A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

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A FORUM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND VIGOROUS DEBATE, CORNERSTONES OF DEMOCRACY
[For the journal--guidelines, focus, etc.--go to www.theamericandissident.org. If you have questions, please contact me at todslone@hotmail.com. Comments are NOT moderated (i.e., CENSORED)!]
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia, not to mention Sweden, England, and Austria.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Anne Brennan

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Brennan did not, as expected, respond to the above cartoon or email and essay below.  Brennan clearly is NOT an advocate of vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy and, once upon a time, of the free press.  

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From: George Slone

Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:11 PM

To: abrennan@capecodonline.com <abrennan@capecodonline.com>; letters@capecodonline.com <letters@capecodonline.com>

Subject: Brennan criticized and featured in a new P. Maudit cartoon

 

To Anne Brennan, Editor, Cape Cod Times:

Please publish the following critique, as well as the attached cartoon.  Of course, it is highly likely that you will choose NOT to publish them, let alone respond.  Please then, for your sake, at least contemplate the hypocrisy of such an eventual decision...

Sincerely,

G. Tod Slone (PhD—Université de Nantes, FR), aka P. Maudit, Founding Editor (1998)

The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence

www.theamericandissident.org 

wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com    

todslone@hotmail.com



A Wrong Focus for Journalism

Journalists seem to focus on anything but why they are so distrusted today.  Extreme bias, general intellectual corruption, inability to brook criticism, let alone encourage it, constant virtue-signaling, and suppression of stories that don’t fit the narrative have led me to distrust them.  Moreover, a “successful” journalist like any other professional—academic, political, literary or whatever—is one who always puts career above truth telling.  

Anne Brennan, the new editor of the Cape Cod Times, part of the Gannett media corporation, wants to focus, unsurprisingly and quite unoriginally, not on those faults, but rather on diversity.  “Our newsroom diversity promise,” the title of her editorial, begins with “The Cape Cod Times has a history of telling stories about the diverse members of our community…”  Well, it sure hasn’t told my story about being permanently banned from my neighborhood library on Cape Cod, despite a number of attempts on my part to interest it.  Why would a local newspaper not want to publish an account of that particular suppression of citizen freedom?  Intellectual corruption is the only response.  Likely the library director was and is friends with journalists at the Times.  The latter also refused to publish anything critical I sent to it over the past decade.  Clearly, its focus is not on TRUTH and issues of FREEDOM OF SPEECH, but rather on the PC-identity politics of thought uniformity.    

“Where we fall short is by not seeking diverse voices in the daily course of covering Cape Cod and the people who live and work here,” proclaims Brennan.  However, “diverse voices” is really nothing but code for uniformity of voices from people of different skin colors.  Then, surprise, the editor echoes:  “The egregious death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers forced us all to think about the inequality and, yes, racism, that is an inherent part of the American story.”  Actually, it did not force me to think about that or anything else… because I am a staunch individual.  It did however remind me of the three black youths who attacked and robbed me in Baton Rouge, and the local newspaper, The Advocate, that refused to report on that incident.  Perhaps the Floyd incident should have further encouraged us not to simply open wide and swallow anything journalists push.  As far as “uncomfortable truths” go, Floyd was a black drug addict with a long criminal background and was high on drugs when arrested.   Why does Brennan purposefully omit that information?  And what about the statistics that clearly disprove the MSM “systemic racism” narrative, especially regarding cops?  

As mentioned, the real egregious problem—the elephant in the room—confronting newspapers like the Cape Cod Times, besides rejection of criticism when they’re concerned, is bias, not racism.  It appears, and one must underscore the word “appears,” that the new editor is at least aware of that core problem, as indicated in a different editorial, "A note to readers: The Cape Cod Times will no longer take editorial positions, endorse politicians":  “The decision for the Times to no longer take a stand on issues, unless they are of major importance, is driven by our desire to reduce the growing confusion over the difference between opinion and commentary and nonopinion news content.”  One must be suspicious, however, because clearly Brennan has endorsed the political position of identity politics.  She states, “Despite no longer taking positions on local issues, the Times will continue to be an unbiased authoritative source of information and community action.”  She also notes, “The goal of journalists and editors at the Times is to collect information and report the facts of a situation without bias in stories, photos, video and social media posts.”  But those statements seem to be examples of virtue-signaling, not reflections of reality.  A number of Times stories, for example, do NOT follow that recipe at all!  My bringing that to the attention of the editors, past and present, was of course futile and simply ignored.  For examples of my attempts, examine “The Whitewashing, uh, Blackwashing of BLM:  Questioning and Challenging the Parrots,” “To Herring or Not to Herring:  Protected Species for Some, But Not for Others,” and “To Noose or Not to Noose: In the Haze of Legal Vagueness.”  

