May 2011
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Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. Send your comments to me at 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. 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.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Just enjoyed your review of "Into Thin Air" and wondered about your thoughts on Krakauer’s attack on Greg Mortenson on 60 minutes last night.


I trust Krakauer's reporting; I was uneasy with the unexamined and selfish ethics of mountaineering as described in Krakauer's account of his own experiences in "Thin Air".

Hello Jonathan Wallace,

I came across The Ethical Spectacle while completing an assignment on the freedom of speech clause for my American Government class. I read your biography, and I am sure you have read this before, but it truly is beautifully written.

I have bookmarked your website, so you now have one more follower.

Good luck


This letter is in response to the articles covering the deadly protest in Mazar-i- Sharif, Afghanistan which appear to be as a result of the antics of Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Mr. Jones, when did God die and leave you in charge? The name of your self-proclaimed religious organization is now the poster for hypocrisy. How about changing the name to Hawk World Outreach Center because that is exactly what you intended; to aggravate a group of people who are already seething with anger at their oppression. You sir, are what is wrong with religion today; do as I say not as I do. What would Jesus do? Or didn't you even consider how Christianity came about?

As for the murderers in Mazar-i- Sharif; how dare you take it upon yourselves to defend your "sacred" religious beliefs by killing innocent people who meant you no harm and were their voluntarily. Perhaps it was the Christian belief in charity that motivated them to serve. Now you have taken them away from us and discouraged others from serving the needs of the Afghan people in spite of the differences in faith. What would Muhammad do? Or didn't you even consider this as well.

The inciting of hate and the reactionary killing must stop before it is too late and the world descends into more chaos and confusion on the way to unraveling completely. Both Jones and the murderers need to request some sort of forgiveness by extending whatever they can to the families of the survivors. Follow your true religious precepts; don't use them for your own self aggrandizement.

Joe Bialek