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 ].
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.

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Alexandra Alter

The Hillary Poets of the Hillary Resistance

Poetry has become very important again, at least according to New York Times hack-journalist-for-the- publishing-and-literary world Alexandra Alter.  In her article, “American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right,” she quotes a number of Hillary poets, though somehow doesn’t mention Hillary in it.  Under the previous political regime, the poets were conspicuously silent… or rather lap-doggie.  Poet Jane Hirshfield explains: “When poetry is a backwater it means times are O.K. When times are dire, that’s exactly when poetry is needed.”  Yes, everything was wonderful under Obama and yes, somehow poetry will take down he, who Hillary couldn’t.  
Across the nation today, poets have awakened and are walking like groupthink zombies out of the “backwater,” though only partially, because they’re still holding their PC-pens and writing from the confines of their groupthink “backwater” safe-spaces.  They are raging, though not against the poesy establishment, not against the poesy academy chancellors, not against the black poesy laureate autocratically-anointed by the black Librarian of Congress appointed by the former black president, not against the poesy academic gatekeepers—those poesy executive directors of poesy societies and poesy academies and publishers of establishment poesy rags—, not against their well-fed poesy idols usually entrenched in academic sinecures, and not against the inherent corruption in the according of poesy stipends, poesy grants, and poesy tenure slots.  
Most poets couldn’t even fathom questioning and challenging such things and persons.  After all, doing that would mean being free-minded and going against the academic grain, rocking the establishment boat, and bucking the literary system, those giant hands that feed only poets in lockstep.  Not a good poesy-career move at all!  Far too risky!  Far too much individuality required!  
As for the new raging verse, Jeff Shotts, one of those poesy executive editors (Graywolf Press), argues:  “This isn’t just confessional poetry, but poetry that’s meant to stir us into action.”   Action for Hillary, the Prevaricator, once again in 2020?  Action for more Russian-collusion inanity?  Alter informs that the poets are forming part of the Hillary-resistance movement (without mentioning Hillary of course).  Will their icon Maya Angelou step out of her academic cocoon to denounce Trump?  Well, I guess not.  She’s dead.  “There’s going to be a major shift in our poetry,” announced Alice Quinn, yet another of those poesy executive directors.  Poetry Society of America is her fiefdom, you know, that members-only society, where only members can anoint new members. “The poems that I have been reading, which are freshly minted, most of them, have a powerful sense of urgency and reckoning and responsibility,” she stipulates.  Responsibility to speak truth as staunch individuals and to poesy-power figures like her?  Of course not!  
Self-declared gender-free poet Danez Smith, whose verse is used by Black Lives Matter, provides some lines of “urgency and reckoning”:  “on the TV/ is the man from TV/ is gonna be president/ he has no word/ & hair beyond simile/ you’re dead, America.”  Brilliant!  Daring!  Original!!!  Well, apparently Alter must think so.  “We turn to poems in moments of crisis for comfort,” announces Jennifer Benka, yet another of those poesy executive directors.  Yes, poets with lofty titles!  Her fiefdom is the omnipotent Academy of American Poets.  Dare criticize it and be banned forever!  Yes, that’s what happened to me quite a while ago!  Read all about it here!  After all, curiosity didn’t kill the poet, PC-groupthink did that!  Do the Hillary poets care about my banning?  Of course not!
