Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

My most heartfelt thanks go to John Spragge, the reader who undertook to update and revamp the links pages. John's column, on relations between Canada and the U.S., starts in this issue.

Last night was the first night of Passover. The Seder service has one really memorable line which reverberates across the years for me; I have quoted it in these pages before:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

Peace. I love getting your email and can be reached, as always, at jw@bway.net.

An Auschwitz Alphabet
Dear Sir,

I was wondering if I could reproduce some parts of your site for a book I am putting together for the upcoming "Days of Remembrance" observance. Unfortunately, all military members don't have access to the internet and so I take it upon myself to reproduce information on this event each year. Last year, I took a bus to one of the concentration camps as an educational experience. By the way, I forgot to mention I am currently assigned in Wuerzberg, Germany. If you could respond to this request in a timely manner I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks you for your time,

Jeffrey W. Hill Hillj@cmtymail.98asg.army.mil

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I am currently writing a thesis project for a Masters in English on teaching Holocaust Literature in the secondary school. I would like your permission to include this website in a list of websites that students will use to research the lives of victims of the Holocaust. Plaese let me know whether or not you would feel comfortable lending your resources to this education project. Thank you for producing such an thoughtful, meaningful site. Carolyn Kiesel, English teacher





Mr. Wallace:

I am a 69 year old male American Catholic (??) I lived thru WWII, ages 12 to 16. I have just spent the last two hours reading and printing articles from your, "Auschwitz Alphabet" after watching a portion of, "Schindler's List." While I realize the point made concerning the Movie, I would never have arrived at your Web Page had it not been for the Movie. Frankly I believe that the criticism levelled at Mr. Spielburg is a little unfair. I believe the purpose of the Movie is to Wake Up some people, as it did me. I knew all about the Holocaust, hadn't I lived during the time it took place? I really do not believe that anyone who has not let themselves down into the stink and filth and excrement under an outhouse could ever really understand the unreasoning, all pervading fear that must exist to cause a person to be able to do that. The movie amazed me, I did not realize what human beings could do, or possibly I did but have never let myself think about it. I don't know, I do understand your message, I will finish reading the rest of the web site and more concerning the subject and to add a note of constructive criticism, or to answer your un-asked question, NO, do not go with option # three. I do not believe it is either ethical or necessary, your information is presented in a manner which permits us to learn from it and I agree that the introduction of a "game" atmosphere would detract from a powerfull presentation. Thank you for this web page.

Douglas A. Wiechelt WIECHELT@prodigy.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Just found your site, quite by accident, as I was seeking information on Schlindler (as in Schlinder's List). Your site and links look quite exciting.


John T. Bales jb6904@tir.com

Mr. Wallace:

I congratulate you on your web-site. I have found no other as well done and informative. I am not Jewish although I do know of some of my extended family who died in Auschwitz. I don't regularly make it a habit to "surf" for sites about the Holocaust, but tonight it has consumed me, and I'm glad that your site was there.

I'd like to lastly say thank you for taking the time to read this, and for making your site.

Kelly Wagner BELA04@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Yours is a very interesting site about Auschwitz. Primo Levi's "The Drowned and the Saved" is one of the best books about the Holocaust. My parents and my wife's parents are all concentration camp survivors.

Your site discusses "Resistance" and cites Friedrich pp 80-85. Could you give me a full citation? I couldn't find it on your site. I'm trying to learn about the attempt to destroy one of the crematoria by the Sonderkommando. The story has received little publicity, and much embellishment, with some improbabilities. In Los Angeles last year, Holocaust Remembrance Day included a speech about women who escaped and returned with explosives used to blow up the crematoria. Unlikely. But something did happen, and I'm trying to find out.

Can you help me?

-Jay Starkman jay@starkman.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I have just found your site, and greatly appreciate what I see there as a resource for my student in our "Professionalism" class (hhtp://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604). I have created some links from our variuous topics to articles but then wonder whether this site is archiving files for such linkages? I.e. how "permanent" are our postings? Should I be asking your permission to include them in our digital library?