Rather than address real problems confronting journalism, the Times is going to create a Diversity Advisory Board, yet another addition to the vast “diversity delusion” (Heather MacDonald’s book title) and ever-expanding diversity bureaucracy.   Anything but the rude truth!  “Rest assured, we are committed to fostering the already civil debate that occurs on our pages on a daily basis,” states Brennan.  “I look forward to reading what you have to say.”  Now, do you think she looks forward to reading what I have to say?  Finally, we want to hear from you, our readers,” states Brennan, as if teaching a course in BS 101.  Oops, that’s incivil!  Here come the journalist censors, uh, moderators…


Monday, December 7, 2020

Robby Soave

The following cartoon was sketched in 2016.  I put it up now since it was never posted.  What got me to do that is the recent hagiography on Walter Williams written by the editor of Reason.  See after the cartoon my futile attempt at dialogue.  

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To Nick Gillespie, Editor at Large, Reason magazine:  

This email will appear in the next issue of The American Dissident and will serve to hopefully make you think out of the Libertarian box, if possible.  Enough with the blind hagiographies like the one you just wrote on Williams, a lifer academic!  And how sad, Reason does not provide a little space for criticism against its editors.  Now, how can that help reason?  Well, it can't...


Notes on Hack Heroes

Conservative black professor Walter Williams died.  He is dead.  So, now the hack hero worshippers praise the corpse, as if somehow when alive it/he was perfect.  Well, he sure as hell was not!  In essence, how can someone who taught at the same college, George Mason University, for 40 years possibly be perfect?  How many times did Williams turn a blind eye, as he climbed up the academic ladder, at the likely intrinsic corruption at George Mason University, the hand that fed him so royally?  How many times?  We’ll never know, of course.  Williams was a careerist.  Career and truth do not mix well at all... especially in academe.  

In any case, below is a revealing response from Williams regarding the censorship (removal) of my comments posted on Frontpage magazine, run by the conservative David Horowitz Foundation.  Williams was a long-time contributor to it.   See the essay I wrote with that regard  (wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2016/02/michael-finch.html) and the cartoon I sketched on Williams in 2015 (wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2015/12/walter-williams-david-horowitz.html).  If one does not test the waters of democracy, then one does not really know how murky they are.  

Now, might Nick Gillespie be at all interested in the proof I present regarding Williams’ grotesque hypocrisy?  Of course not!  After all, Williams was “A popular syndicated columnist whose work appeared in over a hundred newspapers on a weekly basis, he was a long-time contributor to Reason and served as an emeritus trustee of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.”  

And that Nick is your achilles heel.  The one you will likely never examine. 



From: George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:19 AM

To: wwilliam@gmu.edu

Subject: Your concern for liberty for your fellow man...

To Walter Williams,

If you are not the person, though I believe you are, who wrote the article on Free Speech in today's FrontPage mag, then ignore this missive.  If you are, however, then you did write:  "Most people want liberty for themselves. I want more than that. I want liberty for me and liberty for my fellow man."

BUT do you really want liberty for your fellow man?  FrontPage mag censored my comment several days ago.  It censored my liberty.  I protested that act of censorship to Horowitz and Tapson, but nobody deigned to respond, proving the right-wing is also into censorship.  If you truly cared about my freedom of speech, you would stand up and send a protest letter to Horowitz.  Why not tell him he ought to follow Jonathan Turley's policy of NOT moderating (i.e., censoring) comments.  Likely, you will not do that.  And that would answer the question about your desire of liberty for your fellow man.  The email and my censored comment figure below.  You will note the absence of threats, prohibited words, etc. in it.  


From: Walter E Williams <wwilliam@gmu.edu>

Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2015 9:09 AM

To: George Slone

Subject: RE: Prof Walter Williams cartooned... 

One’s right to free speech does not impose an obligation that others to provide a forum for him.

Cheers.

Professor Walter E. Williams

George Mason University, Economics

4400 University Dr., MSN 3G4

Fairfax, VA  22030

http://www.walterewilliams.com

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And so all I managed to get from the professor (i.e., Williams) was a “cheers.”  What a jerk!




