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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

hass

It was sad to discover, in Kevin Kiley’s “Occupy Someone Else” article, which recently appeared in Inside Higher Ed (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/09/public-universities-question-why-they-not-lawmakers-are-protesters-target), that the Occupy Cal and other Occupy university and college movements were apparently nothing more than protests about MONEY.  It was sad to note Kiley didn’t even evoke or think about that low-point in academe.   Might it be cocoon living—far from the edge—that blinds so? 

Nevertheless, perhaps I shouldn’t have been at all surprised by the Occupy Cal and other university protests over tuition-rate increases,  since most citizens—students and professors certainly included—seem only willing to stand up (albeit in herd formation) when MONEY is concerned.   

Regarding the ivory tower, students ought to be protesting instead against the dubious see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil ostrich-head-in-the-sand behavior of the large majority of their sinecured professors, not to mention the rampant intellectual corruption, including the widespread professorial-effort to restrict, if not kill, the First Amendment on public campuses and spread PC multiculti-ideology like a noose round the neck of truth and democracy. 

Mention those free-speech restricting codes, censorship of ideas and comments, and rampant self-censorship to students and most—the very large majority of them—will likely be uninformed and simply uninterested.  The same goes for their professors, at least those not directly involved in instituting the codes of civility and good taste.    

Financial concerns always motivate.  Threats against democracy rarely seem to do that.  Why didn’t students protest against the University of California’s 1.6 million dollar political contribution to the Obama presidential campaign in 2008?  Should a public-university system be manifesting such egregious Democrat Party bias as Obama’s number-one donor?   Indeed, in doing so, how can it possibly argue that it is a partisan of diversity of thought and opinion? 

In fact, if the Occupy movements were to have had any tangible success at all, they should have been focused 100% on Obama.  They should have put the president to the fuckin’ wall, make him either fulfill his hollow campaign promises of transparency, ending corporate lobbying, and war, or make him fully understand that Occupy would then campaign 100% against his re-election.   They should have put him and Pelosi to the wall to get legislation to end corporate bailouts, congressional insider trading, reduce the high salaries of multi-millionaire senators and congressmen, reduce their high pensions and favorable health-care benefits, and otherwise stop the influence the megawealthy Wall Street financiers continue to have on the Democrat-Party regime.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Robert Hass


Occupy the Academy of American Poets
Unsurprisingly, Robert Hass paints a glowing self-portrait in his NY Times article, “Poet-Bashing Police”
(http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/at-occupy-berkeley-beat-poets-has-new-meaning.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=robert%20hass&st=cse), regarding the spread of the Occupy movement to the University of California, Berkeley, and the police violence against protesters.  Hass and wife (Brenda Hillman), both established-order poets, decided to step out of their comfy wainscoted offices to check it out and were kicked around a bit.

Hass has it quite easy:  a sinecure of tenure at Berkeley as poet professor.  As former Poet Laureate of the US Library of Congress—how many asses did he have to kiss and blind eyes did he have to turn to rise to that level?—and chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he is clearly a ladder-climbing poet, as opposed to a daring Emersonian rude-truth telling one. 

In the article, which wouldn’t have been published if authored by an unsinecured, unknown poet, Hass mentions the Free Speech Movement back in the 60s at Berkeley, as if somehow that rubbed off positively on him.  The established-order poetry and academic machine, upon which he proudly sucks the teat, however, detests free speech and expression, especially when such freedom might expose the intrinsic corruption within that machine and/or endanger its funding.  

Why didn’t Hass mention in his article the speech-restricting codes in place throughout the University of California (see http://thefire.org/spotlight/codes/220.html)?  Did he help enact them? 

Why did he prove entirely apathetic when I contacted him several years ago regarding the censorship of my comments by the Academy of American Poets, not to mention its banning me, a poet, from participating in its forums?  Evidently, the Academic/Literary Industrial Complex, with which he forms an integral part, detests free speech and expression.  Any simple experiment with that regard will likely prove the point.  Criticism of any of its institutions and cogs will usually result in silence and/or outright ostracizing.  That’s been the normal result regarding the numerous experiments in democracy I’ve performed regarding the Complex.  The various blog entries on The American Dissident blog site serve as proof of the assertion.   

Would Hass stand up to protest against National Poetry Week’s refusal to list The American Dissident, the 501 c3 nonprofit literary journal of which this blog is part, with other such journals listed?  Of course not!  Would he stand up to protest against the NEA’s refusal to accord me more information, besides the vague comment “low” and “poor” regarding its rejection of my funding request for the journal?  Of course not!

It has been my experience that ladder-climbing academic poets prefer silence when confronted with uncomfortable truths, as in censorship and banning in their very midst and effected by their very colleagues and friends. 

Would Hass stand up to protest against PEN’s refusal to respond to my diverse free-speech grievances?  Of course not!  Would he stand up to protest against the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom’s refusal to respond to my objection regarding the banning of The American Dissident by several public libraries?  Of course not!  

What Hass egregiously, if not incredulously, though quite unsurprisingly, fails to mention in his article is any reference whatsoever to the fat hand that feeds him, that is, to the university administrators who evidently must have requested police presence at Berkeley in the first place.  It is my humble opinion that famous actors, musicians, politicians, wealthy academic writers like Cornell West and sinecured poets like Hass ought to keep their mouths shut regarding any of the Occupy movements.  When they seek to participate in them or opine favorably about them, they end up robbing the movements' very credibility.  When they do enter into the fray, how can one not perceive the hypocrisy of spread the wealth and opportunities, yeah, but not mine? 

How not to feel a bit of joy knowing that Hass was kicked around a bit on campus?  And how not to wonder if his wife is nuts?  Who else but a fruitloop would be lecturing cops they should be at home reading to their children?  Maybe she should have been at home with her husband, having children teach THEM about the First Amendment. 

The question remains:  How does a self-proclaimed "activist" like Hass manage to turn a convenient blind eye to corruption and censorship in his milieu?  
The answer remains:  deafening silence...