JAN Lee janlee@vtopus.cs.vt.edu
professor of computer science

Dear Mr. Wallace:

The Jews, God's chosen people, went through the most terrible time any group of people, in human history has ever experienced and they still have not learned a thing. A Father does not always kiss his children into obedience. He sometimes has to punish them-Zech. 7:13. But, that does not mean he is not their father anymore; that NEVER changes.

Their (Jews) Messiah came almost two thousand years ago and they did not recognize Him-Zech. 9:9. They turned away from Him. But, there is one coming whom they will follow and he will be many more times horrible than Hitler and the Nazi regime ever thought of being-Dan. 9:24-27. History will repeat itself.

Even through all of this God will not turn His back on the Jewish people: "And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, it is my people: and they shall say, the Lord is my God. (Zech. 13:9)

Shalom Aleychem,
Peter Morock p-c.morock@worldnet.att.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Hi I'm 13 years old and a citizen of the Untied States. In the summer if 1997, I went to Poland with my youth group. I am 75% Polish, and many of my relatives were Jews who were brought to Auschwitz. When we visited there, I didn'ttake any pictures - it hurt too much. I still remember EVERYTHING about that visit. Sometimes I have vivid dreams recreating that day I went. I can run every move I made that day in my mind. In Language Arts right now we are studying the Holocaust and are reading Anne Frank's diary. I've seen Schlindler's list and it's probably the only movie I've ever seen that has made me cry. Whenever anyone mentions Auschwitz I get a misty. when people ask me why I tell them that once they visit that place they'll understand how horrible life in concentration cams was. The next time I go there I'll probably take pictures, but not for me. I have the mental pictures, I just would like pictures to try to express how terrible but important going there was. I was wondering if you have any information about Auschwitz itself. I already know a lot, but ever since I went there I've wanted to know more. So if you can help me find out more about Auschwitz, could you please e-mail me? thank you very much!

- Leah H.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

an excellent and interesting page - usefull for a history project also!

David Lipner dali.lip@net.ntl.com

Dear Sir,

We need much, much more of this, all the old books even, should be re-published all those sealed records should be made available to everyone,what right did somebody like Churchill have to decide what should and shouldn't be used by the public, and I'm British, much later than Churchill's day, but...I have been researching for three years, reading, listening, watching, looking, and so has my sister in England and so many avenues are closed, maybe if they weren't closed all those people out there who deny the Holocaust would stop. Speaking of which how can anybody deny this, my point is even if they drop the numbers down to one, that makes it all right? For the life and love in me, even that one is way more precious than anything I can discard, don't understand the argument.

Didn't mean to jump away from the edge then but I sometimes can't help it.

One other thing getting this into British schools would be great, because before my personal search began I wish I had known more, much more than a bland off hand statement of The Jews Suffered Terribly, I write it like title because that's how it was presented, only somebody hadn't even written the book, or allowed it in schools. Sorry, I'm sorry for all this outburst, in this three years I've learned and grown a lot these outbursts belong back then, there in school, where if I thought of the questions, which I did I should have had the courage to ASK them, ahh, the mistakes of youth.

Thank you, thank you for all this work, I am so grateful to people like yourself and others for giving me an opportunity to learn, answer questions, research fact, and no matter where it leads walk stronger in the correct direction towards resolution of problems, and face the results head on and up.

Thank you, thank you
Judith E. Stones buona@frontiernet.net

PS. If you could point me towards Gross Rosen, my personal endeavor, and tell me where I can find a list of all the camp personal, it may help answer many, now moot, questions for me. Oh and I am sorry about the length, I have to say that, although....