“We’ve seen this spontaneous swell of people coming to read poems that speak to this moment,” says Benka.  Oh, yeah, now they’ll be putting some of those Academy-approved poems in those academic safe-spaces next to the crayons, legos, and teddy bears!  
Alter informs that “Poetry readings around the country have come to resemble leftist political rallies.”  Does she mean the violence and rioting against those with the wrong opinions?  Such rallies are of course not inclusive or at all open to diversity of thought and remind of Stalinist Pravda poetry and of the incarcerated Cuban poets, who could not and did not walk in lockstep with the communist Castro regime, the one praised by, well, you know.
According to Alter:  “Major publishing houses are rushing out their own volumes” of resistance verse.  And yet what is really needed is a drain-the-poesy-swamp movement, not more poesy-swamp- creature empowerment under the guise of resistance.  Alter notes, for example, that Boston Review published “Poems for Political Disaster,” which has a foreword by academic poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, and includes poems by academics Stephen Burt, Monica Youn and Jorie Graham.  Alter, however, does not inform that they are indeed academics and, of course, is incapable of questioning and challenging the poesy establishment.  Her job depends on that incapacity.   All she can do is ahh and ooh before elitist establishment names and titles.  Can she and those establishment poets possibly comprehend the words of Emerson, which inevitably damn them?  I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right. I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”  
Interestingly and again without any manifestation of capacity to question and challenge, Alter notes “But poets tend to be liberal, and the submissions skewed heavily to the left.”  But if the poesy machine is liberal then clearly the poesy machine will be actively suppressing poets not deemed liberal (i.e., of the groupthink PC-mindset).  In other words, in the darkness of suppression, how can one know just how many poets might not be of that liberal-ilk?  
Amit Majmudar, editor of Resistance, Rebellion, Life, a book of 50 poems published by Knopf, argues regarding to his call for submissions:  “I was equally open to an anti-globalization poem as I was to a Trumpocalypse Now poem.”  Was he sincere or would sincerity have eliminated him from being chosen editor?  Likely the latter!  Alter, again mesmerized by “badges and names,” notes poems by former academic poet laureate Robert Pinsky, Eileen Myles, Kevin Young and Solmaz Sharif will be in that volume.  
Finally, most poets shamefully hate and reject vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy.  When criticized they will normally remain silent, especially if the critic is not of the known elite-poesy variety, or they will call the critic a “troll” or some other infantile ad hominem, or they will simply respond with vacuous politesse.   Burt chose silence regarding my critical cartoon with his regard, “The Professors—Why Poetry Doesn’t Matter.”  Myles called me a “troll,” regarding the critical cartoon with her regard, “The Poets—Identity Politics, But Still Bourgeois to the Core.”  Majmudar chose the vacuous-politesse option regarding the critical cartoon on him and others, “Poetasters of the Resistance.”  “Thanks for your creative engagement, George! Keep up the good work!”  Oh, yeah.  I’ll try to do that, Mr. Majmudar!  And if he were not a flaming hypocrite, why did he reject my poem, “The Fall of Hillarius, the First,” but publish Frederick Seidel’s poem, “Now”?  “Now a dictatorship of vicious spineless slimes/ We the people voted in has taken over.” […]   Brilliant!  Daring!  Original!   Now, if Alter possessed an iota of “fair and balanced” in her literary reportages, she would have included a counter sentence or even two in her extremely PC-biased article.  Now, which establishment poesy magazine out there would be willing to publish this counter essay?  Not one, of course!  And that constitutes the core flaw embedded in the heart of the lit resistance…


