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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Daniel W. Santos

And, perhaps most importantly of all, [these rights] include the right to voice our opinions freely and to publish them without hindrance.  Yet freedom of speech is under attack today all across Europe. I have experienced the full brunt of it in my own country, Austria...
              —Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

Here in America, one might of course say the same thing.  Far too many faceless little-caesars like Daniel Santos, Betsy Newell, Eleanor Claus, and Lucy Loomis remain willfully ignorant of citizen rights and are bent on limiting those rights and punishing anyone who dares actually exercise them. 

My right to voice my opinions freely and publish them without hindrance was clearly violated by those faceless little-caesars, each of whom firmly backed the decision to have me permanently trespassed from Sturgis Library without warning or DUE PROCESS on June 19, 2012.

Email from Daniel Santos
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 4thof 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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Rebuttal of Daniel Santos' Email
Santos contradicts himself by arguing he speaks "not as the representative of any organization" because he is clearly a representative trustee of Sturgis Library, which receives public funding. 
The RANT Santos mentions is really nothing but his own RANT: "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view and Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."
Why is it a RANT? It is a RANT because HE and Sturgis Library do not even believe in their own statement.  After all, if they did, they wouldn't have permanently banned my viewpoint and me from its premises.

Oddly, Santos has not been sufficiently educated to be able to understand this egregious contradiction, which is why he dismisses it as a RANT.
Of course, it is in my "self-interest" to fight for my rights as a citizen in a democracy, especially when those like Santos seek to eliminate them.
Santos, former chairperson of Barnstable Municipal Airport Committee, willfully remains ignorant of America's First Amendment. "Being offensive," as he puts it, is in fact expression protected by the First Amendment.  Santos cannot understand that offensive for him might be valid criticism for me, and vice versa.  He chooses to remain willfully ignorant. 
His paucity of education can only explain his inability to understand that my "offensive" message was a message in support of the First Amendment. CELEBRATE THE FIRST FUCKING AMENDMENT, NOT COMMERCE. That was my "billboard." Santos would of course much rather celebrate COMMERCE, which was why he was so offended by the "billboard."
Santos would never think of celebrating the First Amendment on July 4th. All he can think about is COMMERCE.  Santos and so many others like him seek to weaken, if not eliminate, the First Amendment.
For Santos and those like him, fighting openly for ones First Amendment rights is nothing but "intellectual masturbation."  In other words, any thinking outside of the Santos box of commerce should be done in the privacy of ones home. 
BTW, I have offered to meet with Santos and the other trustees to discuss the issues at hand.  He and they have yet to respond to that offer.  After all, how could meeting with me possibly further his and their careers? 





Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lucy Loomis


Cape Cod Artists in the Box of Conformity

Open Letter to Lucy Loomis
The new cartoon you inspired is now posted on The American Dissident blogsite.  You also inspired the following thoughts.
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Satire is all I have.  I cannot beat free-speech scorning Americans in power.  But at least I can piss them off a bit with my rude-truth criticism.

For an interesting experience, one should try bucking conformity for a moment—stepping out of line and observing the inevitable resultant frowns upon the faces of conformists, sometimes even hatred in their eyes.  But doing that takes a certain degree of courage, which most conformists do not possess.

Vague statements issued by those in power  are perhaps purposeful, for there is no way I can disprove, for example, that I made the library director “feel uncomfortable” or said “inappropriate things.”  Evidently, such statements serve to divert attention away from the initial argument and are, in essence, immaterial to it.  In a court of law, such statements hold no weight.  Facts hold weight, not nebulous feelings. 

Waving flags during the Fourth of July is an act of conformity and blind patriotism.  Most who engage in that kind of behavior would likely not stand up to support First Amendment rights of a citizen not part of their network of family and friends. 
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What you did with my regard remains almost inexplicable.  In fact, the only explanation that I’ve been able to come up with is that you’ve been wallowing in positive feedback all your life.  Thus, when I suddenly appeared, pointed out that you clearly violated your own collection development policy, you did not quite know how to react.  If you had been brought up in an ambiance of vigorous debate and encouraged criticism, you would have been able to react with some sort of cogent counter-argument or at least admit that I was right and correct the error.  Instead, you punished me for stating a simple TRUTH. 

Your inability to react intelligently resulted in your issuing an autocratic decree—a permanent trespass order without due process.   Benito Mussolini, of course, would have been proud of you.   I certainly harbor no hatred with your regard.  That’s not who I am.  I don’t carry grudges, though suspect you likely do.  You don’t really make me “feel uncomfortable,” though you did say “inappropriate things.”  Perhaps Dan Santos makes me “feel uncomfortable.”  Is he violent?  His comments seemed to indicate that he too is quite incapable of dealing with cogent arguments, that is, with reason.  And when that occurs, the autocratic kneejerk or violence tends to kick in.   

Imagine getting so upset by the word "fucking" and not being able to understand the point of my placard, though it couldn’t be any simpler:  CELEBRATE THE FIRST FUCKING AMENDMENT, NOT COMMERCE!  Imagine that one guy called me CHARLES MANSON.  Indeed, for him, the written word FUCKING was as bad as real MASS MURDERING.  For Santos, you, that guy, and so many others, the educational system has been a serious failure.   For you and so many others, the written word FUCKING is much more serious than  a fellow citizen getting permanently trespassed without DUE PROCESS. 

You and I are so different. It is sad that instead of expelling me you did not at least make an attempt to understand me. 
PS:  Your photography needs to rise above the banal—the innocuous and hackneyed so common here on the Cape.  You RISK nothing at all in your art.  Yet an artist should dare RISK and step out on the edge from time to time.  Do so!  It could only help improve what you do.  Blackberries are fine, but you need to do something much, much better.   And you can only do that if you summon courage to step out of the comfortable box you’ve been sitting in for decades.  Art or power?  That’s the question you need to ask yourself.  Art or smiley-face conformity.  Should artists be conformists?  Not at all!  Yet here on the Cape that’s precisely what they seem to be.  And your cultural council evidently encourages it.  Money always encourages conformity.