I have read everything that you have written on this most horrible event that took place.I cried for everyone that was hurt, all of them. I found myself depressed reading what happened. I had to quit many times because of the emotional heartache that it gave me. I will continue my research on this subject. I am of spanish decent and navajo Indian. I know my parents were hurt by prejudice when they were growing up. and myself also, but not to the extent that they were or the people of the holocaust. it saddens me that this is still happening all over the world. you are an excellent writer. I have this web page book marked. I will continue my research on other terrible events that happened during this time. and also against my people thank you for a better understanding of that time. may it never happen again

Sinda cheever@saipan.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I own a copy of the Cybersitter program and I read through all your objections about the product and the underlying agenda. I personally agree with Solid Oak and I like what they are trying to do. The program, along with others, is a product that may be purchased by anyone and also refused by anyone. NO ONE is forced to use it. At the same time, no matter how distasteful it may be to me, I support everyone's freedom to expression and that goes along with your opinion. Because I don't agree with you, you may assume that I am a narrow-minded person. On the contrary; I took the time to read through your material and I have been to many other sites that challenge the mind. I am always amazed at how conservative people are regarded as a group of mindless automatons and that enlightened groups that you are affiliated with seek to liberate us from our misguided values. That is your right, but last time I checked, I am also afforded the same liberty to protect myself from your lack of values by whatever means I choose. What you deem as a misguided crusade and reckless subversion of the unknowing masses by a company, I see as an attempt to offer reasonable protection in a moral quagmire. I am always amused at the use of the word "Banned". I read your site. If it were banned, how would I have accessed it? That is the same for any other material that is labeled as such. I still have access, but I still have the right to voice my opinion as to how available it is. That is MY right as a citizen. If I am in the majority, I win. If not, I need to try harder. That's life in a free society.

I control my children's access to the net and the program helps me in that goal. At least for me, it still doesn't replace my responsibility as a parent to equip my kids with the proper tools to cope with today's world as they mature. Will I let them read your pages? Not now, but in the future I will most certainly visit with them those "offensive" political sites because that is real life and they need to know how to cope. Even now, we regularly discuss many aspects of society openly and honestly. Sex sites? No way. The internet is a wonderful place that has a staggering amount of information available to everyone. I applaud anyone that is able to create a product that goes in a particular direction that I agree with.

That's about it. I thank you for reading this letter.

Paul Minelga yeeeha@gci.net

Thanks for the info. Looking at the list of websights, etc. that Cybersitter blocks has covinced me that CYBERSITTER is exactly what I need. Thanks again.

Julian Beall JulianBeall@mindspring.com

The Nuremberg Files Web Site
Mr. Wallace,

I just finished reading your analysis of the shutdown of the Nuremberg Files web site, and I had 2 quick comments:

1. This is the FIRST article I have read that clearly outlined what was fundamentally wrong with the entire trial and verdict.

2. While so many were "dancing in the streets", those of us with ANY sense of what personal civil liberties are were shocked and disgusted with an obviously emotionally wrought verdict.

My father put it simply to me when I was a child, "In order to protect the freedoms you have, you must first protect the freedoms of those you disagree with." It scares me to think that many (if not most) average citizens can't grasp this concept. Watch an episode of Ally McBeal to learn this firsthand (one of my favorite targets - not for her blatant anorexia, but rather the show's moronic view of civil law - also see The Practice).


Jeff Owens jeffo@paclink.com

Dear Sir:

I was feeling quite good about your seeming defense of free speech. Then I logged onto your site & found you have feet of clay. Oh, well! Seems we prolifers aren't the only flawed Children of Adam after all. I hope this is the beginning of a true dialogue between us. Despite your having caved under pressure, I would really like to talk to you in a real dialogue. What do I mean by a REAL dialogue??? Well, most of the time DIALOGUE means the pro abortion people get to say what they want & the prolife people get to shut up & listen. I do hope you will prove different. Anyway, I'll end this particular e-mail with a question. Tell me, Sir. Has anyone ever told you that, in order to be equal to women, you must kill your children? I once asked that question of a gentleman on a pro abortion picket line. His answer was fascinating. He threatened to flatten me on the sidewalk.

christine stratton blancapinta@yahoo.com

I just finished reading "Into Thin Air" and found your review on line. I thought your views were very insightful and I had some of the same feelings when reading the book.