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hadrien Chénier-Marais

Liberté d'expression—Frapper ou ne pas frapper…  et qui frapper quand on frappe?
To understand America's crises today, one must first understand what has happened to two institutions: the university and the news media. They do not regard their mission as educating and informing but indoctrinating.  [Pour comprendre les crises en Amérique aujourd’hui, il faut tout d’abord comprendre ce qui s’est passé dans deux institutions:  l’université et la presse.  Ils ne considèrent leur mission d’instruire et d’informer mais plutôt d’endoctriner.]    
           —Dennis Prager

Le titre d’un article dans Le Devoir, “Liberté d'expression — Est-ce correct de frapper un nazi?,” a attiré mon attention car il me parait un tantinet aberrant puisque la réponse à la question est archi-évidente. Un meilleur et plus honnête titre, bien que moins politiquement correct, aurait été:  Est-ce correct de silencer (censurer/bannir) les opinions qu’on n’aime pas?  Et donc cela pourrait inclure non seulement le nazisme, mais également le communisme, le socialisme, et surtout l’islamisme.  C’est-à-dire la gauche.  


L’auteur de l’article, Hadrien Chénier-Marais, candidat à la maîtrise, Département de science politique, Université de Montréal, témoigne d’un manque d’objectivité sinon d’une certaine indoctrination universitaire anti-droite, pro-gauche.  Il écrit correctement que “la plupart des sociétés occidentales ont limité celle-ci [la liberté d’expression] en excluant certains types de discours, tels les discours haineux ou incitant à la haine.”  MAIS cela ne veut pas dire que c’est donc forcément bien.  Pourquoi pas?  Parce qu’en toute évidence “haineux” et “haine” sont deux termes archi-subjectifs et donc faciles à appliquer à quasiment n’importe quoi.  Si, par exemple, on cite un fait, on pourrait être arrêté, ce qui s’est passé à Paul Weston, qui a simplement cité Winston Churchill vis-à-vis de l’Islam.  On pourrait également être arrêté sous la guise de discours haineux, si on critique, par exemple, la politique d’immigration d’un gouvernement, moyennant l’évocation de faits qui contredisent cette politique.


L’auteur aurait dû quand-même noter que les Etats-Unis constitue une société occidentale importante qui n’a pas adoptée de la législation anti-haine du fait de ce problème de subjectivité. Il stipule que “Cependant, les autorités n’ont pas tendance à punir certains groupes usant de ces rhétoriques…”  Et pourtant la liste des gens qui ont été punis d’une façon ou d’autre est importante et comprend, à part Paul Weston, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer et Pam Geller (interdits en Grande-Bretagne), Sébastien Jallamion, Ezra Levant, Mark Stein, Dan Park, John Salvesen, etc.  Un peu de recherche sur internet révélera sans doute d’autres.  Il faut des statistiques à cet égard!  


L’auteur manque d’objectivité car il note la présence de nazis à Charlottesville, mais ne dit rien sur celle d’Antifa et sa violence.  Il cite “le néonazisme, le suprémacisme blanc et d’autres mouvements de ce type,” mais reste silent vis-à-vis du suprémacisme noir (Nation d’Islam, Panthères  Noirs, BLM) et celle de l’islamisme, ainsi qu’Antifa.  Il y a aussi un certain mouvement anti-blasphématoire vis-à-vis de l’Islam (i.e., anti-liberté d’expression) qui semble être en voie d’augmentation au Québec et dans le reste du Canada. 


L’auteur conclut avec les deux possibles réponses à la question présentée:  oui et non.  Mais pourquoi ne pas rajouter au nom de l’objectivité:  “alors, est-ce correct de frapper un nazi ou un islamiste?  Est-ce correct de frapper un communiste ou socialiste ou antifasciste?”  Finalement, l’auteur devrait sortir de son “safe space” idéologique pour vraiment chercher la vérité.  Recevra-t-il cette suggestion à l’université?  Malheureusement, il ne la recevra pas dans les pages du Devoir car, dans l’esprit d’anti-liberté d’expression, ce journal ne permet que les abonnés commentent les articles…   

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Doug Lederman and Scott Jaschik

