• Correspondence with Joseph Ames Jr.
  • Correspondence with Laura Hunter

    Correspondence with Joseph Ames Jr.

    1st e-mail of June 17, 2003 to us

    We originally posted this e-mail here, but removed it after receiving Mr. Ames' second e-mail. See the 2nd e-mail below.

    Our reply to 1st e-mail

    From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <lpd@aladdin.com>
    To: <joe.ames@verizon.net>
    Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 11:40 AM
    Subject: Re: aladdin.com
    Dear Mr. Ames,
    Thank you for your communication.  I will post it on my site without
    comment so that others can form their own opinions of it.
    I hope that the "real" aladdin.com page was helpful to you in finding a
    replacement cup for your thermos.
    L. Peter Deutsch

    2nd e-mail of June 17, 2003 to us

    We did not post this e-mail: in it, Mr. Ames threatened legal action if we did so.

    Our reply to 2nd e-mail

    From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <lpd@aladdin.com>
    To: joe.ames@verizon.net
    In-reply-to: <004f01c3354c$7bf00520$8d87fea9@LAPTOP> (joe.ames@verizon.net)
    Subject: Re: aladdin.com
    References: <0c7801c334dd$dd0d02a0$8d87fea9@LAPTOP>
    Dear Mr. Ames,
    I have received your second e-mail, expressing your anger about my having
    posted your first e-mail on our Web site.
    Since you are obviously very upset about the posting of your first e-mail --
    in which you excoriated me at length as a "Bolshevik," accused me of deep
    hatred towards our fellow humans, and invited me to remove myself to Russia
    / Israel / Cuba while calling me a "self-hating hypocrite" if I didn't do so
    -- I have removed it from the www.aladdin.com public site.  I regret that
    unlike myself, you are not willing to stand by your political statements in
    Reasonable people (and legal precedents) differ about whether the sender of
    e-mail has an actionable expectation that the receiver will not publish it,
    absent an explicit statement by either party.  However, in order to avoid
    any misunderstanding about this issue in the future, I modified the
    www.aladdin.com site -- before receiving your second message -- to state
    explicitly, at the top of the home page:
    	Please note that if you send us any feedback about this page, you
    	are giving us permission to post it.
    I have now updated this statement to say "correspondence" rather than
    "feedback," and "this site" rather than "this page."
    I cannot be responsible for the consequences of your failure to read the
    above prominently posted notice before sending your second e-mail, and
    believe I would be fully within my rights to publish your second message
    despite your threat of legal action if I did so.  However, since you might
    argue that your second message was not "feedback about [the www.aladdin.com
    home] page" but only a response to my first message to you, I will not
    publish your second e-mail either.
    Please note that, per the public notice, I reserve the right to publish any
    further correspondence from you on the subject of the www.aladdin.com Web
    site, regardless of any notices that you may attach to it.  If you do not
    wish to have your correspondence published, do not send any.
    Please also note that while I will honor your desire not to publish your
    first two e-mails to us, I *am* willing to stand by my statements in public,
    and have published both of my e-mails to you.
    						L. Peter Deutsch

