Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

Agree, disagree, have a comment or a site you'd like added to our list? Write us at jblumen@spectacle.org.

Flame of the Month
Dear Mr. Blumen:

Though I don't have the budget or the interest in that sort of hardware, I gather from your comment that you are one who is practiced in the arguments of the gun prohibitionists. Your belief in "control" might therefore be better characterized as a belief in bans.

There is a right, long recognized and perhaps God given, to self defense and a duty to defend the state from tyranny. The Founding Fathers clearly had this in mind when drafting the Bill of Rights. The "arms" which the people held in private possession and which the British attempted to seize and destroy in the early battles of the Revolutionary War were certainly the match for any military hardware of the times. Since the Founders were apparently interested in establishing the governing principles of the republic and _not_ writing a sporting goods catalog, the private ownership and access to military weapons was what they had in mind.

The personal views which you hint at as your own would no doubt have been ridiculed as cowardice and a shirking of civic responsibility by the heroes who founded this country. It would be a disservice to their memory for me to do any less.

John Drennan jdrennan@ix.netcom.com

I was very touched by these comments. As E.M. Forster said, "Only connect"....

I responded to Mr. Drennan suggesting that he actually read some of my essays on gun control before calling me a "prohibitionist".

The Environment is Where We Live
Your January 1996 issue had an article referring to the tragedy of the commons. I would like to use this scenario in a discussion with staff members at a retreat. Do you know if the original article or a thorough discussion of it are availabe on-line? Thanks for your help!

Peter McCallum pmccallum@lerc.nasa.gov

I don't know if the original Hardin essay is available online. I faxed Peter a copy of it.

Dear Mr. Blumen:

hey there.

please check out my website: http://www-vms.uoregon.edu/~boone/forest.html

(feedback welcome) and then feel free to link. i'm certainly enjoying reading what i found on YOURS, and was especially astounded to find writings about tragedy of the commons (here i thought i was being original when i made the same applications).

Kelly Andersson boone@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU

The Communications Decency Act
Dear Mr. Blumen:

I read your info page..

I am opposed to any censorship of what adults want to read or say.

I don't believe it is hard for kids to access the internet..

Couldn't sites that would otherwise be illegal to minors require initial subscription, like a password that is free to obtain, or perhaps a skill testing question beyond the scope of any youngster! Wouldn't the adults behind this site want kids to not be adversely affected?

I, with limited computer skills, my FIRST time using netscape was able to see pics of adult men sexually with young boys, also women tied up and beaten, sexually with dogs...?!?! kids can find this.

isn't there an alternative to censorship by government that all the participants on the internet could cooperatively agree on so the government would butt out and us adults, taking on the responsibility of protecting children, can continue in our depraved and inquisitive way?

Susan Andrus sandrus@ovcnet.uoguelph.ca

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Your reportage represents a perfect example of technology being used to really communicate things that are really important.

James Nichols james.nichols@amd.com

An Auschwitz Alphabet
Dear Mr. Blumen:

I want to thank you for your Holocaust project. Today I received the following letter to the editor:

(begin letter)

Sam Stanton has been watching too many cornball Hollywood flics and New York TV "documentaries." The Internet has blown him out of the water.Zyklon B was not a "poison gas" and was not used to "murder Jews during World War II". Zyklon B was a pesticide used by the Germans during World War II to delouse and to eradicate other pests. No Jew was ever killed with Zyklon B.

If Stanton is to be assigned to cover the Buchanan campaign someone should should attempt to educate him as to the responsibilities of reputable journalists.The ethnic group which has played the "Nazi" card here in the US supports an ongoing "Nazi" gun show in Tel Aviv and a crude agitprop campaign directed at the American people--- all of them,all races, all religions.

(end letter)

I replied to this letter writer with a copy of your entry for Zyklon B. I was extremely happy that this resource was available to quickly respond.

In this case, I won't be publishing the letter, although I may try to write a column about free speech, hate and the Internet.

John Hughes
Letters Editor
The Sacramento Bee

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I am a Junior/Senior High School librarian in New York, and I intend to show this resource to a class next week.

I like the organization of the information. Thank you for making it available.

One comment, however:

I would like to know where you found the figure used in your introduction that "About 25 percent of the population of New York is Jewish..."

Sincerely, not even 25% of New York City or Nassau County is Jewish. If someone can dispute that statistic, could they not also discount the valuable information that follows?

This really worrys me.

Nancy Minskoff HLNG16A@prodigy.com

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Your Auchwitz Alphabet was quite a reading experience.