Censored Yet Again on Inside Higher Ed

The left has been praying for an event like the one at Charlottesville.  The left sees right-wing Nazis all over the country, and for that cannot see Muslim terrorists at all.  Finally, their prayers were  answered.  Hardcore left-wing ideology inevitably blocks out uncomfortable and unwanted TRUTHS.  What about the anti-white racist Antifa and BLM protesting instigators?  Silence!  Silence by too many shameful journalists!  After all, if the protesting instigators were not present, violence would likely not have occurred in Charlottesville.  Antifa wants violence.  Antifa got violence.  Why is that not reported?  We hear about white supremacists.  But what about the black supremacists?  Silence.  
It is really sad that so many academics like Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University (“Charlottesville, American Tragedy Redux”), prefer hardcore ideology (i.e., indoctrination and consequent censorship) to uncomfortable TRUTHS (i.e., education), including blacks were slaveholders in America; whites were slaves; Muslims are still slaveholders and traders today.  Evoke those facts and be “ad hominized" as racist and islamophobe by the ideologically manacled like McGuire.  Reading the latter's article, one would think 95% of southern whites held slaves.  Instead, the figure is more like 5%.  And what about the blacks who sold the slaves in Africa?  Uncomfortable truths!  Silence!  Censorship!  
“The greatest danger the United States faces today is not from a hostile foreign power, scary though the threats may be, but rather from our own domestic terrorists and those who aid and abet them,” argues McGuire.  That has been the left’s spiel.  And yet statistics likely indicate the greatest danger (besides increasing left-wing ideology and resultant censorship, banning, and other affronts to the First Amendment) to be Islamic jihad terrorism.  So much talk about Hitler, and almost no talk about Stalin and Mao, who had many more people murdered!  Why?  Left-wing ideology!  Moreover, Hitler was a devout left-wing socialist, who the left has been trying to turn into a right-wing conservative.  Mussolini, uber-fascist, was a devout Marxist.  
“We must continue to promote education as the best, perhaps only, means to confront our national tragedy of racism,” concludes McGuire.  Education or rather indoctrination?  Promoting ideology inevitably means demoting TRUTHS, including the other side of Affirmative Action (e.g., unprepared blacks intellectually overwhelmed in college).  What might the result of incessant ubiquitous hardcore focus on racism be?  Certainly, the reality has been the increasing divide among the left and right (and blacks and whites) that resulted from 8 years of Obama.  For the left, increasing Stalinist indoctrination is the only way to somehow solve the racist problem, and that includes heavy and constant emphasis on making all whites feel guilty and all blacks feel victimized.  Will it work?  Let's hope not!   
“Charlottesville was yet another act in a long-running saga of racial hatred, writes Patricia McGuire, and the mobs of white men on the march have made the best possible case for affirmative action,” notes a faceless Inside Higher Ed journalist at the very top of McGuire’s article.  Not very objective for a journalist!  Yes, finally we have “mobs of white men.”  But what about the “mobs of black men” in the past riots from Baltimore to UCal?  Was it put that way?  Of course not!  Journalists are the shame of America today because of their egregious lack of objectivity.  Well, will this comment be censored?  Perhaps…  Thus is the way of higher ed today.  [And unsurprisingly, the comment was censored (i.e., removed after it was posted).]

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From: George Slone 
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:48 PM
To: editor@insidehighered.com
Subject: Censoring comments on Inside Higher Education
To Editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Education:  
Perhaps you ought to at least inform people, whose comments are censored on your website, as to why your decisions were made.  Wouldn't that indeed be helpful in the realm of "let's have a conversation," as opposed to "let's not counter the accepted narrative"?   You have censored other comments I'd made over the years and w/o notification or explanation.  Does that sound like democracy to you?  It sure doesn't to me.  In fact, have I been banned from commenting all together?  My censored comment figures below and will be posted on my website with or without your response.  And I do expect no response.


From: George Slone 
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 7:08 PM
To: president@trinitydc.edu
Cc: editor@insidehighered.com
Subject: Re: Censoring comments on Inside Higher Education

To Patricia McGuire, President, Trinity Washington University:
I suspect you are a partisan of censorship of viewpoints you do not like.  If so, that's not very surprising for higher education in this sad day and age of increasing groupthink.  In any event, below is the comment I posted regarding your Inside Higher Education article.  Unsurprisingly, it was censored or moderated as the euphemists like to call it.  And of course it angers me that censorship seems to be the way of higher education today.  But one must still fight on!   You will note, no swear words, no sex, and no threats in it at all.  Ah, but you will also note that it rigorously challenges your assumptions and blindspots.  Thank you for your attention.  BTW, how about getting your library to subscribe to The American Dissident, where your students could actually read and be exposed to such opposing viewpoints.


From: Pat McGuire
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:33 PM
To: George Slone
Cc: editor@insidehighered.com
Subject: RE: Censoring comments on Inside Higher Education
Dear Dr. Slone:
Thank you for your message.  However, you are wrong on many counts.  I have nothing to do with the comment moderation of insidehighered.com, but I can tell you that the comment you offer below [above, not below:  "Censored Yet..."] is incoherent and certainly not publishable for that reason.  As for me, you insinuate a lot about me that’s simply not true, but I have learned through long experience that there’s no point responding to such vituperation other than to thank you for letting me know your thoughts.
With best wishes,

