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, June 15, 2012

Clams Library Network of Cape Cod

Open Letter to the Librarians of Cape Cod, Part II

Liberals and conservatives seem to share one thing in common today:  a clear DISDAIN for democracy’s cornerstones:  FREEDOM OF SPEECH and VIGOROUS DEBATE.   Dare criticize us and we shall scorn, ostracize, and dismiss you with invective has become the modus operandi of the day, left and right. 

[Only one librarian and a trustee responded to my previous Open Letter.  Their responses are incorporated into this, Open Letter Part II, and are also included at the end of this missive.  Not one person responded to Part II, which in essence illustrates how I feed on criticism, as opposed to FEAR and HATE it like so many others do.  Indeed, criticism becomes grist for my creative writer's mill.]

Why does criticism initiate such a knee-jerk hate reaction, when instead it ought to intiate thought?  After all, without criticism, you might as well assume you’re doing a perfect job, so why bother trying to improve?  Is it not aberrant that a public library like Sturgis would actually ban criticism on its premises?  Evidently, you do not thinks so.  Why not also ban criticism of politicians? 
Sadly, your wall of purported perfection seems quite impervious to reason.  Librarian Ginny Hewitt’s email, I suppose, was a welcome warning for you to make certain your muzzles are firmly attached.   Refrain from discussing democracy openly because it will become part of the public record!  And, well, that was all she had to say (or imply)—not even a thought on that most revealing quote written by a retired librarian and prefacing the previous open letter.  Not even his wisdom and keen observations could penetrate your  groupthink wall of “deaf ears.”   
As for Dan Santos, who is not even a librarian, at least he did respond, though indirectly and in a rather unoriginal  manner:  shooting the messenger to avoid dealing with the message.  Here’s a BLUF [Bottom Line Up Front, short and sweet] version of the message.  Will it get through this time? 
A.      The library’s own policy stipulates “Libraries should challenge censorship […].”
B.       Sturgis banned (censored!) my flyers.
A.       The library’s own policy stipulates ““Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view”.
B.       Sturgis banned The American Dissident “point of view”.
Now, if any of you can muster the courage, Dan Santos included, I’d be more than happy to meet and talk with you calmly and rationally about that “RANT” and its significance.  After all, a discussion on the importance of DEMOCRACY and how fragile it’s becoming in AMERICA (and evidently on CAPE COD), thanks to liberal political correctness and conservative established-order self-preservation, could be quite interesting. 
However, to dismiss interest and support for democracy’s cornerstones, as you have done either by silence or outright disdain, leads me to believe that such an encounter would not be in the least bit interesting to any of you.  “No wonder his message is falling on deaf ears,” states Santos.  Well, because your ears may be deaf does not necessarily mean that everyone else’s ears are also deaf. 

As for Santos’ comment and evident confusion regarding my July 4th protest, an explanation is clearly in order.   First, it is not an easy thing to stand alone, as I did, knowing the possible hostility that would result.  I didn’t want to go out.  But I felt compelled to do so, not as “an exhibitionist engaging in intellectual masturbation,” but rather as a man of principles, someone who prefers choosing dignity over cowardice and fear of the herd.  Besides, since when does a citizen who dares openly express his viewpoint in a democracy become an intellectual maturbator?  Well, clearly, that occurs whenever his viewpoint differs from that of Santos and the herd. 
When did any of you ever muster the courage to do such a thing?  After all, the norm is simply to wear the muzzle and thus stifle ones human dignity.  Again, it was far more than simple ego that pushed  me to protest.  Principle and passion for democracy were the driving forces.  It was also an experiment of sorts in democracy.  Would citizens understand my protest in favor of THE FIRST AMENDMENT and DEMOCRACY on the Fourth of July… or would they perceive my exercise of FREEDOM OF SPEECH as nothing more than a RUDE action?  Alas, most of those present did not seem to understand the First Amendment at all and chose to perceive my action as nothing but gratuitous OFFENSIVENESS.  Nevertheless, some people did congratulate me. 