I am continually horrified at what horrible things humans can do to each other.

As a white child growing up in a middle class family in Louisville, Ky, I learned about the horrors of the Holocaust in catholic grade school. They never taught how we slaughtered the Indians.

They never taught the extent of how we brutalized the African Americans.



Jeff Faughender jefff@merrickind.com

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I shall be adding a link to your Auschwitz Alphabet to the UK School History Resources page at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~evansjon/humanities/history/history.html Congratulations on an excellent historical presentation.

Ann Wagstaff aj60@dial.pipex.com

I cannot imagine the horror that took place during the nightmarish Nazi regime. I,for some unknown reason, have been fascinated by these events ever since I learned of the Holocaust as a young boy in the 4th grade. To some degree, I still find it hard to believe. But then I access a program of this nature, and it brings back the harsh, brutal, reality of the truth. I wonder how I will explain this to my one year old son, when he asks me how something like this could have happened, and could it ever happen to him or his family. My prayers go out to all who experienced this terror, living or dead.

Dan Shepard
36 years old

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Thanks again for a great webzine (or whatever one would call the Spectacle). I just have one quick question. I've noticed that recently you've had some really nice looking graphics and headers on your articles. Where do those come from?

-BOB rwhisona@vt.edu

They are the work of the amazing Laurie Caro, lcaro@inx.net.

Dear Jonathan:

Just wanted to drop you a note to say hi and tell you how great the Ethical Spectacle is. How'd you learn how to do this stuff?! I'm quite impressed. I quite enjoy perusing the articles you provide, and absolutely agree with you that it is important to maintain the net as an uncensored source of information, in spite of any personal problems I may have with certain pages.

You are doing a great job with this site, and providing people with much to think about, which is a great thing to do. It is also quite interesting...give a shout if I can be of assistance, as I'm curious to see how this all works.

I hope all is well with you and your family.

Best regards, Joe Gross jdgross@cris.com

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I saw your article on Fred Cuny. I liked it a lot and would like to quote from it (20 lines or so) for a web-project about Cuny. As somebody who had met Cuny about a year before his death I was very fond of him and like to keep his memory alive.

Thank You, Ingo Gunther i-gun@maestro.com

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Greeting fellow friend of ethics! I am enjoying reading your collection of articles. I particularly enjoy the light tone of much of the writing. My own tends to get a bit heavy, serious, and methodical. Still I would enjoy some feedback on the articles that we are publishing in the Ethics Resource Library on Gaia's Hive at http://www.per2per.com.

If you like our style I would be up for doing some article trading. We need new blood on our site and hope you feel similarly about ours. I look forward to hearing from you.

Bob Podolsky podolsky@per2per.com

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I saw your links page, and I note that you have a line there that says:

You can search full text of the Bible at University of Virginia Bible Search.

I just though I'd mention another, multi-version system of the same type, but more flexible, and just as powerful, if not more so. Check out the sample announcement at:


The links to the main home page are there.


Richard Goerwitz richard@mithra-orinst.uchicago.edu

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Hey dude, I really don't mean to be mean or anything, but I don't think you know what you're talking about when it comes to Schindler's list. Have you been to Auschwitz, have you read Anne Frank's diary published by Deutschewelle in it's originality? there are many other's I could roll off. I am not a historian, nor am I a holocaust expert, but the holocaust was an awful thing, and as you said in your review of "schindler's list" you said that they couldn't have (for various reasons, of course). I feel that all the negative comments received on the review are degrading to the fact that the movie made. Maybe you need to see the movie (again?) If you can't appreciate the movie for what it did, then I feel sorry for you, really. The movie moved me to tears and I couldn't eat all day long. I was moved. I was at Auschwitz (as a visitor two years ago on research) and I saw the torture devices, as well as the gas chambers, it's real dude!


L.R. Turner apparently read a review I wrote criticizing Schindler's List, but was unaware of the Auschwitz Alphabet. I explained that disliking what was essentially a Hollywoodized version of the Holocaust with a falsely optimistic outlook is not the same thing as Holocaust revisionism.

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I am a tenth grade student in Australia and I would just like to congratulate you on this homepage. This information has been most helpful for an assignment I am doing. So thanks.

Wayne Hatty

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Please add the Ultimate Pro-Life Resource List to your page: http://www.prolife.org/ultimate

Ultimate is the most comprehensive listing of right to life information on the internet.

Steve Ertelt ertelt@netcentral.net