Pat

From: George Slone
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:58 PM
To: Pat McGuire
Subject: Re: Censoring comments on Inside Higher Education
Hi Pat,
Thanks for responding.  I didn't think you had anything to do with censoring out my comment.  BUT I did think you wouldn't care about the comment being censored and would likely not request the two editors not to censor it.  So, I was not really wrong at all on that account.  And at the end of your email, you definitely argued in favor of the censorship incident.  
As far as my comment being "incoherent," how could it possibly have been coherent... for the alt-left?  Also, if it were me, I'd certainly cite an example or two in an effort to back my criticism of lacking in coherence.  You didn't do that.  You simply put forth a general dismissal of all of my comments with one word, "incoherent."  That sort of reaction sadly seems to be widespread amongst academics whenever criticized.  In essence, it is akin to ad hominem.   To argue my comments "not publishable" is really a non-argument, especially when you fail to cite one particular comment that is "incoherent" and thus "not publishable."    
You ought to really contemplate your usage of ad hominem-like argumentation, which is really not a counter-argumentation at all.  It is simply an indirect form of shooting the messenger in an effort to kill his message.  
Why, one must ask, did you purposefully exclude from your article mention of Antifa, which was definitely a part of the Charlottesville problem?  Was that remark "incoherent"?  Why didn't you mention that the cops did nothing to quell the confrontation between the right-wing Nazis and left-wing Antifa fascists?  Was that remark "incoherent"?  Your article really did fail to evoke a lot of what really happened at the Charlottesville riot.  
What precisely did I insinuate about you personally that was false?  Again, you do not stipulate.  Are you not staunch left-wing?  Thus, I cannot even apologize if indeed I were wrong about that or anything else.  Proven wrong, I have no problem at all admitting it openly.  Do you?  
Your final sentence is typical of far too many academics who hate vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy: "there’s no point responding to such vituperation."  Again, you use another ad hominem-like term, "vituperation," and fail completely to disprove anything at all written in my criticism of your article.  It is a great shame that academics like you and academic journalists like those at Inside Higher Education seem to seek to push only one point of view, while crushing any other viewpoints, including mine, that might question and challenge that point of view.  
Anyhow, thank you for responding.  From my rather lengthy decades-long confrontations with academics across the country, responding is quite rare... and thus I sincerely commend you for it.  BTW, I am a libertarian (i.e., staunch advocate of the First Amendment and vigorous debate, cornerstones of democracy).  
Best,
G. Tod
...................
[No further response received.]


Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman

Permanently Banned from Commenting on Inside Higher Ed?

The times are getting quite Soviet-like!  Inside Higher Ed censored my comments twice in one week.  The Nazis censored!  The Commies censored!  But InsideHigherEd.com doesn't censor.  It moderates!  Might I be permanently banned from commenting?  If so, why?  Sadly, neither editor Lederman or Jaschik will respond to that question.  Sadly, they do not really seem to stand out in the ivory tower, but rather fit right into its mold of correct-think... 

Below is the censored comment I posted to former University of Virginia president Robert M. O'Neil's rather dull opinion piece, "Why Charlottesville"?  And in an effort not to get censored, I self-censored by not using the term "dull," and got censored anyhow.  In 2009, I'd sketched a cartoon on Herr Lederman, though posted it in 2014.  It was inspired by Lederman's passion for censorship.  I guess the lad hasn't yet forgiven me for that horrendous cartoon thought crime...
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Perhaps it's time the left, especially academics like Robert M. O'Neil, search for black scientists to celebrate, instead of the tired trope of black ball hitters and players.  Also, the KKK is bad, but BLM is equally bad.  The left needs to open up to TRUTH.  The "far right" AND the "far left" are also "the people."  MissyB, hiding in anonymity, doesn't understand that.  Demonizing Breitbart and Trump does not constitute reasoned argumentation.  Facts do that.  MissyB asks, "When will the far right take responsibility for its incitement of violence?"  Well, the same could be said about the far left!  But successful indoctrination prevents MissyB from making that point.  "Where are all the typical conservative trolls on IHE this morning?" she asks.  [Ah, sweetie, they've been CENSORED!] Calling people "trolls" is also not reasoned argumentation.  Facts are reasoned argumentation.  Focus on a proven lie spouted by an alleged "troll," rather than lazily call the latter "troll."  Now, will I be labeled a right-wing, Nazi "troll"?  Likely!
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident