Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

June was a hectic month. I belatedly delivered a policy briefing on the pervasiveness doctrine for the Cato Institute, and made a start on the reading for the upcoming Spectacle issues on libertarianism (August) and revolution (September.) I wrote two stories for the fiction issue (November), the first short fiction I've written in a long time. Then at the very end of the month, the decision came down in Reno v. ACLU, and I ground out an analysis of that decision, then segued right into getting this issue ready.

Future writing plans: I am hoping to write more papers for Cato, on anonymity and obscenity, and have just proposed a law review article for another publication, on the notorious tactic of squeezing ISP's when you don't like a user's speech. I continue to procrastinate in deciding whether and when to start another book, this one on Why Big Software Projects Go Wrong.

I live for email. E.M. Forster said, "Only connect", and the Net makes me feel like I have friends (and debating partners) all over the world. After two and a half years of The Spectacle, I haven't yet gotten over the experience of receiving letters which begin, "I am a regular reader of The Spectacle, and..." So please keep 'em coming. You can reach me at jw@bway.net.


Dear Jonathan:

I can agree with your titles, but not your reasoning, and in most respects, your conclusions.

War is not enobling, nor is it clever, it is hell. Nothing more.

Your lifeboat analogy fails in the regard that WAR is almost always about more than just two people or two antagonists. Going to war is indeed a choice, but it may not only save our lives, but the lives of others as well.

Defeating Hitler saved not only Britain, America, and other involved combatants, but it also saved Jews who were not organized foes.

Your idea about penance is flawed in that you blame everything on the "warrior" Perhaps you should expand your reading sources to include Kipling.

"For it's Tommy this
And Tommy that
And chuck him out the brute,
But it's Tommy save your Country
when the guns begin to shoot."

In your mythical society, everyone should be doing the penance, for it is the soldier, who must ultimately give up HIS life, who is the last one who wants to go to war. In a democratic society, it is the population who bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of it's goverment.

The Army fights no wars unless directed to do so by politicians. Should they also spend a year in the desert? And what of the populace that elected them? YOU, each and every one of you who maintains citizenship bears the ultimate responsibility for any WAR preactice by the country. The politicians are your REPRESENTATIVES and the military is a tool that THEY have put in motion.

Electing representatives that wrongly go to war is the fault of the apathetic populace who fails to properly research and study the prospective canidates...not the soldier. In truth, it should be the civilians who do the penance, not the soldier, for he has already done his service in hell...not for himself, but in service to his country. WAR is not enobling, but the self-sacrifice of a soldier IS a noble one.

You also talk of a strong federated goverment. How do you thing the word "strong" is maintained? It took a four-year Civil War with 2 million casualties to establish the American model. How long and with how much bloodshed do you propose to establish the world model?

Having a global goverment will not reduce the carnage. You would only reclassify WAR as an internal police action. Not change the nature of human interaction. The freeing of the hostages in Peru. Was that a military operation or a police operation? What of WACO? Again, the word "strong" is just a nicer way of saying militarily capable. To enforce it's "strong" discipline will still require "actions." Increase the scale of the goverment, and you increase the scale of the police activities.

A DUI road check becomes a border control point. A SWAT drug raid becomes a hostage rescue. RIOT police quelling an uprising in LA becomes a Somalian operation. There is WAR going on all around us. Globalizing the politics will not lessen the desires of man.

Irving irving@gnt.net

Dear Jonathan:

re the "CIA sponsored assassination of Allende": You've struck a peeve. He wasn't assassinated; he committed suicide while surrounded. And while the CIA illegally funded Frei's campaign and a few dirty tricks, there is no evidence that they were involved in the coup. The black propaganda of CIA assassination was created by Castro and Robinson Rojas, as Castro finally acknowledged in Granma in October 1989. I don't have it on me now, but if you search the New York Times index for October and November 1989, you should find the reference.

The Chilean left, for example, my Spanish teacher, poet and Allende friend and biographer Fernando Alegria, were not happy with the lies, but they went along out of solidarity.

