Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Thanks for your mail. I hear from an average of two or three of you a day, most of you extremely supportive of my efforts here. I can be reached at jw@bway.net.

Are We A Nation?


I believe your epistle regarding the prospect of our being a nation is one of your best. You are the first liberal I have encountered that understands enough about the origin of this country to make intelligent (if not overly passionate ) comments regarding our national identity...

"...By forcing the Southern states to remain in the Union, the North dealt a wound to the American idea of nation that has continued to fester to this day. The decision to force states that wished to secede to remain in the Union against their will undercuts everything we know of Lincoln as a philosopher, and contradicts the intentions of the Founders."

I am not one of those stereotypical "Southerners" who think that the "War of Northern Aggression" is still being fought, but it is a historical fact that the states created the federal government as an "agent" to do their bidding. What it has become now is not what the founders had bargained for. When the South elected to terminate that agency, they actually were constitutionally speaking, within their right to do so. Slavery was an incidental issue.

Your insightful essay is a keeper!

Bob Wilson

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I can't tell you how your article "Are We A Nation" moved me... my views exactly! I plan on buying your new book. I too am very intrested in this area of cyberlaw I work at a university and worry that CDA will destroy cyberspace as we know it. Look foward to reading your new book and thanks for the words of inspiration....

Louis Rosa
Florida Center for Library Automation (@Univ of Fla)

Patricia Nell Warren

Dear Mr. Wallace:

This is the first time I read your magazine. The topics are interesting and it is encouraging to see critical issues being discussed openly. As a short note from my first impression I would say that some of the articles can benefit from more positive action proposed on them. This can help us to get into the positive attitude of not only detecting but participating in the solution of the problems we observe. Not only to say that we see dirt in the street but may be helping to teach not to dirt.

For example the interesting article about: WHEN HUMAN LIFE IS CHEAP: Frontier Justice in the Nineties, by Patricia Nell Warren, 10/29/96 could benefit from more ideas and proposals to improve or solve this problems. I understand that the first part is to make people aware of a problem before attempting to solve it. And it is also a matter of other people writing about the solutions. However, the observation I made has the only intention to enrich and make more fruitful the energy put into writing and publishing these articles. Also into promoting a positive attitude that goes into finding ways to help solve one problem at a time. We may also find that some problems seem not soluble and that may lead to more discussions on why.

Best regards and thanks for the opportunity to read your interesting magazine.

David Lovèce

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have just discovered your ezine and found it very interesting. I'm particularly interested in Patricia Nell Warren's opinion column. In one of her columns she writes about finding books with gay themes in the public library when she was a child. As a gay boy growing up in Bozeman, Montana, one of the first gay books I ever found was "The Front Runner."

Bob Wilson


Bob Wilson needs to get his head pulled out of his ass. New Yorkers lack common sense in the same way rednecks lack culture. The New Yorker with a flat tire whips out the cell-phone and calls AAA. The redneck changes it himself, but he's 5 minutes late to the cross-burning.

Not all New Yorkers want big govenrment, gun-control, welfare, and subsidation of everything under the sun. As a matter of fact if you'd come over here and talk to some of the poorer hard-working folks in the trenches, you might find some like-minded (albeit, urbane) people.

As far as living in the swill we created, there is no place more swillier than here, and in addition to that, MR BUISINESSMAN, buisiness is EXACTLY what's wrong with this country. Advertising, brainwashing, and corporate execs who'd fuck thier grandma to make a dollar. Capitalism without a concience. I'm sure you don't turn down east coast money when it comes your way.

Yes, NY is the asshole of this country, but it's also the capitol. I hope you're happy being small-time. Some of us would be too, but there's just too much going on over here.

