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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Censored Yet Again!


Dear Kevin Moist , Associate Professor of Communications at Penn State Altoona, Sherman Dorn , Professor at University of South Florida, Bill Reader , E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Earl Nicodemus , Associate Professor of Education:

First I commend the four of you for actually using your real names and mentioning where you “work.” Thirty-five others, likely mostly professors, regarding the Inside Higher Ed article, “Tenured Case Hinges on Collegiality” (www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/22/tenure) commented, as you likely noted, anonymously. As for Pamela Morris and Laura Winton, I could not locate their email addresses. They did not mention where they “work.” Is not such widespread anonymity a clear reflection of the fascistic tendencies of our purported institutions of higher learning?

In any case, this email seeks to inform you that Inside Higher Ed regularly censors my comments, though I never make threats and almost never use four-letter words. And I am not the only one being regularly censored. Several others have contacted me with that regard. The question remains: Should a newspaper devoted to higher education in America be into the censorship business? My censored comment regarding the article mentioned above is posted on my blog site [see below]: wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2010/01/censored-yet-again.html.

Perhaps you might—and that would indeed be astonishing—write Editor Doug Lederman (doug.lederman@insidehighered.com) to express your support for democracy and against censorship. In some aberrant manner, Lederman seems to think it amusing that censorship OUTRAGES ME. For a cartoon sketch I created on him as well as a short denunciation of Inside Higher Ed, see www.theamericandissident.org/InsideHigherEd.htm.

Will Lederman now censor all of my comments and, once and for all, render me persona non grata? That possibility in itself ties into the “collegiality” bullshit governing academe. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

G. Tod Slone, PhD and Founding Editor (since 1998)
The American Dissident, a Journal of Literature, Democracy & Dissidence
A 501 c3 Nonprofit Providing a Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy
todslone@yahoo.com
www.theamericandissident.org
1837 Main St.
Concord, MA 01742

Notes from a Gruff, Censored Professor
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some kind of central organization where professors of derailed careers, thanks to academic corruption (uh, “politics”), might actually be able to contact one another? Who knows how many of us out there exist? Where are the statistics? In Massachusetts, they’re buried in backrooms unavailable to public scrutiny, thanks to the powerful Massachusetts Teachers Association.
Rather than accept “teaching evaluations” as somehow objective, we should be focusing in on their perhaps often inherent corruption. If you’re liked, the evaluations will be good. If you’re not liked they’ll be bad. The logic is there and will remain as long as “good teaching” remains subjective.
What kind of professor does Ohio want around, obedient, group-thinking herd conformists? Likely. Because that’s the kind of professors other universities and colleges seek. Collegiality is the prime hiring concern, so why shouldn’t it be the prime tenure concern also? How many ads have I seen emphasizing collegiality and fit into the department? 100s and 100s and 100s. How many have I seen for courageous truth teller, daring to actually go against the department grain? Not one.
Inside Higher Ed should not be in the business of censorship (it’s censored at least 7 of my comments, including one made last week), nor should it be in the business of encouraging anonymity amongst grown-up professors. Nearly every comment on this article was made anonymously. Question: What is wrong with academics? Answer: They lack courage and conviction and dignity. How can one trust comments made anonymously? “A driven professor whose generosity is coupled with a sometimes strident demeanor,” note the cowards. Well, what do they possess, sheepish demeanors? And why should Ohio prefer the sheepish demeanor to the strident demeanor; after all, democracy demands the latter, not the former.
“He’s frequently the first to speak up,” note the cowards. Oh, my! How terrible! Am I dreaming here? No, I know higher ed much too well. Let those three female anonymities buck up and build some spine! Feeling threatened is by no means a reason to file a harassment complaint. If the professor in question has no criminal record, they should not feel threatened. Once upon a time, I was evicted from my public college office and building where I was teaching my courses mid-semester because one female professor had complained to the dean that she felt threatened. It disgusts me to this day that such things occur at public institutions in America.
In the public sphere, perceived “bully” and “excessively hostile and belittling” do not negate free speech and citizen rights equal treatment. College professors tend to be notoriously ignorant of the First Amendment. Those three anonymities need to educate themselves and learn to understand that democracy cannot thrive if the citizenry has no spine. Rather than whimper, let them take karate lessons or buy guns! As for the thought that the professor in question might be “mentally ill,” should we be at all surprised? “Anger” is not a sin! Nor is “happy”! Ohio sounds like a true “academic snake pit,” in the words of Nat Hentoff. How does fit in and like minded in a faculty possibly serve students?
Nelson’s comment on “gruff professor” is sadly laughable. Surely, anybody daring to criticize ones colleagues and institution will be perceived as “gruff professor.” Clearing out all “gruff professors” will clear out all criticism and make way for further deepening of corruption. Academe has truly become a frightful institution.
Thanks, “NUTS” for the comment on the disabilities act. It made me LOL… just what I needed.

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