I'll never forget Castro's explanation (as opposed to apology): "The myth of heroic resistance created better conditions for confronting the oppressor."

I've never been one to go along with that.

I'm not as familiar with Africa, but my recollection of the Church hearings (I read all the transcripts and reports about 7 years ago) was that Lumumba wasn't exactly assassinated by the CIA, either.

People believe that unjust wars are just because they believe lies like the Allende assassination myth. People fail to support just causes like self-determination and social justice in Latin America because they're tainted with lies.

Rich Graves rcgraves@disposable.com

Dear Jonathan:

Your new feature, using "Excite" to search The Spectacle is really good. It works great, and I am impressed. Thank you, and Congratulations!

I failed to complement you last month on your Freedom of Speech essays. (I was distracted.) You are clearly at your best when debating this subject... I want to add my thanks to those who appreciate your efforts. I suspect my own "dreaming and forgetting" is more pervasive than I care to admit.

This month's essays on War is something I experienced as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam (Tay Ninh, '68-'69). I can relate to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman On Killing where, among other things: "The victim must be at a physical or emotional distance, and seen as immoral or non-human". (In a helicopter, you are usually a sufficient distance away, but sometimes just barely...) There was also, in my unit (the 187th AHC), a certain amount of: "The killer must be predisposed to the act, based on conditioning or recent experience (for example, he has recently seen friends killed by the enemy)." In our unit we had enough casualties to justify our next mission, but not enough continuity from one mission to the next to prevent recurring mistakes. A one year tour of duty, six month cycle of command, and a full time adversary did not add up...

Rather than go on another "fruitless mission", I came away from my combat experience a convert to peace. The outrageousness of conducting war like a holiday adventure, cycling people and commands in and out of the "combat zone", still makes me crazy after all these years... I vaguely supposed (then, and now), I survived for some better reason than perpetuating the myth of John Wayne machismo... The movie Das Boot, in my opinion, says all there is to say about the futility of war. The Americanization of Emily explains why we should not glorify it. Television made war really repulsive to the viewing public around the world, but the "nightly experience" of Vietnam is now thirty years old, and the gulf war went too fast... There are two new generations of young bloods looking for a little action, old enough to drink and smoke, anxious enough to be easily misled if we allow it...

I'm not sure I can follow your cerebral approach to war, but I'm not sure I have to... I agree with you, on the basis of my combat experience, that "war is not an ennobling experience." However, it probably involves some "cleverness" on the part of those who put us up to it... Once the shooting starts, "inside or outside" our borders doesn't matter. The question, then, becomes more a case of "organization:" How organized were the colonists when they snubbed their nose at the king? How organized are we going to have to be to take back the reins of human decency from the Human Resources department?

Please keep up the good work, Jonathan. I remain convinced your heart is in the right place (if your head is in the clouds, sometimes). Are you headed toward a complete embrace of Gandhi - to end up a totally non-violent, pacifist, extremist? I think of myself as too far gone to join those ranks, but it is appealing. At some point the fear and anger (and adrenaline) kick in. I can't explain at what point the line is crossed, but it seems Dave Grossman knows, and explains it very well. I can attest to it. For the rest of my available time I want to apply myself to a more "peaceful" solution, if I can, but I find myself trapped in the right to bear arms. Your position on gun control may be your only reasoning flaw, or mine. Either way, I think guns are here to stay, as long as there is a finger to pull the trigger. Hopefully, the gun points the right way.

Many thanks for your wonderful efforts on our behalf, regardless of our differences...

Please keep up the good work,


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I'm not debating the suffering created by the Bomb. I have been to Hiroshima and have seen the Museum. While the suffering caused by the dropping of the bomb is so terrible that we would not want to see another of this kind of bomb being dropped, sometimes we forget why the bomb was dropped.

