. Censorship has always been one of oppression's major weapons. Nothing I detest more. Would like to start campaign of writing newspapers and magazines about the issues. Do you know if there is compendium of e-mail addresses of newspapers and magazines{Shades of 1984} or do we need to create our own?

Thanks

Herschel N. Hadley hnhadley@ma.ultranet.com


Dear Jonathan: We're jus' regular netizens with not much individual power, but we're with you all the way. The masses must be informed of "censorware" and it's policy of censoring voices of criticism. That last paragraph ought to be enough to scare the hell out of anyone. Keep it up.

Bob Carman & Kathy Moss bobcrmn@worldnet.att.net


Hello Jonathan:

While reading the lists of 100+ or 900+ banned words ("the", "The", and "w" are among those horrible offenders), I couldn't help but think back on George Carlan's list containing a mere 7 words. My how things have changed, or have they?

Check this out, but I believe it is still correct. The Church of Latter Day Saints and The Boeing Company are organizations whose official names start with or contains "The". I know Boeing was that way when I worked there in the 60's. Has anyone sought out either of their positions regarding being on somebody's list simply because of their choice of corporate name?

Wonder what would be the effect if a wealthy investor could not obtain a prospectus if he decided to purchase a million shares of Boeing stock, especially when he learned somebody was acting in his behalf in denying him knowledge of the company?

I seriously doubt that any kids in the teens has not heard (and probably used on at least one occasion) the majority of all 3 lists.

I suspect Milburn and gang's goals have virtually nothing to do with protecting little Johnnie's or Susie's tender minds. I don't know what you will find, but every time one of these zealots surfaces, I sense another Jimmy Swaggart - do what I say, not what I do.

In that vein, might I recommend you determine what Milburn's agenda is, perhaps by taking a close look at what he has done in the past (for starters, what's on his resume?), what organizations he was ever ASSociated with (oops, don't let the watchdogs read this correspondence for they will censor my first amendment right out of existence), and what connections feed his organization. The latter, i.e. connections may be the most productive, and most difficult, of all.

Best wishes,

Darryl Gardner cgardner@mail.state.tn.us


Dear Mark and Jonathan:

I just finished reading "Sex, Laws and Cyberspace;" while am impressed and grateful that you wrote the book, I am also more than a little bit disturbed. Throughout the book, you characterize persons you disagree with as "wrong," and intimate that there is an accessible "right" interpretation to the First Amendment. I find these aspects of your book problematic, not because I disagree with your interpretations or your contentions, but because they are distracting, misleading and undercut your main argument.

If I may, I understand a main point of the book to be that the history of information technology has been a history of attempts to control that technology. You intimate that this control is unwise, and offer pointed examples as to why. However, by using the simplistic characterization that someone is "wrong" about a conception of the internet or a possible interpretation of the First Amendment, you are engaging in the very same attempts to control the medium that you criticize! While in one sense this might be understood as a confirmation of an initial theme of the book, it certainly undercuts the book's logical significance.

I am also troubled by the pervasive contention in the book that the meaning of the First Amendment is somehow immediately accesible on its face. A historical review of Supreme Court decisions on the matter will make clear that the First Amendment offered no significant "free speech" protections until the beginning of this century; while it seems to be common understanding that the First Amendment offers protection to most speech, that was not always the case-- in fact, there is quite a good historical argument to be made that what the framers "really" intended the First Amendment to provide was merely a protection against prior restraints.

Again, let me make my meaning clear-- I am quite sympathetic with the political position of the book; I am merely troubled by some of the rhetorical devices used to advanced that position. I am very interested to hear your response(s) to these comments.

sincerely,
Jay Macke
2L, Ohio State University College of Law
macke.8@osu.edu


Schindler's List


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Ok.

I am upset.

I'm not a Jew.

I am a white American Christian - and I am so hurt at what was written.

I do not understand how we as people can be so cruel - we are all humans in need of love and support - not criticism and hate.

Why?

I understand your need to express yourself - but please - be careful how and what you chose to say - remember - those "bug-eyed' Jews are people too - with hearts and souls and dreams and needs...they eat, sleep, cry, feel - just like you.

Wake up.

rebecca barringer rebebar@regent.edu

Rebecca must not have understood that I am Jewish. She thought I was expressing dislike of the Jewish people rather than of the movie.