Saturday, December 5, 2020

Claire Rudy Foster

Below the cartoon is the email sent by Foster in total outrage over the cartoon I drew on Chen Chen, poet of the establishment, anointed by the establishment as one of "10 Poets Who Will Change the World."  Now, how not to satirize that?!  The email of course inspired me to sketch the cartoon below.  I am well aware that in the very near future, such a cartoon will be prohibited and result in a fine or even incarceration.  And of course in that Brave New World, the Fosters will finally be happy.  

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From: Foster <claire.rudy.foster@gmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:25 PM

To: todslone@hotmail.com <todslone@hotmail.com>

Subject: American Dissident

 

Hi Tod,


It's been brought to my attention that you disseminated a racist cartoon of a friend of mine to my friend and his colleagues at Brandeis. Apparently you are offended by my friend's presence in academia and his recent essay about universality. Your bizarre, groundless comments about "Community Chinese apparatchiks" is racist and vile. You should be ashamed of yourself for pursuing such a low and valueless line of thought. You are quick to tout your PhD, but with actions like these, one wonders how smart you really are.


Your immature little prank is not criticism, satire, or humor. You aren't funny. In addition to being in bad taste, your harassment of my friend calls your intellect into question. You are not a rebel; you represent a vast and disgusting demographic of half-baked, armchair brains who think it's "edgy" to perpetuate xenophobic and homophobic stereotypes. Punching down just to get a reaction is a cheap move: any bully can do it. If that's the only way you know how to get attention, I feel really sorry for you. Maybe if you put that energy into crafting an original thought, you'd come up with something worthwhile? 


I am glad that my friend has taken steps to protect himself. I am not a member of the academic establishment, nor do I have a reputation to preserve, so I feel fine telling you to go fuck yourself.


Go fuck yourself.


Sincerely,


Foster



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Kevin Larimer, Amy Berkower, Elliot Figman

 


Louise Glück

 Editorial, Issue #40, The American Dissident


From the Press Pass to the Victim Card,

Bullshit Lies Matter, and Glückoma

The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress.

—Gary Webb, journalist who purportedly (two bullets to the head!) committed suicide

 

Democracy will not/cannot survive if citizens lack the courage to openly speak out critically against the reigning party-line, whatever it might be.  Poets and writers ought to be in the forefront of citizens with courage, yet they seem instead always to be in the rear.  Their careers depend on their silence, and their inability to think for themselves.

  And so, according to The New York Times in typical journalist self-congratulatory mode, “this is where journalism matters most.”  The front cover of this issue depicts one of its newly-hired hack columnists, Ben Smith, formerly editor of BuzzFeed.  Smith’s op-ed, "Journalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.," is mind-boggling in its absence of reality in the realm of the press.  Little if any substance at all is in the op-ed, just unoriginal, groupthink, kill-the-messenger accusations, devoid of any precise examples to back them (e.g., “President Trump’s abuse of power” and “conspiracist Alex Jones”).  In the op-ed, Smith notes he’d interviewed another journalist:  “I asked him if he worried about coming off as a pompous jerk.”  Well, Smith should have asked himself the same question!  The Times’ eulogy of Smith, “The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed," constitutes an instance of backslappery on steroids.     

Purging or censoring comments that one does not like has become quite common and quite indicative of the totalitarian direction of America today.   People who purge/censor/moderate are people who do not respect the cornerstones of democracy, free speech and vigorous debate.  Censoring is NOT only the modus operandi of the left, though clearly the left has been heavily engaged in the activity.  The David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think tank, for example, censored a number of my unflattering comments.  Freedom Center?  Bullshit Lies Matter!  Below is the email I sent.  There was, unsurprisingly, NO response.  


To David Horowitz Freedom Center:  So, it is evident that you prefer “freedom” as in the freedom to purge and censor, NOT as in the freedom of speech, expression, and vigorous debate.  Shame on you for censoring my comments, regarding the poem Bawer wrote praising Horowitz’ new book!  I did take screenshots, so do have the proof.  If you’d like to see it, simply contact me.  Your actions prove that censorship is NOT only a left-wing tactic.  My tip for you would be to grow a backbone and truly embrace FREEDOM, not simply as a word to manipulate into another example of Orwellian newspeak.  You might wish to examine the cartoon and my long censored comment here:  wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2020/06/bruce-bawer-and-david-horowitz.html.  Interestingly, that comment was removed the day it was posted, then reposted a day later, but then purged a second time with all of my other comments several days after that.  You certainly will NOT have my support!