    Correspondence with Laura Hunter

    E-mail of September 6, 2003 to us

    From: "Laura Hunter" <laurahunter@cox.net>
    To: <lpd@aladdin.com>
    Subject: View from the Provinces
    Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2003 14:20:46 -0400
    Nope, au contraire, people ARE listening...and they don't agree with
    you.  Out in the "provinces" our feelings are different.  Would have to
    say that the below echoes our thoughts beautifully:
    Bush Equals Hitler?
    By Jonah Goldberg
    We may be living in the worst period of Holocaust denial since the
    Nuremberg trials. I'm not referring to the twisted morons who insist
    that the Holocaust never happened the way the Monty Python guys insisted
    the parrot wasn't dead. I'm referring to the legions of Holocaust
    deniers in the Democratic Party, on the Web, on college campuses, in the
    mainstream press and, most acutely, in my e-mail box every morning, who
    reduce to the Holocaust to a triviality.
    In America today - never mind Europe and the Middle East - ostensibly
    sophisticated and enlightened people see nothing particularly
    controversial about comparing George Bush to Adolph Hitler and the
    United States of America to Nazi Germany.
    The examples are everywhere. Vanity Fair magazine asks if Richard Perle
    and Joseph Goebbels were "separated at birth." Whole Web sites are
    dedicated to the most astoundingly stupid and superficial comparisons
    between George Bush and Hitler (they both liked dogs, for example).
    At every event protesting war, Bush, America, this, that and the other
    thing, one can find pictures of various administration officials in SS
    garb or bearing Hitler mustaches. On the Web, leftwing forums like
    Democraticunderground.com overflow with insubstantial people bolstering
    their self-esteem by pretending to "speak truth to power" to the
    unfolding Nazification of America.
    Putatively intellectual magazines, like the leftwing Nation and the New
    York Review of Books, feature articles that are more measured in tone
    and more nuanced in style than the hysteria one hears from C-Span
    callers or rabble-rousers at Howard Dean events, but the upshot is still
    the same.
    James Traub, writing in The New York Times last June, detailed the
    trendiness of the Bush-Hitler comparison: "That's grotesque; and the
    fact that is has achieved such currency among what the French call the
    bien pensant is vivid proof that in much of the left, 9/11 and its
    aftermath have increased the visceral loathing not of terrorism or of
    Islamist fundamentalism but of President George Bush."
    But no one seems willing to name this grotesquery plainly. It is,
    simply, Holocaust denial (not to mention slander against Bush and
    If your son is murdered and I claim that it never happened, I am denying
    the existence of a crime. But if your son is murdered and I compare that
    tragedy to losing your car keys, that is a form of denial, too. And this
    is precisely what the "Bush equals Hitler" crowd is doing.
    The Nazis murdered millions of men, women and children. Their victims
    weren't "collateral damage" in a war, and they were not executed after a
    long and fair trial. The Nazis sent their victims to gas chambers and
    ovens in boxcars. Nazi scientists injected dyes into the living eyes of
    small children to see if they could be made "Aryan." They made soap out
    of people.
    What on earth has George Bush done that deserves such comparisons? What
    could he possibly do?
    If you're going to call the man a Nazi, show me the children with
    tattoos on their arms. Show me the stockpiles of emaciated corpses. Show
    me files cabinets full of memos detailing how Bush and Cheney plan on
    disposing of millions of dead American citizens killed with poisonous
    If you can't show me any of these things - and you can't - then stop
    calling the man a Nazi. Because when you say he's no different from
    Hitler, you are also saying that Hitler is no different from George
    Bush. And that means that Hitler's crimes were no worse than George
    Bush's "crimes." And whatever you think of what George Bush has done or
    might do, if you think any of it is the moral equivalent of the
    Holocaust, you are in effect saying the Holocaust really wasn't that
    This isn't a partisan point. I would make the same argument if Al Gore
    were president. I loathed Bill Clinton as president, but I always took
    pains to chastise conservatives who compared him to Stalin or Hitler. As
    bad as Clinton's behavior was, only a man in leave of his senses would
    compare it to the systematized and bureaucratized mass-murder of
    millions of people. The same goes for Bush.
    To what should be their enduring shame, leftists have a particular
    problem understanding this point. In their do-gooder arrogance, many on
    the left assume that anyone who stands in their way must not be merely
    wrong on the facts, but evil in their hearts. And, worse, they have a
    very difficult time differentiating between evils.
    My favorite example of this moral myopia comes from a few years ago.
    Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said of the Contract With America: "Hitler
    wasn't even talking about doing these things." And his colleague, Rep.
    Major Owens declared of the new Republican leadership in the House,
    "These are people who are practicing genocide with a smile; they're
    worse than Hitler."
    If you believe such nonsense, just get it over with and say the
    Holocaust never happened at all. Because at least that form of Holocaust
    denial admits that if it "had happened," it would have been a really bad
    thing. Saying the Holocaust is no worse than tax cuts or some such
    doesn't even give the victims of Nazism that dignity.
    The "average bear" basically thinks folks like you have "lost your
    minds" ( a favorite hyperbole of the huddled masses whose collective
    intelligence you obviously question).
    To put it more succinctly, We ain't buyin' that loada horse hockey! =20
    As an aside: At the moment there IS no better alternative to the
    Republican party...the Democratic party has been hijacked by the Far,
    Far Left, and negative types who only want to point out everything that
    is "wrong" with America, and people are deserting in droves.  The other
    offerings are a bunch of whacky "green" types (sorry, but once again,
    that is how they are viewed by Joe Blow in Podunk, Kansas.)  We
    Americans are notoriously fickle, but as a majority we lean a little
    conservative -- we want good schools and decent morals and low crime and
    reasonable taxes and safety and a strong military.  No Party is perfect,
    but at the moment, the Republicans are resonating with the
    populace...unless you live in Southern California, Manhattan or similar
    environs.  It's a big country, and most folks still live in Smalltown,
    I predict a drubbing in Nov 2004...or maybe I should say a "dubya-ing".
    Laura Hunter

    Our reply to e-mail

    From: "L. Peter Deutsch" 
    To: laurahunter@cox.net
    In-reply-to: <011201c374a3$97cd95f0$917ba8c0@f2v7z1> (laurahunter@cox.net)
    Subject: Re: View from the Provinces
    References:  <011201c374a3$97cd95f0$917ba8c0@f2v7z1>
    Dear Ms. Hunter,
    Thanks for your comments responding to the www.aladdin.com home page.  In
    accordance with the policy at the top of our home page, we are posting your
    e-mail on our site.  To quote that policy here:
            Please note that if you send us any correspondence about this site,
            you are giving us permission to post it: we're willing to stand by
            our statements in public, so it's only fair that you should be too.
    Your e-mail included what appears to be a copy of a published article.  We
    believe that we may post your e-mail without violation of copyright because
    you presumably sent us the article copy without violation.  If this is wrong
    -- if you had to get permission to send us the article -- please let us know
    immediately.  If we are contacted about this issue, we will refer any
    inquiries to you.
    I regret that you chose to quote an article that has practically nothing to
    do with our home page.  Our home page does not compare Bush to Hitler: it
    calls the leaders of the Bush adminstration "lying, arrogant, power-drunk
    fascists" (and carefully defines what it means by "fascists"), and says
    "they have been shredding Constitutional democracy, and Americans' rights
    and liberties, as fast as they can ram their legislation through a compliant
    Congress with the approval of unprecedently manipulated public opinion."  We
    stand by these statements, the quoted article notwithstanding.
    Rather than quoting an inflammatory article that, like many political
    diatribes, attempts to discredit valid criticisms by linking them to wildly
    exaggerated ones, I wish you had responded by stating which of the 14 listed
    points of deep similarity between the Bush government and other fascist
    governments you think are incorrect: I believe I can give you significant
    examples of all of them.
    > The Nazis murdered millions of men, women and children. Their victims
    > weren't "collateral damage" in a war, and they were not executed after a
    > long and fair trial. The Nazis sent their victims to gas chambers and
    > ovens in boxcars. Nazi scientists injected dyes into the living eyes of
    > small children to see if they could be made "Aryan." They made soap out of
    > people.
    > What on earth has George Bush done that deserves such comparisons? What
    > could he possibly do?
    First of all, remember that Hitler's government only did those terrible
    things after it had been in power for many years.  The Bush administration
    has only been in real power for less than 3 years.  You might find it
    interesting to compare the record of Hitler's first 2 1/2 years in office
    with Bush's.  (I don't claim I've done this.)
    To respond directly: Bush's administration and its predecessors were the
    leaders in imposing sanctions on Iraq that are well documented to have
    killed hundreds of thousands of people.  His administration has vigorously
    asserted the right to kill (execute) people, including U.S. citizens, after
    secret, one-sided military trials; thousands of people have already been
    imprisoned indefinitely, both at Guantanamo and domestically.  There is
    well-documented evidence that Afghanis acting with the knowledge of the
    U.S. military shut up prisoners in boxcars where they suffocated.  There are
    also strong indications that the U.S. government deliberately expatriates
    captured suspects to countries that do not have strong restrictions on
    torture, so that those countries can do dirty work for which the U.S. can
    then deny responsibility.
    But more to the point, I'm not going to grant your premise.  The
    www.aladdin.com home page doesn't compare Bush to Hitler.  It doesn't
    compare the Republicans to Nazis.  It does list striking similarities
    between the methods and characteristics of the proto-fascist Bush
    administration to those of 5 fascist governments.  What the Bush
    administration does with its unbridled power will be somewhat different,
    just as Franco didn't murder people by the millions, and Suharto and
    Pinochet didn't go after the Jews.
    To take one example: Do I think the Bush administration will send millions
    of people to gas chambers?  No.  Do I think the Bush administration will
    condemn millions of people to additional suffering and earlier death by
    suppressing and de-funding proven effective and medically appropriate
    responses to the HIV epidemic?  Absolutely.  It's starting to happen
    already: read Rep. Waxman's recent report on the politicization of science
    organizations in the federal government, as well as the article on it in the
    recent issue of The Nation.  Do I think this comparison trivializes the
    Holocaust?  I have personal connections to both the Holocaust (my father and
    his parents were refugees from Hitler) and the HIV epidemic (I have many
    friends with HIV, and quite a number who have died from it), and for me the
    answer is no.
    The thing that saddens me most about the present situation is that
    "Smalltown USA" has many really great values shared between Left, Right, and
    Center, but the Bush adminstration, with the leverage of compliant media,
    has bamboozled most citizens out of applying them to the administration's
    activities.  Let's take honesty in government.  Bush and his cronies are
    liars, about big, important things -- to take two of the biggest examples,
    they kept talking about links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein when there
    weren't any of any significance (and certainly many fewer than between Al
    Qaeda and Saudi Arabia), and they kept talking about Iraqi WMDs when it's
    pretty clear by now that there weren't any of those either.  This is no
    secret.  Now, honesty in government is a really core American value that the
    Left and Right share; but only the Left is holding Bush's feet to the fire
    about his lies.  The same thing goes for fiscal responsibility, good
    schools, clean air and water, and decent government services, all of which
    I'm sure you want as much as I, all of which Bush has claimed to espouse,
    all of which his administration has actively undermined, and all of which
    the Left is calling him on a lot more vigorously than the Right.
    Of course, I don't expect to persuade you, any more than you expected to
    persuade me.  We'll find out more about who's right next November -- if the
    elections are actually held, and if they haven't been too badly corrupted,
    and if Bush and crew don't arrange for (or allow) another terrorist attack
    to happen shortly before the election.
    Again, thanks for taking the time to write.
    						L. Peter Deutsch

    This page last updated September 6, 2003.