L. Peter Yob yobl@setaf.vicenza.army.mil

Dear Jonathan,

I am very touched by your deep feelings for poor people who have suffered as victims. I have met many people who have been through awful things, and I was unfortunate to witness to an assault like The Pale Haired Woman. The memories of the stories are one thing that stay in my mind but the pictures in my head never really seem to stop piercing me when they flashback!

Never loose that special heart I know you must have, because there are not enough people in this world who can actually FEEL the sadness in sad stories.

God Bless,
And thank you again.
"Blowing In The Wind"

Mr. Wallace:

Great work as usual. I have been enjoying your site for many months now, and look forward to every new issue.

I am currently working on a book. I would like to add you as a reference in relation to Game Theory. Could you please recoomend any other links to prisoner dilemma sites or books dealing with the subject?

Thanks alot, and keep up the great work.

Yours truly

Steven J. McArthur madmord@home.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I only had a chance to overview some of your writings, but they strongly show your values and ethics come from the Judaica sources, which are religiously bound by the commandments and the ethical sources which have been proven as sound guides of wisdom.

Have you recently read or taken part in any of the literature or lectures- dialogue with some of the cuirrent Jewish intellectuals or attended services or study programs offered by Jewish Renewal sources which encourage and enjoy a varied, dynamic dialogue and participation from attendees so that they learn from each other as well as the writings and new thinking-interpetations now given to ancient writings.

You might find it very stimulating. Have you studied Perke Avot or Martin Buber's writings? It would motivate and encourage you to gain more wisdom, which I feel you would put to good use because of your ability to get it out in the open. Many fabulous people out there are sharing and enjoying this method of learning and gaining wisdom. The sources also enable us to promote more ethical buy-in, because with "understanding comes love" in the sense that a ripple effect would be created to try and improve conditions for all mankind. Acceptance comes when we not only hear the other, but because we listen and are able to under stand.

I am looking forward to being on your mailing list and reading your writings. Do you have contributing authors? Thankyou for forming the Ethics Network.

Esti Pastor, proponant of Ethics and Adj Faculty Espastor@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

In your essay Texas Killed Karla Fay, you wrote:

I was in Austin last week on business (February 1998) while the state was busy killing Karla Fay Tucker. She was the white, appealing, born-again Christian axe murder who is the first woman to be executed by Texas since the 1860's, and the first in the United States since the 1980's.

I wish I had had the time to go to Huntsville and look into people's faces. Instead, I watched the endlessly replayed interviews with her, in which she asked for clemency but said she was prepared for her fate. Texas executes one or two people every month--it kills more people, and has more waiting to be killed, than any other state. Rarely do any attract as much attention as Karla Fay, and there were a lot of reasons for the spectacle: rarely do we execute women; we execute white people, especially well-groomed ones, far less often than all other groups;

Then why are white murders twice as likely to be executed as black murderers.

we have pangs about executing the redeemed, though as many people pointed out that week (Governor Bush included), everyone gets religion when facing execution. Nevertheless, it is not every day that Pat Robertson and his Christian Coalition campaign for the life of a killer.

The Texas clemency board follows no written criteria, is not required to meet in person, and hasn't granted anyone clemency in many years. Why bother having one at all?

Because it is an extra level of protection. That is why Texas recently commuted the death sentence of a serial murderer.

Governor Bush piously said that he would allow a higher power to dispose of Karla Fay--

That is not what he said. He said that a higher power would judge her repentence and conversion.

but it was humans who put her at the needle point of a lethal injection.

The morning paper said that the execution would happen at five if the governor didn't act. At six o'clock, I returned to my hotel and turned on the television to hear that Karla Fay had been killed by the state: strapped to a gurney, and injected with a lethal drug, much as Dr. Mengele did to his victims in Auschwitz.

Somewhat different, if guilt and innocence mean anything to you.

And there was Richard Thornton, the bereaved husband of one of Karla Fay's victims, postulating that his dead wife would murder Karla Fay in heaven: "Now Debbie can take care of her. And it won't be a pretty sight." Around him were teenagers, girls sitting on boys' shoulders, exulting and cheering for death.