I'm not saying that the war would, or would not have been won anyway. What I'm trying to put across is whether any of the writers have lived through the Japanese occupation. We in the far east have. My parents have told me the suffering that they went through. The Japanese at that time broke every convention of war. Their officers have the right to kill at their whim and fancy, sometimes just to "sharpen" their Samurai sword. The tortures they think up is nothing short of legendry. Those were terrible times and if you've lived through it, you would have said that any thing that can shorten the Japanese occupation is worth it. I'm not angry at the Japanese today. It would be wrong to do so as it is not their deeds that have caused this suffering.

There is always two sides to a coin. So while we thrash one side on ethical issues, let us not go overboard in doing it and also remember the untold suffering of the people under the Japanese occupation.

Stephen Tay stevetay@pacific.net.sg

Dear Jonathan:

You wrote:

In the end, it was the immense supply of young American men and the factories back home producing guns and aircraft that won World War II, and not any clever decisions made by Eisenhower or Patton.

This seems to pin the source of victory on just us Yanks, which is hardly fair. Your previous sentence points out that Hitler took on too many foes, but the Americans couldn't have done it without the Russians. They sent 20,000,000 men to their deaths and kept the Eastern front hot while the Americans geared up for the war effort. Without that sacrifice of mind-boggling proportions (two-fifths of the total losses of the war, fifty times greater than American losses) Hitler would have squashed Moscow and returned troops and armor to the Western Front. The war might still have been won, but it would have been a very, very tough fight.

This fits in perfectly with your point that war, and in particular this war, is not a battle of wits but of who can give up the most blood and steel and keep fighting.

Jamie McCarthy jamie@voyager.net


Dear Jonathan:

I, too, dive Pennekamp, and have for years. I share your concerns about its decline.

I think an article on the subject that doesn't mention the draining of the everglades by the Army Corps of Engineers, and its effect on the salinity of Biscayne Bay -- the nursury of the reef -- is incomplete. We can argue back and forth about oil tankers and other risks such as the constant running aground and improper anchoring (much ameliorated these days by private installation of mooring bouys) that goes on there, but unless the definition of capitalism is changed to include "donations to politicians by well-connected developers and sugarcane growers." I'd say the problem is not solely with the marketplace.

Recently in Florida, we had an election where the options were either a penny a pound tax on sugar (but continue the quota program that keeps sugar growers who give to both major parties in business) or no penny a pound tax (but STILL continue the quota program that keeps sugar growers who give to both major parties in business). In spite of my dislike of the sugar barons, I voted against taxing them -- in part as a protest over the limited choices I was given. An analysis of sugar quotas' growth and increasing sugarcane land use in the "decade of greed" is instructive.

Right now, this state limits landowners actions with regard to mangroves (and red mangroves are the REAL_issue if you like fish) to the point that many of them toss the seeds back out to sea when they wash up. Many of these landowners would happily grow mangroves if they were allowed to trim them back so that the view they bought could be seen.

Surprisingly (and after over a decade of similar ranting by me) FL law on this subject is slowly changing in the direction of sanity. Mangroves that are 10 feet high are better than no mangroves that are 20 - 30 feet high, IMO. By saying this, I am not saying that short-sighted people have behaved well in the past regarding red, black, or white mangroves.

Since I am of the "do something" mindset (when I'm not ranting) I have planted mangroves (among other trees) on public and private land. It's ironic, but this apparently makes me a bit of an oddity. Oh well.

Regards, Jim Ray jmr@shopmiami.com

Freedom of Speech

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thanks for the mirror site! I don't necessarily vote Green but I sure support the right to have the info on the Net.

Jean Collier jcollier@netcom.ca
Toronto, Canada

T Dear Mr Wallace,

I would like to thank you for writing this book. It is an excellant thought provoking piece of literature. I am currently using it in my Civil Rights and Liberties class. It is very interesting and in my opinion the best text book I have ever read. I would just like to thank you for providing this information to us all it is a real service. I appreciate it very much and can't wait for your next. Thanks again.

Andrea M. Fuller Sambuca78@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I just want to say " Good Luck " in your dealings with the Supreme Court . I know first hand that being a plaintiff in a case can be physically , emotionally , and financially exhausting . I am grateful to you, and the others like you who are there to protect the rights of the ordinary citizen.I would also like to tell you I bought and read some of your book Sex , Laws and Cyberspace for a " Politics of Cyberspace " class at N.Y.U.last semester. The book was terrific and very informative, besides being a little scary as to how and what the government can and will do to make a case .I don't really know if it is the government or if it is the people who are employed by the government like the postmaster in one of the chapters from your book, that go to great lengths to screw people over.In any case the best of luck in the future and I hope you write another book soon . Thank you,


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I wanted to thank you for all you did to protect my First Amendment rights in the ACLU v. Reno case. I have followed this issue almost from its inception, and am doing a paper which includes this case. I am very disturbed by the public's willingness to relinquish our civil liberties, and am equally disturbed by the lack of concern which most of the people I know exhibit towards this issue. It cracks my shell of cynicism to hear from people like you and the ACLU, and it helps me feel less alone and stronger in my convictions of the importance of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Thank you again for your efforts, and for maintaining The Ethical Spectacle. It is a wonderful source of information and inspiration.

Windy Barham windy@eramp.net

The Holocaust

Dear Mr. Wallace:

We are a german publishing house (bLoch Verlag, Frankfurt/Main) and we contact you on behalf of our author Henry Wermuth, an Auschwitz survivor. His book is available in english ("Breathe deeply, my Son") and in german ("Atme, mein Sohn, atme tief"). Soon, it will be translated into hebrew as well.

We like to give people who are interested in testimonies the chance to get to know about Henry Wermuth. So we are trying to set links to homepages about the Holocaust. Is there a possibility to set a link from the Auschwitz homepage to our homepage and back? Our homepage is: http://www.bethmann-bank.de/homepage.

Looking forward to your answer.
With many regards
Mirjam Loch blochverlag@t-online.de

Dear Mr. Wallace:

We are organizing a Celebration Day on Primo Levi at the University of Salerno. We have seen your WEB site on the Holocaust dedicated to Primo Levi. Would you be so kind to suggest us someone who could discuss about the fortune of Primo Levi' literature in USA?

Thanking you in advance for your courtesy, I send you my best regards.

Andrea Motta amot@nmr.icmib.na.cnr.it

Dear Jonathan:

I think you have done a fabulous job with this web site. This is my last semester in college and have taken a class on the holocaust and its history and theology. What a shock I was in for. I was brought up Catholic and never once in all the years of my learning had I ever been informed the extent to which the Church did nothing. My heart breaks when I think of all the victims. I can sympathize and empathize because the same thing happened to my people. I am 25% Native American blood and the genocide of my ancestors, I consider on the equivalent level of what happened to your ancestors. It is still happening -- the discrimination and the prejudice. I have been at the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination and feel that I have learned through my experience that every person is a human being and that is all that matters. To me there are no differences between people. I commend you on keeping the history alive so that others can learn that the holocaust really did happen and that it's memory should never be laid to rest, lest it happen again.

Sara L. Simon TWILITEDEW@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thank you for the amount of literature that you have made available about Auschwitz. It depresses me that this ever happened, but it helps to know that people are determined to remember the past--and not repeat it.

Good luck to you always,
Kelli jdnmalan@theriver.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thank you for all you wrote -- we need to be reminded of this horror so that it cannot happen again.

Jacquetta Purtle JPurtle435@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to put all of my thoughts into words, but, I'll try.

I thought that your Web site of the Auschwitz gave a very real and thourough description of the camp, its inmates, and some of its "staff". Your essay really made me think, and how the Holocaust is only one example of the horrors of genocide; and that even in this day in age, we still have the mass murders of a race, religon, etc. (Bosnia and Rwanda cases in point.) I have seen the Auschwitz alphabet in school on the Net before; it helped me with a history project on the Holocaust, helping me make sure was as historically correct as possible.