It seems probable that most people here on the Cape do not even understand that, as mentioned,  VIGOROUS DEBATE and FREEDOM OF SPEECH constitute the very cornerstones of a thriving democracy.   Santos evidently does not grasp that.  In fact, perhaps most citizens (and librarians) on Cape Cod do not understand and, more importantly, DO NOT WANT TO UNDERSTAND. 
For me, the Fourth of July should not be yet another day to celebrate COMMERCE or, to paraphrase Santos, for “exhibitionist[s] engaging in [COMMERCIAL] masturbation.”  It should be a day to celebrate AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE from AUTOCRATIC RULE, and its adoption of DEMOCRACY, and its cornerstones.  The FIRST AMENDMENT is what differentiates America from every other country.  In Europe and Canada, for example, speech is muzzled by relatively recent adopted “hate-speech legislation.”  Obama, Hillary, and company are currently trying to adopt similar restrictions on the FIRST AMENDMENT.  In Europe and Canada, one can actually be arrested and tried in a court of law for simply stating a fact.  As incredible as that may seem to you, it happened to Geert Wilders, Elizabeth Sabbaditch-Wolff, Lars Hedegaard and others, who simply stated facts regarding Islam.  OFFENDED Muslims complained.  Wilders et al were then brought to trial!  That’s all it took.  But in America, speech that may OFFEND you or someone else is protected speech.  In other words, it is not legal to arrest me for carrying a placard with a word or thought that OFFENDS you.  Sadly, Santos and the rest of you don’t seem to understand that basic tenet of American freedom.  How did the educational system fail you so miserable with its regard? 
Again, the word FUCKING is clearly protected speech, which is why I use it here in its entirety, as opposed to truncating it into the rather childishly, hypocritical “F-word.” Citizens like you need to understand that.  In fact, back in the 60s a man entered a courtroom with a shirt:  FUCK THE DRAFT.  He was arrested!  But later the Supreme Court overturned that arrest based on the FIRST AMENDMENT.  Why do so many people FEAR a simple, harmless word like FUCKING, a word that is spoken aloud in the many DVDs that Santos and all of you evidently approve for library purchase.  How can you be such blatant hypocrites with that regard?  Might your rationalization be that tender children don’t ever watch those movies?  But is it the children who are tender or the adults?  That’s the real question.  BTW, I did not speak during my protest, unless spoken to.  The word FUCKING was simply written on a placard:  “CELEBRATE THE FIRST FUCKING AMENDMENT, NOT COMMERCE!”
It saddens me that instead of standing up for FREEDOM, you seem to get angered by or even mock freedom.  The more citizens who behave as you do, the weaker our democracy shall become.  It is quite possible that you do not even cherish democracy at all, preferring instead plutocracy, oligarchy, or what some call corporocracy (rule by corporations or commerce).  In fact, it seems America is not really a democracy at all.  Yet our very presidents hypocritically declare how they wish to promote democracy abroad.  America is a PLUTOCRACY, where the wealthy have voice and the poor generally do not. 

Thus the focus of THE AMERICAN DISSIDENT is DEMOCRACY.  That the public librarians on Cape Cod would wish to keep such a locally-published journal completely out of the library system is indeed aberrant.  Librarians today seem more apt to behave as autocratic gatekeepers, than proponents of “freedom to read.” 
“If his publication has value than [sic] those with interest will find it,” states Santos.   Well, “value” is immaterial to the argument concerning the collection development policy, which does not state “points of view” OF VALUE.  Besides, “value” for you might not be “value” for me, and vice versa.  “Value” is clearly a subjective term.  Nevertheless, institutional subscribers that find “value” in The American Dissident include Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Buffalo University, Brown University, University of Wisconsin, New York Public Library, Concord Free Public Library, Lincoln Public Library, Iowa Public Library, Newton Free Public Library, etc.   
Finally, as I always tell my opponents, rather than call me names, show me the lie or irregularity in the logic, and I shall be quick to OPENLY admit fault.  Why do you find it so difficult to openly admit fault?  Hope to hear from a few more of you.  Surely, there must be one of you who thinks out of the mold and can actually see truth in what I state here.  Surely, Cape Cod cannot be this mentally backwater. 
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Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:10:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Criticism of Cape Cod Librarians
From: vhewitt@clamsnet.org
To: danielsantos@comcast.net
CC: todslone@hotmail.com; bll@brewsterladieslibrary.org; pmarshall@bournelibrary.org; centervillelibrary@yahoo.com; igillies@clamsnet.org; jwiley@clamsnet.org; dennismemorial@gmail.com; jlanglois@town.dennis.ma.us; cbryan@easthamlibrary.org; lmorrissey@falmouthpubliclibrary.com; reference@hyannislibrary.org; kmahoney@clamsnet.org; smurphy@clamsnet.org; lamend@clamsnet.org; amyryan@clamsnet.org; whelden@comcast.net; whpl_mail@clamsnet.org; sbarron@yarmouth.ma.us; ahennessy@clamsnet.org; info@nantucketatheneum.org; bcollins@capecod.edu; sturgislibrary@comcast.net; eclaus@kinlingrover.com; betsy@morsenewell.com; wmills@capecodonline.com; jlipkin@capecodonline.com; editor@capecod.edu; jkershner@capecod.edu

Just a friendly reminder to all that any emails sent from staff at a municipal library or that include staff at municipal libraries as recipients are public records and will need to be disclosed if a public records request is made to a municipal library.

Ginny

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From: danielsantos@comcast.net
Subject: Re: Criticism of Cape Cod Librarians
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:35:29 -0400
To: todslone@hotmail.com
Dear recipients of Todd Sloan’s email.

Preface: I speak for myself and not as the representative of any organization.

Mr. Sloan is correct in that he is unlikely to get a response to his rant. If one must yell to be heard then the message likely carries little substance. Mr. Sloan wallows in bloviating (Thanks, Mr. Will) self-interest. If his publication has value than those with interest will find it. 

At last year’s Barnstable Village 4th of Julyparade and festivities, Mr. Sloan walked around the village as a human billboard, sporting the “F” word. Apparently being offensive is another tactic in his arsenal to garner attention to himself. He is no more than an exhibitionist engaging in intellectual masturbation. No wonder his message is falling on deaf ears.

Dan Santos

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