     

On another note, bravo to Rattle for coming up with a new super-inane idea for the billion-dollar diversity machine:   

RATTLE SEEKS SUBMISSIONS by Neurodiverse Poets for the Spring 2021 issue: Poems may be any style or subject, but must have been written by those with neurological differences who identify with the idea of neurodiversity. 

Now, I wonder if well-paid Rattle editor Tim Green might consider me neurodiverse, since he evidently believes my criticism of the poetry establishment to be a “neurological” disorder of sorts—oops, one must use the pc-term “difference,” not “disorder”!  Out of the “1220+ literary magazines,” recognized by Poets & Writers magazine, Rattle is, of course, one of them.  The American Dissident is, of course, NOT one of them. 

Finally, regarding the recent Nobel Prize for Literature brouhaha, cite Henry David Thoreau, “Let your life be a counterfriction to stop the machine.”  Well, sure, Henry didn’t really follow his own advice.  But what precisely might constitute the “machine”? In the case of poetry, it is obvious. The academic/literary establishment is that “machine.”  Below is the front cover of Issue #10, featuring Louise Glück, a ladder-climbing, academic careerist, something I sincerely believe poets should NOT be. Glück has lots of “credentials” (i.e., ladder rungs), including Poet Laureate of the US Congress (2003-4), a hug and National Humanities Medal from Obama, English professor at Yale, and this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.  To obtain such credentials, professional ladder climbers inevitably learn to obey the prime taboo of upward runging:  thou shalt keep your mouth shut and not criticize those on higher rungs.  Glück did not respond to the front cover, which I’d sent to her. 


The following Glück comments are direct quotes taken from Alexandra Alter’s New York Times hagiographic interview, “‘I Was Unprepared’: Louise Glück on Poetry, Aging and a Surprise Nobel Prize."  For a critical essay on Alter, see “The Hillary Poets and the Hillary Resistance.” The Nobel Prize, unsurprisingly, is only awarded to poets of the “machine,” certainly not to poets critical of the “machine.”  The Nobel judges, who are perhaps not so noble, declared Glück to be an “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Now, what does that even mean?  Ah, it’s poetry, stupid!  It doesn’t have to mean a damn thing.  Another critic, uh, publicist, Ron Charles, proclaimed Glück to be “one of the most celebrated poets in America,”  a clear indication of innocuousness.

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Louise Glück: I’m a very sociable person. The fact that I dislike interviews doesn’t mean I’m a recluse.  BLM#1

The Editor: Well, why don’t you stop doing interviews then?! 

LG:  Completely flabbergasted that they [i.e., the Nobel judges] would choose a white American lyric poet. It doesn’t make sense.  BLM#2

The Editor:  Well, why don’t you make it make sense by rejecting the Nobel like Sartre had done and demand a black lyric poet be given the prize instead of you?  Ah, but you won’t do that! 

LG:  People keep telling me how humble I am. I’m not humble. But I thought, I come from a country that is not thought fondly of now, and I’m white, and we’ve had all the prizes.  BLM#3

The Editor:  So, you don’t think fondly of America.  Others don’t think fondly of America.  Why then are so many humans crashing the borders to get into America?  I’m white and haven’t received any of the prizes!  Yet plenty of blacks have gotten many of the prizes!  

LG:  I’ve been working on a book for about four years that tormented me. Then in late July and August, I unexpectedly wrote some new poems, and suddenly saw how I could shape this manuscript and finish it. It was a miracle. The usual feelings of euphoria and relief were compromised by Covid, because I had to do battle with my daily terror and the necessary limitations on my daily life.  BLM#4

The Editor:  Tormented?  Daily terror?  White privilege! 

LG:  I think I am fascinated by syntax and always felt its power, and the poems that moved me most greatly were not the most verbally opulent. They were the poets like Blake and Milton, whose syntax was astonishing, the way emphasis would be deployed.  BLM#5

The Editor:  Syntax, eh?  No wonder poetry doesn’t matter!  George Orwell hit the bulls-eye when he wrote:  “In cultured circles art for artsaking extended practically to a worship of the meaningless.  Literature was to consist solely of the manipulation of words.  To judge a book by its subject matter was the unforgiveable sin and even to be aware of its subject matter was looked on as a lapse of taste.”
LG:  My students amaze me; they dazzle me.  BLM#6

The Editor: Well, maybe that’s because they think just like you and, like you, dare not question and challenge the literary establishment, wonder who the faceless Pulitzer Prize judges are, what their literary biases might be, and why they’d give you, an academic poet who is quite financially comfortable in a job-secure position, over one million dollars.  




Adrienne Rich

 The following cartoon was sketched in 2010.  

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