Karla Fay Tucker should have been spared. Not because she was female, not because she was attractive, not because she was born-again or white. Karla Fay should not have been killed because the process that began when she deprived Debra Thornton of life--turned her into a thing--culminated by turning Richard Thornton into an animal. And all of us. There is no redemption and no justice in such killing, only degradation. The television image I will retain the longest was a sign: "Don't kill for me."

> and don't parole for you?



Your e-zine and views are very interesting, thought provoking, and is well structured with its flawed reasoning. Notice that I use the word "think" instead of "feel." You cannot argue with a persons feeling- i.e. I believe two plus two is five. You cannot argue that my feeling is wrong. My feelings may be misplaced, but are true. Relative moralists and PC Fascists have instituted this new politics of meaning putsch that would have made Joseph Goebles proud. I am fascinated by leftist moralists, because I have yet to find one that is not near the zenith of hypocracy.

-If Nixon was a "gangster," what is Clinton? You point out Kent state. What about Waco? At least Judaism is BATF approved. I guess you could do the intellectually lazy action and dismiss my argument as right-wing nonsense, or lump me in with Tim McVeigh. I dare you to look into the Waco assault objectively (take a peak at the move "Waco, the Rules of Engagement"). Try to argue away this action, brought to you from the Clinton administration.

-How do feel about nuclear proliferation? Thanks to Clinton, we have China building and exporting advanced ballistic missile technology to North Korea and Iran/Iraq. Wake up and smell the Beijing plutonium!

-Does your morality follow from God, or does is follow from man? If it follows from man, than morality is whatever one wants it to be. Modern morality tends to be the elusive chase of the almighty personal happiness. Hey, it makes me happy to screw over some people, therefore, it is moral (as long as I genuflect to the politically correct icons while doing it).

I will continue to read your zine as long as you can make your arguments a shade better than Allen Durshawitz (sp?) (Losthiswits?).

Your last column about the dearth of language was lightly palpable. What you were missing in your deconstruction of "The Blue Kettle" is the often sighted statistic that most communication with people (face to face) is non-verbal. The University of Arizona has a nationally renown communications department, and many of the faculty there state that non-verbal communication is as high as 90% in a face to face discussion.

James Massee stc@stchome.com


Re Republican Revenge Crusade It could have been worse - they could have set him up with Lorena Bobbit. Then the only question of his character would be its reattachment. After listening to Juanita Broderick, I don't think the Republicans have that much to worry about. And I would hate to tell the Secret Service what I think of a rapist in that office - they might put me on some kind of list with all those others who don't agree with you.

Don Baker dobak@ipa.net

HI! My name is Taylor Landis, I am a high school debate student and i would like to use some of your work (especially "Morality without God') as evidence for our team. It may interest you to know that the resolution we are working on is: Resolved: Human Genetic Engineering is Morally Justified. However, in order to properly cite this information, I need your qualifications, such as "Ph.D Philosophy" or "Journalist for X Magazine", etc. I would appreciate an e-mail inclusive of this as well as any other information you may have that could help us out when you have a chance! Many, many thanks,

Taylor Landis

Dear Mr. Wallace:

i just wanted you to know that i enjoyed your article Gays in the Military,(in fact I'm quoting you in a report I am doing for school, dont worry, i'm giving credit to you) and agree with you on the "Dont ask, dont tell policy". The narrow-mindedness of this country will never change with policies such as this, and i find it rather sad.To think America was a place meant to accept diversity, and a portion of us are so ignorant that we cannot even handle a matter as simple as sexual preference... anyhow i just wanted you to know that i appreciated youre article



Very interesting stuff. I wrestle with it all the time. How verbal should my site be? How visual? How can I meld the two so that these questions are irrelevant? Is the web primarily a visual medium and if so, is it specifically a video-driven medium? Dead trees were so much simpler.

Check me out:


Jack McEnany jmcenany@mediaone.net