Your interview with Ken McVay was very straightforward (your questions and Mr. McVay's responses). I'm glad that there are people who are out there who try to make sure the truth of such things get out. We need more people like that in the world today. I myself believe that if we had more people like that in the world today, the problems in Rwanda and Bosnia, for example, would be known to more people, instead of getting a two-minute news byte on the news and a small column on the second page of the newspaper.

THANK YOU for such a poignant Web site. Maybe if more people see this and other sites, articles, books, and hear about this, people would learn about genocide, and perhaps do something about, instead of just being a by-stander.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Sorry, pal, but with all due respect to the suffering of your people, Jews are not the only ones who ever suffered at the hands of other human beings in the course of history. History is replete with examples of human suffering on grand scales. So this means there is no God, because YOUR people suffered? Either God does not care, or He doesn't exist are not the only two possibilities. Since the explosion of the universe 15 billion years ago, God has not really had a choice in what has happened. Once the laws of physics are in place for a particular universe, and creation develops, creation is, by the very nature of the universe in which it exists, on it's own to do with total free will what it will. But there is the continuation of human spirit life and that , my friend, is where Karma comes in. It will all be evened out in the end.

"There is more to Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy." W.S.



Dear Mr. Wallace:

Become a part of an historic online effort to clean up campaign financing. It's easy! Sign our petition!

In February, Common Cause launched "Project Independence" -- a historic grassroots effort to collect 1,776,000 citizen petitions urging passage of comprehensive campaign finance reform by the Fourth of July. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI).

We are counting on concerned citizens like you who communicate online to utilize the power of the Internet in reaching our goal. Here's how you can help:

Sign the petition by visiting http://www.projectindependence.org or sending an email to


Then, send this email to all of your friends or colleagues to get their support too.

For more information on Project Independence and Campaign Finance Reform, visit:



Project Independence pi@projectindependence.org

Jonathan editorialized that I consider it my "mission" to balance the "outrageous liberalism" found on his web site. In fact, I do not consider his liberalism "outrageous" but rather typical. As for balance, I do not consider most typical liberals (like Jonathan) capable of being balanced. Their philosophical leanings are more a type of psychosis, which perhaps could be cured, through exposure to reality, or some highly traumatic confrontation with life other than in a coffee house debate, but not "balanced." That is like saying that a group of patients in a tuberculin hospital are "balanced" by the staff which does not have the disease. Typical of that disease is his long winded and highly footnoted theory that the simple statement made in the Second Amendment of the Constitution does not mean what it says, because some liberal judges said so. Nonsense.

Bob Wilson

Dear Jonathan:

Thank you for putting The Ethical Spectacle out there. I am not sure how I stumbled into your site, but I'm glad I did.

I received an e-mail from a humanist organization tonite...an appeal to action for children sentenced to death in the US. It wasn't the issue the irritated me, but the way the author conveyed it --the e-mail was little more than a few strings of "facts," and a dun for support. In usual form, my reaction was to get on the Web and learn about the subject. Somehow, I landed on your essay re: Texas murdering an innocent man. Again, it wasn't so much this man's story but the thoughts you conveyed about the US court & legal system which really affected me. It was a good read, and while it was an editorialized piece, it rang of balance. That's important to me.

I knocked off the extension and went to your index. Then, I went through the entire Auschwitz Alphabet. I wish I'd known about your site a few months back when I was taking a course on the origins of totalitarianism. I don't know if it's possible for a college course to change one's life, but this one --or the teacher who held it, pretty much came close to doing so. He tapped into my potential for higher thinking. That's enough.

I've bookmarked your page, and I'll return very soon. One thing. I wish you would add a return link at the bottom of the end of respective sections. It's difficult to navigate back and forth in your site.

My personal site is called Contemplating the Vair. It's a conceptual thing. I'm an online diarist. Visit me someday.