Matt mattzees@escape.com

Bob Wilson replies:

Dear Jonathan:

The "urbane gentleman" from New York who wrote you referring to me as "ass head" reminds me of an old carpenter I once had the extreme privilege of knowing. I worked for him during the summer of 1969 while I was a college student. He used the phrase "New York Motherfucker" every time he hit his thumb with a hammer, or some other unfortunate occurrence happened while building a house. To him, all folks from "New York" were "Motherfuckers" (not entirely true, but close) and the most profane thing he could call something was a "NYMF"..and "mattzees" letter perfectly epitomizes the type of person old Howard Pemberton was thinking of when he hit his thumb. To me now, and ever since I knew Howard, a New York Motherfucker is an obnoxious, profane, ignorant, loud mouthed, conceited asshole. The type of person who would shove in front of a line, or give you the finger on the street, because they have absolutely no regard for anybody, or anything (but themselves). They think that New York is still "the capitol" (Yes, NY is the asshole of this country, but it's also the capitol.) I will re-read "mattzees" letter with a grin when ever I want a perfect definition of Howard's "New York Motherfucker." By the way, you might inform the NYMF that Albany is the capitol of New York...New York is only the capitol of crime, vice, and perversion...

Bob Wilson


Dear Mr. Wallace: You said:

"These are the people I have written about who have twisted the metadata to mean that the only significant statement in the Constitution is the Second Amendment, which in their opinion grants an individual right to revolution. This faction essentially believes that all humanity, including all Americans, is divided into two basic categories: those who deserve to be shot, and those who have a right to shoot them."

How on earth did you make it to Harvard when you obviously never sat through an American History class in High School. Then again, Harvard did admit Chuck Schumer. I think you really need to address your fear of guns, and your paranoia about a revolution. Let me say it again, the right to revolt is an individual right that must be exercised collectively to be a revolution.

If you want to be really safe then stop working in New York City and get a job in Washington D.C. There are no (legal) weapons allowed in Washington D.C. at all.

Karl wooffer@ix.netcom.com

Dear Jonathan:

Maybe you should clarify some of your modest proposals a little. I find myself in some agreement with what you're saying. (1) I do think that "license holders" should be able to carry in another state as long as that state has a concealed carry law also. (2) It is also just plain stupid to let everyone carry a handgun. I agree with the state for denying criminals the legal right to carry handguns and for those who can't pass a simple training course or are just to incompitent to carry. These people should be denied the right for everyones safety. (3) The laws are clearly defined as to when you can use deadly force and when you can not. Educating the carrier is part of the instructors responsibility as well as the person carrying. Laws are ammended everyday and it is up to each of us to stay on top of the changes. Or else we take the chance of breaking the law and possibly lossing our license. (4) A cop is a person too and is subject to the same laws that everyone else is. Some might try to hide behind it but justice usually prevails. Again i will add that the laws are very clear as to when you can and can not use deadly force. In my opinion our police forces are very well trained and are of a much better quality than say 10 to 20 years ago. In closing i will add that in one years time of the concealed carry law, statistics have already shown a dramatic decrease in crime in Texas.

Steven Pearce pearce1@airmail.net

The Prisoner's Dilemma

Dear Mr. Wallace:

The "Prisoners' Dilemma" is a concept of which I simply had never heard before - at least not in the clear, thoughtful way which you present it in The Ethical Spectacle. I simply wish to thank you for presenting it.

I can easily say the Ethical Spectacle is one of the best Web-finds I have ever made!

-- Roger Mulligan rmulligan@miworld.net

Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for the Spectacle. I was referred to it today and I found it to be fun and enlightening. The Prisoner's Dilemma was fascinating. The theory expressed is one to which I have subscribed without being aware of the science behind it. The conclusion, An Ethic Based On The Prisoner's Dilemma, was excellent. I do however disagree that Jesus did not teach tit-for-tat. Turning the other cheek is noncooperation. Jesus death was the ultimate tit-for-tat in that God's justice had to be served.

You would probably be interested in the Credenda Agenda. It is a Christian magazine that takes on the same types of issues that the Spectacle does. It is done by people who are very competent at logic as well as faith which is an interesting and unusual combination. Credenda has a Web site. Well, thank you again and keep up the interesting work.

Bill Baehr Whipperin1@aol.com
Defiance, Missouri

An Auschwitz Alphabet

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have had an interest in the Holocaust for quite a number of years and find your website most informative. I was first introduced to this period of history back in the fifties when I read the Diary of Anne Frank in high school.

Having had the opportunity to travel the world as a ship's engineer, I have visited Israel several times when I carried military supplies into the ports of Haifa and Ashdod. This was a real treat to me as I have been an admirer and supporter of Israel since the Six Day War in 1967. At that time I tried to learn as much as possible about that country.

The recent situation in Bosnia has been compared to the Holocaust insofar as the world's inaction is concerned. However, I'm inclined to disagree. The Holocaust involved cruelty to Jews and the Bosnia situation involved cruelty mainly to Moslems. However, in the case of the Holocaust the Jewish people had no country such as Israel to do anything about it. From what you and I know about Israel, had there been Jews involved instead of Moslems in the Bosnia situation, that country's military forces would have became involved. However, there are many Moslem countries in the world with both large populations and wealth. Yet they stood by and let that situation take place. Shouldn't it have been their responsibility to take action?

Bill Howard boiler@netxpress.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I read all the books of Primo Levi, I hope in one best world I'm only 14 but I know a lot of things about the past I'm not a Jew but I will don't forget...

Gioia Battista

Dear Jonathan:

Few words about my presentation in December:

„About Holocaust in Internet”.
Presentation by Stefan Swiszczowski
17 December 1996
in Jewish Cultural Center
17 Rabi Meisels Street

There were about 30 people present, four of them from the Auschwitz Museum staff.

1. About 0.5 million of Poles can use the Internet now and the number of users is growing very fast. So there is necessity to introduce Internet in museums and other institutions connected with history and culture of Polish Jews.

I made an assumption that the audience in the Jewish Cultural Center knows a lot about Holocaust and it is not my role to give any lecture about its history. It is also an audience which is not used to technical language of computer users. So I focused my presentation on the examples of my own choice giving only some information about Internet, World Wide Web pages etc.

Considering the fact that there are thousands of pages on the topic available in Internet I am not sure if my choice of examples was the best one.

All the files I presented are loaded into Center’s computer for the future use.

  1. Auschwitz Alphabet by Jonathan Wallace

    Very sophisticated and personal. The author dedicated his work to Primo Levi. I will include only one fragment here:


    Let me see your arm....Hmmm....Your number starts with seventeen. In Hebrew, that’s „K’Minyan Tov”. Seventeen is a very good omen...(He was a priest. He wasn’t Jewish—but very intelligent!) It ends with 13, the day a Jewish boy becomes a man...And look! Added together it totals 18. That’s „Chai”, the Hebrew number of life. I can’t know if I’ll survive this hell, but I’m certain you’ll come through all this alive! (I started to believe. I tell you, he put another life in me. And whenever it was very bad I looked and said: „Yes. The priest was right! It totals eighteen.”) (Art Spiegelman, Maus)<

    Thank you Jonathan for your excellent work.

  2. Abe’s Story by Joel Korn

    An example how a book can be advertised. The book was written by Abram Korn, who lived before the war in Lipno in the north of Poland. The book was edited by his son, Joel. WWW pages come together with teaching tools about Holocaust.

  3. How One Man Tried to Stop Holocaust - book about Jan Karski by Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski.

    Karski, a messenger to Britain and USA of the Polish Government in Exile and the underground Home Army is now described simply as a Hero. Yet , he achieved almost nothing...

    The other author lives in Krakow.

  4. Photographs of Auschwitz and Birkenau by Alan Jacobs.

    There is no need to write about it - one has to see it. And after that one is more sensitive to details the author took pictures of.

  5. Children of Holocaust

    Short biographies and photographs of Jewish Children, some of who survived Holocaust. The folder made by the Wizenthal Center. There is an organized group of H. Children in Krakow, they stories could be added to this folder.

  6. Information about The Nizkor Project and Remember Organization.

  7. Controversy about the film Shtetl.

There was a long discussion after the end of presentation, mostly about cost of creating WWW pages and technical problems.

All the best in NEW YEAR

Shalom Stefan Swiszczowski swiszcz@usk.pk.edu.pl

Mr. Wallace,

I regret our government is more aligned with Nazi policies than for unlimited freedom. Even today there are more stories coming out how the USA helped German war criminals get to So. Amer. because they were opposed to communism. I am native born, raised Christian & ashamed of some on of both sides of my family. Please expose all bastards. Thanks


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I just discovered your work online and am impressed! I am teaching a second level composition course thematically based on the Holocaust. I am teaching research writing skills in a computer lab with access to e-mail and the Internet and WWW. Have been surfing around looking for source material for myself and also for places to send the students. Some of them learned a little about the Holocaust in high school, but most are not too aware. Some are of German background and want to know what happened. This is a four year university in Michigan and most of the students are traditional freshmen, although I do have a couple of older students too. Thanks for sharing your work. Lynne Graft, Saginaw Valley State University

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am a gay man with HIV living in Northern California. What follows this salutation is the text of a letter I posted on the Gay and Lesbian Xerox Employee DL. I am sure that you will agree with me that the situation described is intolerable: the only online book length account of Nazi atrocities against gay people is a revisionist slander. I am writing you because your organization has the resources to swiftly correct this. Any assistance you can offer in getting book length works by witnesses onto the Net will be appreciated by gay men and women all over the world. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

This is a call to action.


S. Kevin Wojtaszek.

The lext of my letter to the GALXE dl read as follows:

"Hello Out There:

One of the first things I do when I get to work each day is to check out one of my favorite web sites, "New Books Online": http://www.cs.cmu.edu/Web/booknew.html.

A few days ago, I found a listing there for something called "The Pink Swastika": http://home.earthlink.net/~lively/pscont.htm#anchor210167

When I accessed it I was appalled to find that it was the kind of gay holocaust literature that Jesse Helms and Pat Robertson could curl up to after a hard day's stoking the fires of hatred. It was ridiculous as Mel Brooks' "Springtime For Hitler", but its intent was serious.

The author, Kevin Abrams, spills a lot of verbiage to "prove" that Hitler was gay, as were the rest of the Nazi top dogs. But he goes further. According to him, gays were given preferential treatment, and were among the cruelest war criminals. He then sets out to demonstrate that all modern "homosexualists" (sic) have deep ideological ties to National Socialism.

While I deeply believe in freedom of expression on the Internet, it bothers me that there are no book length accounts online to balance Abrams biased presentation. Thus, any high school kid in Padukah who looks for information on the Gay Holocaust on a search engine is going to come upon Abram's tripe without being able to access any lengthy documentation to refute it.

Fortunately, there are several websites that have links to first hand accounts. One of the best of these is "The Pink Triangle" located at: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/scotts/bulgarians/pink.html Good as it is, the links only take one to fragments of larger works. And there lies the rub.

Does anyone out there know of any sizable first hand accounts online? Please let me know, and I will inform the owner of the "Books Online" websites. In the meantime I am on a one man E-mail campaign to contact the authors of the larger works listed in the "Pink Triangle's" bibliography to urge them to get more documentation online as soon as possible. I also plan to solicit help from major holocaust organizations.

The sooner there is something to balance Abrams on the web, the better.

Be Well,

S. Kevin Wojtaszek, who, as ever, shares this E-mail address with his co worker, Kathie Kubat: kathie@corp.cirrus.com


Dear Mr. Wallace:

Well, I read and read and read. when I arrived at this question and then your answer, I had to respond.

There is a reality that no one ever touches on.

His (God's) Plan. Set up long before you or I or anyone in WWII. All plans come full circle. It just happened that WWII Jewish heritage comes in the 3rd Quarter of the Plan.

Begin with, God created man in His image, God allowed Satan to demolish them in the garden of Eden. God set up rules for them, and allowed them to sway. They have swayed as far away from Him as Christians have from their beliefs, (seminaries, today, preach against the reality of the virgin birth, to the soon-to-be pastors).

At a point when Isreal is as far away as they can get from God, He will call them all back and welcome them to His own. He has never forsaken them, He called some early to his bosom, and some were called upon to suffer for His sake.

But, in the end, they will be His people and reign over the Kingdom that God will set up on the earth.

I am not a scholar, nor am I a biblical leader. I just have a suggested outcome to your "lost heart" over all of the suffering that you have endured via emphathy for thes people. God should be praised for His forethought in His plan. I am a Gentile, believing in 5 points that a man named Calvin established long ago, and my best friend is Jewish. We discuss all aspects of both our beliefs, and both agree to dissagree. We went to see "Schlindler 's List" and wept openly, together. But that doesn't make me any kind of expert. With that in mind, please re-think about God. It would be a shame to meet Him, expecting not to.


Kathy KEnME97@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

When you say that there is no God, it disturbs me very much. God did not want this to happen, nor was it His will. Do not blame God for what evil people decided to do. God gave every man the right to choose. It is called a free will. This means that the Nazi's rebelled against God and went with their own desires instead of God's. You cannot rightfully blame this on God, or say that He does not exist because of it. If God had not given man a free will, then man would not be free, you and I would not be free. Please take into consideration what I have said. I appreciate it greatly. I may not understand all that the Jews and other groups the Nazi's killed went through, but I do know that God is not a hater or a murdurer. Thank you ever so much. I really did enjoy looking through the Alphabet.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

My mother was Jewish, her parents also from Russia. My father, Irish Catholic. I went to Catholic school and was taught that Jews killed Christ. (At that time I did not know that my mom was Jewish.) As an adult, I began a Christian. The first thing that I learned was that Jews did not kill Jesus, we (all people) have sinned and we are saved through the grace of God at Christ death. I was very glad to find that Jesus died because he loved me, for my sins. The perfect gift. No one person killed him, not one race, but ALL who sinned, everyone last one of us.

Do not listen to those who say that Jews killed Christ. They are not reading the true meaning of his death. His death is our life.

Pray for those who feel any other way.

Irene wILLOUGHBYI@lanecc.edu


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I was very impressed by the Ethical Spectacle, in particular the Free Speech Gallery. I range the Ethical Spectacle one of the best site(s) on my list of digital diversity.

Yours sincerely
Peter Herngaard pethern@datashopper.dk

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Your page is fantastic. One of the hardest hitting things I've ever read.

Dan Manning ideus@pop.erols.com

O.k. all i know is that i say an article about mike tyson called "A rapist not a hero"... i wish to get in contact with this person for her lack of knowledge on mike tyosn is astounding... i'm not going to get into it here... i do wish she gets my e-mail and mails me though... she needs to be told a few things about why mike is allowed to make millions... after raping someone... for he is a part of the "great" US of A... pathetic. If you can't handle the fact that he can make money after what he did.. deal with it... people can start over and make a change.. DEAL WITH IT. I don't like what he did but you know nothing about him or his childhood... this can explain NOT justify his actions.

Me... (a person much more educated in Mike Tyson than you - and still thinks what he did was very wrong)

Kyle jksawchu@escape.ca

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Enjoyed your bio. I too watched every minute of the Watergate hearings, but I felt terribly cheated when Nixon resigned. I wanted impeachment. I wanted vengeance. I wanted the nation to say Vietnam was wrong, Cambodia was wrong. All we got was burglary is wrong. Oh, well, at least we realized that! Am now a prosecutor in Alaska. Just discovered and enjoy The Ethical Spectacle.

Tom Wagner tewagner@alaska.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I find it somewhat alarming that the CIA is gearing up to ,or quite possibly alredy monitoring the internet. Next thing you know there will be a cyberpolice. I think that the powers that be consider free thought to more of a threat to them then any other thing. Someday soon we will be branded as "free thinkers" is there a familiar ring to that?

David Sinea chilehead@sprintmail.com


Jay Kridner galaxie@sisna.com

Dear Jonathan:

Here's an idea to aid your plea to end campaign advertising:

A total ban on campaign advertising is impracticable. The US Supreme Court finds that such restrictions abrogate First Amendment guarantees. However, this issue is sure to come before the court or the congress again, and here is how we might actually swing it: ban only broadcast television and radio political ads, since the broadcast spectrum is supposedly managed by the FCC as a pubic trust. Clearly, it is not in the public interest to allow politics to be guided primarily by media budgets, so, in the case of publicly administered media, such ads can be banned.

Television is the real culprit here, as you divined in your piece. An end to broadcast TV ads would just about even the playing field.

David Camp davidcamp@earthlink.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I recommend a site for those activists of us that strongly oppose LAWSUIT ABUSE.

I especially would like a subsite in this area for activism on MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT ABUSE. Thank you. If you happen to know of other website locations that address this problem, I would very much appreciate this information. Many thanks!


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am writing a paper on morality for a Masters class. I am quoting statements from the article "Who Are You?" from the March 1995 issue of The Ethical Spectacle. I cannot find the author's name. Could you please let me know who the author is so I can make appropriate citations in my paper? Thank you.

John Hoover John.Hoover@carrier.wltk.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Hi, I'm a high school junior in south Mississippi. I'm really enjoying your page, but i just have a small suggestion. I know that a few people in the south may be inclined to their bigoted, closeminded thoughts, but the KKK, unfortuantely exists in other places, too. Therefore, I would like to recommend to you that you change the wording of the comment on the KKK in the webpage. I'm not usually eaisly offended, but this example of sterotyping really slapped me in the face. I plan to teach history, not only to educate people, but to educate them about the unfair things that happen in society.

I hope that you wont look at my comments and suggestion in the wrong light, as i can see how I might have offended you.

Thank you for listening,


Unfortunately I'm not sure where this reference is.--JW

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Moral Values, Democrat Style

Having been anointed with the pure energy of a thousand points of hype, I have thus been delivered from 41 years of aimless wandering in the intellectual desert - into the caring, thoughtful, compassionate, irreproachable arms of the Democratic Party. And It is truly beautiful.

I used to think that people who admit their mistakes and weather the consequences were great leaders, but the Democrats have taught me that admitting a mistake just makes me look stupid and guilty as all get-out.

I used to think that it was okay for my college professor to spout his political views in class, as long as he didn't give me a "F" for laughing out loud. Little did I know that I coulda had the bum arrested for doing that in my nonprofit, state-sponsored school (That should come in handy if I ever decide to go back for my Masters Degree - Thank you, Democrats)!

I used to think that a person sitting in judgment of someone else should himself be beyond reproach, but the Democrats have taught me that it's okay to commit a felony while sitting on (for example) the House Ethics Committee, as long as I don't admit to any wrong-doing (see first enlightenment).

I used to think that if a woman ever accused me of dropping my pants, I would be in deep doo-doo. But the Chief Enlightened One has taught me that I can drop my pants and move on like nothing ever happened, as long as I have a big important job and she lives in a trailer park.

I used to think that buying votes was both illegal and very expensive - Then the Democrats showed me how I can buy votes with other people's tax money. Perfectly legal, and doesn't cost me a cent (I bet you thought that Get-Rich-Quick Real Estate Infomercial was hot stuff)!

I am pure truth, I am child of village, I am one with Nature, I am Democrat (NOT).

Charlie Barrett cbarrett@airmail.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Internet is the place, the best, and only place where people can go whereever they want. That oppotunity is important to make use of, with your page, you add a very, very important part of the human history. The facts and stories from people who have experienced the cold war most should be accesible for everyone.

Sorry for my bad english, please - keep up the good work.. hjalmar grazzy@hotmail.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am writing to thank you for your balanced, considered site. The issues that you deal with are indeed difficult and are far too often ignored. I was truly amazed to see such thoughtful and honest content on issues that really have no right or wrong answer.

I especially appreciated your essay on the nature of pornography. Your analysis presents one of the most balanced survey of the arguments, and then you offer a conclusion that respects your reader. You make your suggestions in a way that shows your thoughts and ideas without force-feeding them to your readers. I appreciate your work.

Thank you,

David Movius dm4139a@american.edu

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am planning the third edition of an informal logic textbook, in french, and want to introduce argumentations from the domain of aesthetics in exercises and examples. I found the papers you wrote for The Ethical Spectacle, Vol. I, No. 12 December 1995, ("The Movies of Our Misfortune") very interesting and was wondering if you would give me permission to reproduce excerpts from some of them. Of course, full reference to the author and the source would be given and your help would be acknowledged in the preface of the book.

The textbook is for college students in Quebec -that explains why it is in french.

Pierre Blackburn blackp@interlinx.qc.ca