An Auschwitz Alphabet


Dear Mr. Wallace:

amazing artifact

"Saif Y. Patel" syp744@casbah.acns.nwu.edu


Dear Mr. wallace:

Thank you for creating this. I am taking it in in bits during lunch hours.

Have you heard of Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation ("Shoah Foundation"). We are looking for personnel with your interests. Please visit our web site (vhf@aol.org, I believe). Our personnel recruiter is working on getting more info about job availability onto the Net, but she is just learning. If you are interested, please Email me and I will forward your name to her.

If you care not to work here yourself, perhaps you could refer someone to us.

Jo Anne Childress Josie@vhf.org


Hello,

I just read through part of your Website and, pardon the lack of proper expression for such a difficult time in history, found it useful and very informative. It was interesting that you quoted from Karen Armstrong's History of God, which I have just completed reading, leaving me with more questions than answers.

Just one comment: You may want to consider packaging your pages into one Acrobat "book" that can be downloaded together.

If you have time, I have a couple of questions that perhaps you know the answer to right off. First, after seeing him speak here and after visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, I have been wanting to read something by Elie Wiesel (forgive spelling error). Can you suggest a good book of his to start with? Secondly, I dabble in writing screenplays in my private time. I'm working on a scene of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz. Do you know a book that talks about this particular event in some detail?

Thank you for your time. Respectfully, Daniel Parker dparker@garnet.acns.fsu.edu


Dear Jonathan:

Just a note to thank you for your excellent presentation/home page on the Auschwitz Alphabet. Though I am but one casual observer, I am deeply moved by the messages learned through the holocaust and persecutions upon the many peoples presented, both past and present. I realize that such awareness places a responsibility upon my shoulders to not stand idly by but be a voice of protest. Such responsibility I do in my own small way, nothing very dramatic and yet ever aware of what I must do.

Of your presentation I am deeply touched. In a rare impression, I am moved upon to respond to it, even if it is for my own self reflection. My knowledge, like most of my contemporaries, is largely from what I've read, watched on the television, or expereinced at such places as the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I've been at the home of Anne Frank in Amsterdam and been at a memorial for one of the demarkation points for Dutch Jews in Holland. I do not pretend to justify the past or perpetuate the evil that even continues. I teach my children about it, like I teach my children about what happened to the Indians, the evils of the Vietnam war, and of my conserns regarding Bosnia and Ruwanda.

I know that my perspective is naive'. I am greatful that my expereince is not that of others. There is a temptation to accept the premice that the exsistance of such evil gives justification for the belief that there is no God. I am sorry, but that is not how I choose to answer such questions. I believe in a God that loves each of His children, regardless of earthly condition or expereince. I do not believe that issues such as death and dying, how it occurs or how old you are when it happens, are criteria for proof that He loves us. This earthly expereince deals all of us a different hand of cards and our task relates to how we choose to live our life, if the privilege of that choice is offered us. For some, regardless of race, ethnicity, and social status, life is brief. But evil, especially human evil, has no bearing on God's love because I believe that His gift is the life itself. I believe that before coming here he, like he told Jeramiah, he already knew us and consequently, we knew him. I believe we were taught by him and that he offered us the opportunity to come here to be taught something new. This education exists for everyone to some degree, most for at least nine months, and for many years after. I believe that after this life we will go on to another realm, another exsistance, another educational expereince.

My intent in sharing this is not to lecture, preach, or convert. Perhaps it is only to convey a measure of hope to world that can find many reasons for choosing not to hope. If that is not the lesson of the Holocaust, then what is? I can find plenty of evil without digging in history a half a world away. I can find it right here at home. But to me the message of the existance of God in spite of such evil is the true message and benefit of your presentation. Otherwise, you're right, it will happen again and we won't have learned from past.

Please accept my best of wishes and thanks.

Pat A. Beu pbeu@ugf.edu


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I think your alphabet is a true work or art. I am an eighth grade English teacher. We are reading The Diary of Anne Frank and I was surfing the web for materials to present the Holocaust. I am building their prior knowledge base before beginning the unit. The students are really interested in Auschwitz after watching a very moving video about the camp and two survivors who returned. You have really done a great job on this web site. I printed the whole thing to share with my students and co-workers.

Thanks,
D. Terry JACKT35@worldnet.att.net


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thank you for an excellent presentation. Your Auschwitz Alphabet is wonderful....I wonder if it wouldn't pull off into a good hard-back (small, as in "gift") book!

I am Catholic, age 62, just a 4th grader when WWII was hot, andI take great pride that even THEN I was aware--as one suddenly realizes that Santa Claus can't comedown all those chimneys at once--that Pius XII was NOT doing all he could have done, and that there were problems evident from the Wannsee Conference on, particularly extending to the idiot British/Palestine situation in 1948 Jeeeeez, I am no brain, but when you see such outrageous wrongs, I really lose my cool when others don't SEE the wrong.

In 1943 I lived in a tiny California dairy/agriculture village --Newman-- where everybody was either Portuguese, "American" , Okie, or perhaps Mexican. There were no blacks. We got our first Jewish family: a couple with one young son, who were settled onto a farm from which the Japanese owners had been run off.....(to the American Auschwitzs), and they were oddities only because they couldn't speak a word of English. to this day I don't know who they communicated with.

My parents "sponsored " an immigrant family to San Francisco in the mid-1930's, and by 1941 the man had the biggest tent and canvas manufacturing facility in S.F. They were the first Jews I ever met, but unusual only because their "home" was their shop......they didn't really have an "apartment" , but lived in their shop....or rather, the two things ran together.

I was a Charter Member of the Holocaust Museum Society, and have given a serious amount of my time to Holocaust awareneww, including distributing Harold Gilland's book "The Last Sunrise" to all our local schools.

I wish more people would do more. I've been to Germany and seen the denial.

Best,. Jim Crookham, Merced CA mcrook@elite.net


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am an activist working for social change. See: http://csf.Colorado.EDU/authors/hanson/

The lessons learned by holocaust survivors need to learned by everyone if we are to survive the coming crisis.

I would like your permission to send some of your quotes out in a free electronic newsletter. (I have about 750 subscribers.)

I am thinking of sending "Hope" out to my subscribers, naturally I would include a url back to you.

Jay Hanson j@qmail.com


This is an amazing site! I just happen to come across it while searching for stuff on concentration camps. What I like most is the actual accounts from the different people. I was really interested when I saw Elie Wiesel's name. My class in literature just happens to be reading his book Night. Well, keep up the good work!

Ann Chen


Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for having this site. You will know that I am the mother of five year old twin girls. I have read about the Holocaust since I was 12 years old. I have many books on it and though I am not Jewish (Mexican-American) that horrible period in history has always had a space occupying my soul. I know if I had been a mother of twins 50 years ago my daughters would have been chosen for experimentation and death by Mengele. Be assured that when my daughters are old enough I will tell them of the Holocaust and of the brutality of man and of the triumph of the human spirit. In my family, history will not be forgotten.

Esther Dillard edillard@cctexas.org


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am a high school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. I teach 4 classes of an integrated American literature/American history course called "American Threads" to high school juniors. I teach the English portion of the class, and I follow my partner who teachs American history chronologically. My students just completed Elie Wiesel's Night and we have spent the last few days studying the literature of the holocaust. My students, about 115 of them, have been deeply moved by this book and have been engrossed in our discussions. Always looking for new material and information, I was scaning the net doing some research on Dr. Mengele when I "happened" upon Auschwitz Alphabet ("D" for doctors). This is a wonderful resource, and I will certainly use it with next year's class when our school is totally wired to the Web.

Thank you,

JoyceSW@aol.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am a ninth grade student from the Agnes Irwin school in Villanova, Pa. In our history class this year we are required to do a report on a subject having to do with the European countries during the 1700 to 1900's. I chose to write my report on the Holocost and decided to zero in on one topic in perticulare- Auschwitz. I am aware many people believe that the Holocost never happened and was exagerated but it seems so unclear to me how people can believe that (in their hearts). I looked at myself as a very logical teenager and could never imagine how people have some views on the Holocost - and on Jews that people do today. Being Catholic myself I have not been through the racism that you describe on your homepage. But the main reason that I am writing you is because your words were so clear to me and everything you said in the introduction of you page made so much sense to me. After I read the first page I knew I had to write you and tell you how much I enjoyed your introduction and how it made things much clearer to me. The information you have written about Auschawitz will be very helpful to me in my report and my thesis, although I am not too sure what it will be, is now much easier to start- thank you. I greatly appriciate your page and have REALLY appriciated your work. I would love to hear from you.

Sincerly,
Jennifer


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I was thoroughly apalled at your statement, "God does not exist." Yes, we have to undergo hardships on earth, but if we didn't, then Heaven wouldn't be a special thing. Also, if there were no God, don't you think that that the Holocaust would STILL BE OPERATING? Who do you think carried the Jews OUT of those lousy situations? And you are a Jew, as Jesus was, and yet you do not believe in your own savior? If you would read the Bible, you would find that He obviously DOES exist. And, if He in fact does NOT exist, then how did we get here? Who created the earth and people and animals and everything else? Just an accident, I guess, right? Your website was very educational in some areas, but I found it very insulting that you claim there is no God. My family will be praying for you. Give it a chance next time, please.

Thank you for your time (if you're even reading this),

Alice
Age 13


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have used your Auschwitz Alphabet for various information on my last research paper. If it weren't for you, I'd still be searching for all my information. I thank you for compiling it all into one topic for easier finding. Thanks again!

Brittanie


Dear Friend,

I am an Italian violinist, I teach violin into the Conservatory of music "Rossini" in Pesaro.

I am also a dilettante photograph. I had produced some artistic and documentary multivisions for the schools. Some of this works were awarded by Deutsche National Tourist office and by France National Tourist office. Some days ago, a Hi school of my country, ask me if I have a Multivision on Nazi Lagers and Jewish holocaust. Unluckily I haven't nothings on this argument.

So I should like make this multivision.

I Pry you contact the Jewish international community if some ono send me many Slides on Nazi Lagers and Jewish holocaust. This slides must be in square format six - six (Hasselblad size) and only in Black and white.

This slides will be used only for an artistic Multivisio fo the schools of my city, To remenber holocaust.

This work is not for the sake of gain.

I can't pay and I don't send back matirials. Send me only duplicate.

In the begin of my proiection I shell put the name of the Photograph that sendo me slides.

Thank You very much.

Prof. Antonio Calosci
a.calosci@fastnet.it
via Fano 25, 60128 ANCONA


Dear Mr. Wallace:

My name is Barry Hirschman. I also love studying the Holocaust. I find it amazing that a lot of your research comes from Wiesel's NIGHT and Levi's IF NOT NOW WHEN, great books, I admire what you are trying to accomplish and wish to thank you in aiding my research. I will be giving my battalion a lecture in honor of the Holocaust Rememberence to better aid their misconceptions. The pictures, and stories on the survivors were very benificial. Keep up the great work, and if I can be any assistance to you please do not hesitate to call upon me.

Thanks Again,
Barry H. Hirschman ZKVB90A@prodigy.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

If, as you conclude, there is no God, then how can there be a determination of right or wrong, good or evil? If only the persecutors were subject to harm and misfortune, then when would the principled among humanity have opportunity to stand up and say, "We must stop this!" The world had an opportunity to do SOMETHING about the Holocaust as it was occurring. They simply turned their heads and said "That's terrible." We disappointed God by not standing up against genocide then. And it can be said that when we allow Bosnia to become a killing ground, that we are continuing our fault. God does not kill. People kill. We are here to say "No more!" If we do not, then we are at fault.

I am a christian. I have read much on the Holocaust and as you referenced, it was clinically depressing. Convincing people to read and study about it, when the subject arises, is paramount to me. We must teach others that we are here to rise to challenge the evil that people are capable of. If we expect God to do our duty, then why are we here? If there is no God, who determines evil?

I know that if I were faced with the trials that the Holocaust brought on European Jews, I would have my faith waver. But, I hope, that with the continued education of children, that we may raise up a nation that will stop such things from ever happening again. We must care about our fellow man. We must defend our fellow man. I believe that this is what God expected then and what He expects now.

Take care and never forget!

rlcrosse rlcrosse@mem.net


Dear Jonathan:

I was extremely impressed with your site. My name is Dave Marra. I am in a band and we are preparing to independantly "release" a CD which we will entitle "Arbeit Macht Frei" in commemoration of those who died at Auschwitz and the other camps. I do have a small favor to ask of you. Is there any way I could get a "real" photograph of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" door at Auschwitz? We would like to use it for the cover. I am not Jewish, nor is anyone else in my band, but each of us abhor the atrocities that took place in the death camps. Your help in getting this photograph will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
David A. Marra. Jr. Frapped@aol.com


Miscellaneous


Dear Jonathan: I thought I would share an Email which came to me today from my brother. I don't intend to "flame" you by sharing it, I just thought you might enjoy his sense of humor, regardless that it is at your expense.

Please don't be offended.

Bob Wilson

Don wrote:

Bob:
I read your latest letter to Jonathan a week or so ago and am frankly amazed at your restraint. It's a credit to your maturity (vs my lack of same) in that I'm not sure I could be as polite in my responses. I get so sick of the smarmy self righteousness and patronizing conceit of their "arguments". Once upon a time, to be called a liberal meant you tended to value and promote personal freedom and responsibility for one's actions. The "Liberals" were an offshoot of the Whigs and other "radical" thinkers" who attempted to develope reasoned alternatives to royalist controls. The latin "liberalis" meant "pertaining to a free man" not "I know what's best and if you don't agree you're an earth destroying, water polluting, gun worshipping genocidal Antichrist." There are at least 650,000 words in the English language, a lot of which are forgotten or in disuse. They could have called themselves "Labrets"(Ornaments worn through a hole in the lip) or"Laccolites" (naturally formed cisterns) and no one (certainly not I) would have minded. The word "liberal", tho', deserves better treatment. It's galling that I can't use it in describing myself without lengthy explanation. And while I'm at it, the same goes for the word "gay"!

Peace

Don


Dear Mr. Wallace:

ok sir i have no aggreements with you on what you wrote about Interview With the Vampire in may of 95 that i found this evening. You rag on this movie so bad and then say and I quote" I have not read Anne Rice's work, but assuming that the film is faithful, we appear to be sharing the extremely masochistic fantasies of a borderline personality who may somehow have cleansed herself by dumping her garbage on us. "

Now whether you are 15 or 55 you should know the novel is always better than the movie, and the movie is never the same as the movie. As a matter of fact i could point out the differences in the book to the movie. So before you go shooting one of the best (and most highly revired) novels of this century please read it. The next is don't knock a woman that has two, i repeat two "Bram Stoker awards" the most important awards just under the nobel prize for littuature, untill you can show me you have the same and a nobel prize. then if you think she's such a poor author i have friends that hate the entire idea of vampires (very very religious) but they say the novels all 5 of them are the best pieces of litturature they have read when it comes to just being novels. Now if a priest likes it why would she be the worst author. the next is if you talk to any people that are into vampires/goth there are only two really well reveried autors "Bram Stoker" and "Anne Rice". Then to show how well she writes she has 9 novels that I own not to mention two thatare in the works now and about 4 band in some states(which show's she's well known to get the attention of a state counsil or what ever you have down there. She went and bought a building that is two city blocks wide and long then repaired it and fixed it to hold a the "Memnoch Ball" which had about 3 thousand people, the entire crew from "Interview With The Vampire", and seven or eight well known actors and acctresses.

The next is in the movie you say the women don't do a thing,. The only reason for this is because the vampire in myth. To the opposite sex of the vampire, the touch of the vampire is suppose to be as erotic as the feelings that bring a person to orgasm. In myth of course. The same sex is only because the vampire has the abbility to warp mortal minds and hold the person in trance.

What I am trying to say here is don't speak until what you have to say is fact and not fic and don't put someone down until you know them.

thanks for reading

aar@nucleus.com


Dear Jonathan:

As I read Patricia Nell Warren's "News You Didn't See on TV" piece on Mel Gibson, I wondered what Gibson had done that constituted the "gay bashing" which PNW indicates justifies him (Gibson) being pursued and harassed by "GLAAD" et alů Just what goes through someone's mind that bends and twists it so that they can so righteously declare that spitting on someone, or trying to ram them on a public street with a vehicle (all an attempt to attract negative publicity for Gibson) is defensible behavior?

Apparently, this is OK because Gibson's movie Braveheart shows the evil king of England "Longshank" throwing the implied limp wristed "friend" of his weak progeny out the window? I'm sorry, I didn't associate that with "gay bashing." I thought Gibson had made it clear. Longshank was the bad guy. I didn't catch people in the theater cheering that he had thrown "a gay person" out a window. In fact, stupid me--I didn't even notice that the person portrayed as the victim was supposed to be gayůmuch less that Gibson somehow was condoning this act. Thanks to PNW for pointing that out to me.

Now, is it OK to go after Gibson because, as PNW writes, (there is an) "epidemic of murders of gay men and lesbians that is gaining ground, not only in Texas but other states as well?" Is Mel Gibson involved in this "conspiracy?" If so, there must be a huge Hollywood cover upů Is this bizarre behavior on the part of "GLAAD" justified because Gibson is one of the few actors with the courage to declare himself openly and un-apologetically straight? As such, does he not "appreciate" the fight for mainstream acceptance of homosexual lifestyles? Will attacking him (literally) garner sympathy for (as PNW writes) the "thousand years of suffering" that gays, and apparently all others except white male Christians have endured?

It seems that way, but PNW does not "come out" and get "straight" with her readership. She only says that spitting on him is justifiable because "Gibson is getting (I guess deservedly) a tiny taste of what every open homosexual has suffered for the last thousand years."

PNW writes "Poor thing. Too bad he wasn't born gay, black, native American, Asian, Jewish, non-Christian, or even female. If he was, he could have the educational and illuminating experience of being spat on lots of times, both literally and figuratively. It's a real eye-opener. But one good spit, and ole Braveheart is begging for mercy."

So, call me slow, but I gather that PNW wants us to "catch on" that harassing, accosting, or assaulting of male, non-ethnic, non-gay, non Asian, non-black, non-indigenous-American, Christian people is a kind of "Affirmative Action" program. It is retribution for the past oppressions. It is an attempt to put an edge of legitimacy on the knife of homosexual activism.

Good luck with that line of "reasoning" PNW.

Bob Wilson


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Hi, i just found the "Denial and the Bomb" article thru alta vista and i wanted to say two things. one, i think it's brilliantly written - short, concise, the three quotes are perfect and so are the questions you came up with at the end. thanks for putting it on the web!

the second thing is a question - i've been looking for info on a film (or maybe a book? i don't remember) that contained interviews with hiroshima survivors. it was produced in japan, but then suppressed by the u.s. occupiers b/c it was considered too inflammatory. in its place, the u.s. produced its own account of the bombing, which softened up the details and emphasized working for peace in the future. the original japanese production wasn't released to the public until the 60's or something? that's all i remember. what i was hoping was if you've heard of the two books/movies i'm thinking of, could you give me the citations? or suggest a place where i could go look em up? thanks, and again, thanks for running such a cool site. by the way, in case you're interested, i run a personal page with some politicized opinions - http://pages.nyu.edu/~scs7891

sigmund shen scs7891@is2.NYU.EDU


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Your quotations from Paul Johnson's brilliant book are clearly tendentious.

Paul Johnson clearly states that Menachem Begin's congratulations on Deir Yassin were sent early, when he was not aware what happened. You completely omit that qualification, creating the impression that Begin welcomes murder.

Further, Johnson clearly states that the Jewish attack was planned as a revenge against numerous and murderous Arab attacks against Jewish settlers, and it was certainly conducted against a large group of armed Arabs who put up a vigorous resistence. To equate the atrocity that happend in the end to the Holocaust (which was a mass murder of unarmed and unresisting civilians - let's not forget that!) is deceitful, and Paul Johnson never does that. He treats it as a quid pro quo only to be expected in the kind of war conducted at that time in Palestine.

Your so-called "review" of "Schindler's list" doesn't deserve a comment, except that it is a mindless kvetch.

Boris Gokhman boris@riker.read.tasc.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I read the part where you talk about yourself and it made me emotional.

Please also note my new site:

Spirituality, economics and politics (social sciences and religion in dialogue) http://ww.total.net/~burdus/spir1.html

The subject is social sciences in dialogue with religion with a special emphasis on game theory and the social doctrine of the catholic church.

I would be happy to complete it with information you deem relevant. I would also appreciate a comment (even if critical) or a reflexion on the subjects addressed.

Thank you for your words and your attention.

burdus@total.net


Hi!

I happened on to your web page while researching for the feelings of the living "victims" of people murdered and their murderer receiving the Death Penalty. I'm thinking that I read somewhere that after the death penalty was imposed, there was still not peace in the livings' hearts...do you know of any documentation to support this?

Thanks!

Susan susanebere@aol.com