Joy McManus spilthygirl@neto.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

The court in America did not convict Mike Tyson of 'rape', it convicted him of having a menacing reputation. At the end of the day there were only two people in that room one insists they said 'yes', the other insists they said 'no'. Nobody, but Nobody knows who's lying and whose telling the truth other than them. The court belived her because she seemed like a nice girl. In my opinion in a society where sex outside marriage is legal and usual rape will occur frequently because the rapist does not see himself taking a girls virginity or ruining a marriage but only doing someting his victim does 'often', only doing it without their permission, not such a big deal!

Khan Munsif R421444@tees.ac.uk

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Greetings from beautiful Saskatoon!

My name is Hans-Friedrich Tamke and I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I have a B.A. (Hons.) degree in French and Linguistics. I myself am an old-earth creationist who is very interested in the ongoing creation-evolution controversy. I am sending you this note to encourage you to begin using the very useful English adjective "creationary" in your speech and writing. There are several good reasons why this adjective should be used. (1) The English adjective "creationary" is the natural derivative of the noun "creation". It is not in any sense "strange", "odd", "weird", "stilted", or "contrived". It fully conforms to the rules of English morphology or word formation. The meaning of the term is very important, especially for perceptive speakers and writers who are engaged in the creation-evolution debate. It is not simply a trivial matter of "semantics", an idle playing with words for cosmetic or devious purposes. When you use this English adjective in your speech and writing, you are choosing to stress the idea or concept of "creation" without regard to the character or personality of the "advocates" or "nonadvocates" of creation. The concept of "creation" either does or does not have merit on its own, irrespective of the virtues or vices of its proponents. "Creation" is a multifaceted concept with several possible meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Besides "creation", one could also talk about "macrocreation" and "microcreation". (2) The word "creationist" is ambiguous in English. Oftentimes it has a pronounced negative connotation. It is primarily a noun, but it very often does double duty as an "adjective". When "creationist" is used as an "adjective" it displaces or replaces the true adjective "creationistic". Many English speakers and writers dislike adjectives that end in the suffix "-istic" and like to avoid them. If they are used, they tend to have a mild pejorative sense. Compare the adjectives "capitalist", "capitalistic" and "socialist", "socialistic". For the adjectives "creationist" and "creationistic", the Germans use "kreationistisch". There is no ambiguity or confusion in German, whereas there is in English. The German noun "Kreationist" means "creationist" and the word "kreationistisch" is clearly an adjective. The English noun "creationist" means: "a believer in creationism". The adjective "creationist" means: "of or relating to creationism or creationists". For the native speaker of English the noun and the "adjective" are virtually one word. (3) Another major reason the adjective "creationary" ought to be used is the fact that it is the counterpart to the parallel adjective "evolutionary". "Creationary" should be used alongside "evolutionary" for the sake of its symmetrical structure. The adjective "evolutionary" is used hundreds of thousands or even millions of times, by both evolutionists and creationists, in magazine, newspaper,and journal articles, in countless books, on radio and television, in videos and films. The adjective "creationary" ought to be used by creationists and evolutionists in appropriate contexts. This is only fair. After all, there are millions of people who accept one or the other worldview. These people live in either a "creationary" world or an "evolutionary" world. This contentious situation is not likely to change anytime soon.

One should use "creationary" in word combinations such as: creationary science/scientists, creationary biology/biologists, creationary zoology/zoologists, creationary botany/botanists, creationary ornithology/ornithologists, creationary genetics/geneticists, creationary thought/thinkers, creationary scholarship, creationary paradigm/framework/ worldview, creationary viewpoint/perspective, creationary speculation/ inferences/interpretation, creationary theory/theorists/theorizing, creationary history/origin/beginnings, creationary development/ change/mechanisms/principles, creationary model/studies, creationary world/universe, creationary processes/events/tasks, creationary continuity/discontinuity, creationary research/researchers, creationary design/designists, creationary conferences/seminars/lectures, creationary books/magazines/periodicals, creationary videos/films, creationary literature/writings/publications/newsletters/organizations/clubs, etc.

You will find the adjective "creationary" in the following dictionaries: (1) Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, 1986; (2) Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary Of The English Language, 1959; (3) Random House Dictionary Of The English Language, 2nd Edition, Unabridged, 1987; (4) Random House Webster's College Dictionary, 1991.

I urge you to use this very serviceable adjective in your speech and writing, especially if you want the focus to be on the concept or theory of "creation", and not simply used in ad hominem attacks against "creationists" as the "advocates" of creation or creationism. Evolutionary critics very frequently refer to their opponents as "creationists" almost always by attempting to link a negative noun with the "adjective" creationist. They attack "creationists" as "people" and as "advocates" of creationism instead of focusing on creationary concepts and positions. They often write with a polemical tone. They write about and criticize what they call creationist claims (i.e., creationists' claims), creationist deception (i.e., creationists' deception), creationist dishonesty (i.e., creationists' dishonesty), creationist fraud (i.e., creationists' fraud), creationist bias (i.e., creationists' bias), creationist crusade (i.e., creationists' crusade), creationist distortions (i.e., creationists' distortions), creationist lies (i.e., creationists' lies), creationist minions (i.e., minions who are creationists), creationist tactics (i.e., creationists' tactics), creationist incubi (i.e., incubi who are creationists; or, perhaps, creationists are incubi).

Please pass on this note to other creationists and evolutionists.

Please send me your comments regarding the use of the adjective "creationary", whether positive or negative. I believe that this adjective ought to be used and is of great value to both creationists and evolutionists in the ongoing creation-evolution dispute. Thank you for your time and interest in this matter.

Hans-Friedrich Tamke ad673@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca or tamke@usa.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I'd like to suggest a topic which, on review of the Spectacle's index of past issues, hasn't yet appeared (although it was alluded to in "WHEN HUMAN LIFE IS CHEAP)" -- social/judicial punishment.

What is the purpose of punishment -- is it revenge, punishment, isolation of the perp from society to prevent further harm, rehabilitation, some combination? What should it be? The trends pointed out in "WHEN HUMAN LIFE IS CHEAP" show that something is going on in this area, that people are thinking about it, and those thoughts are reflected in the changes mentioned.

It might make for an interesting issue.

Bruce Clark baclark@med.pitt.edu

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I enjoy the Spectacle very much. The sections on Cybersitter are of much interest, especially since I'm a librarian, and Co-Chair of our state's Intellectual Freedom Committee. I will be back. However, I was reading Mr.Llebkowsky's article on Waco, and was quite disappointed. He states that the local sheriff couldn't arrest Koresh for child abuse because the local sheriff said that although Koresh was having sex with underage kids, he had their parent's permission, and so could not arrest them. This assertion is so nutty that it compromises the whole essay. I happen to believe that Waco was a tragedy and largely the governments fault, but to portray the Davidians as anything other than gullible fools is denying reality. I am unfamiliar with the "documentary" film he seems to base his views on, but it sure sounds like just another clueless conspiracy theory. I would encourage you to link more valuable items to your page lest it become just a platform for fringe types. Having grown up during the sixties, I jknow that the government can and will do anything, and then lie about it for decades, but rants like the Waco essay make us all look bad. Thanks for listening.

Paul Donovan ge167@cleveland.Freenet.Edu

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Your writings in The Ethical Spectacle are the items on the web I personally feel the greatest affinity with. I emphatically agree with most of your views, the sole important exception being your opinion that the history of humanity does not show any moral improvement. But even on that question I can appreciate the points you make.

I have recently made available on the net, at http://www.ior.com/~lshepard/newethic.htlm, an outline entitled New Ethic, the result of many years of research and reflection. It represents a mere beginning and will have to be expanded and complemented by a section on applied ethics. Nevertheless, I believe it raises some important issues, and I would like you to take a look at it.

Should you find my approach to problems of some interest, I could contribute articles to your periodical. Topics that particularly concern me are: the implications of the worship of celebrity to our age; leadership (of which I take a dim view); hunting; the judicial system; direct democracy.

With best wishes,

Lester Shepard lshepard@ior.com