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, December 3, 2013

Bob Garfield

Garfield’s New York Times mind-numbing Op Ed, "Banning the Negative Book Review,”
inspired this cartoon.  Garfield and the New York Times give new meaning to PC, as in Positivity Cretin. 

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Hillary Clinton


During Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State, she did NOT speak out against the horrendous treatment of women by Islamists and did not mention Sharia Law and its horrendous doctrine vis-à-vis women.  Does she mention those things during her $250,000 paid speeches?  Me thinks not.  And yet Jeb Bush, another of our hack leaders, awarded her the Liberty Medal!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ed Maroney



 
It is an odd, likely wide-spread, reaction that if one is critical of a newspaper editor, for example, the latter will ignore and otherwise help ostracize the critic into oblivion.  The same of course goes for academics, librarians, poets, politicos, and probably most other “professionals.”   Democracy is in serious trouble when adults cannot bear to be criticized.    

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rebecca Lawrence

NB:  Surprise!  Not one person at the cultural council responded to the following grant request. 

To Rebecca Lawrence, Chair, Mid-Cape Cultural Council, and Council Members:
Please share the following with the members of the Mid-Cape Cultural Council. Thank you.
Dr. G. Tod Slone


Freedom of Speech: Democracy, Dissidence, and Art
(A Grant-Request Project by a Citizen Non Grata of Barnstable, MA)


Upon reflection, I decided to send this proposal in this format, knowing quite well it would have been outright rejected even if in the standard form and in full accord with Mid-Cape Cultural Council guidelines. For me to submit an application and 11 requisite copies would thus be a waste of paper and postage.
Sadly, the type of project described below would likely be the type of project your group would NEVER consider funding. Perhaps, though highly unlikely, it might instigate thought regarding your cultural council’s likely failure to extract itself from the influence of the local chamber of commerce, political hacks, and other castrating cronies of the Cape Cod art machine. Such an extraction would be necessary for you to truly open the Council to hard criticism and possibilities other than the typical PG-13 “family-friendly” (i.e., democracy-unfriendly) safe “art” you likely exclusively fund.
From my experience dealing with the Concord Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and National Endowment for the Arts, not to mention Lucy Loomis, former Mid-Cape Cultural Council director, who behaves as an autocrat of the worst possible sort. Loomis permanently trespassed me from Sturgis Library without due process or warning because of written criticism that contained no threats, no four-letter words, and no sex (see below).
Do any of you care about that? The response to that question is a likely NO. Prove me wrong by writing Loomis a letter of protest not on my behalf but rather on behalf of democracy. Far too many citizens do not give a damn about censorship and freedom of speech. Thus is the problem confronting our democracy today.
My project consists of several free lectures/open discussions on democracy, dissidence, and art along with an exhibit of art work and poetry illustrating the theme to be delivered gratis at Cape Cod Community College and perhaps Barnstable High School. Part of that project would consist of distributing free copies of The American Dissident, published since 1998 and now right here in Barnstable. The journal, by the way, has essentially been banned by the library directors of the Clams Library System. Do you care? Again, the likely response to that question is NO.
The art, culture, and literary machine on Cape Cod needs to open up to criticism as a form of art and literature, which must not be confined to mere commercially and family-friendly themes. Democracy demands it! In fact, education has been failing to instill in the citizenry the importance of democracy’s cornerstones, free speech and vigorous debate. Instead, it has been instilling speech codes and mind-numbing politically-correct thought. Citizens are encouraged to be easily offended, as opposed to building backbone. Here in Barnstable I personally witnessed citizen indifference to free speech issues when protesting in front of Sturgis Library on three different days and also downtown during the Fourth of July with the following sign: CELEBRATE THE FIRST FUCKING AMENDMENT, NOT COMMERCE! Oh, the scorns I received that day! Of course, those scorns indicated a blatant ignorance of the First Amendment. Library trustee Dan Santos serves as an example of that ignorance, for he dismissed my sign as “intellectual masturbation.” Well, rather that than the intellectual fascism that apparently plagues not only his mind, but also that of Eleanor Claus, Betsy Newell, and Lucy Loomis. Over the centuries, art and literature have proven to be potent weapons against authoritarian regimes, as well as local corruption and hypocrisy.
Grant funds ($350) would enable me to distribute free copies of The American Dissident to students, professors, and the general public during the free lectures/open discussions and/or class presentations around the theme of“Freedom of Speech: Democracy, Dissidence, and Art.” The importance of freedom of speech and threats to it in the form of campus speech codes, proposed hate speech and blasphemy laws would be discussed. Cause celebres including Theo Van Gogh, Molly Norris, Geert Wilders, Kurt Westergaard, Lars Viks, Robert Redeker, and Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff would also be discussed, as well as the now infamous anti-Muhammad video that served as an egregiously fraudulent diversion from the gross incompetence of the Obama administration.
Qualifications
As an artist, poet, writer, publisher, and long-time college instructor with a PhD from a French university, I have been, over several decades, actively trying to open up the art and literary machine to democracy’s cornerstones. Dr. Dan Sklar has been inviting me to his English classes for about four years each semester at Endicott College (Beverly, MA) to speak to his students on literature, democracy, and dissidence. You may view ALL student comments (http://www.theamericandissident.org/students.html).
My career as college professor has suffered because of my refusal to engage in self-censorship, turning a blind eye, etc. Because of my written criticism , as difficult as it might be to believe, I was as mentioned permanently banned without due process or warning from my neighborhood library, Sturgis Library in Barnstable. My critique simply underscored the library’s very own policy that “Libraries should challenge censorship […], ” “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 […]”
Such egregious hypocrisy must be questioned and challenged. Students must learn to do this for democracy’s sake. Moreover, I have been kept from getting cultural council grants because of the subject of my projects. Why would grant-according chairpersons like yourself be so adverse to projects highlighting democracy? In fact, because of me, the Concord Cultural Council had actually adopted a regulation prohibiting funding to projects it arbitrarily deemed “political in nature.” The Barnstable Patriot interviewed me last year with regards my fight against Sturgis Library hypocrisy (see http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/home2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24417&Itemid=53). And The Concord Journal interviewed me several years prior to that (see http://www.wickedlocal.com/concord/news/x936270296/Conflict-is-his-muse#axzz28SCmTHeU).
Public Benefit
Public benefit would be in the form of enhanced knowledge regarding the importance of free speech, criticism, and satire.
Promotion
The project would be promoted via the student newspaper and flyers.
Amount Requested
$350.
Accompanying Materials
Attached is the type of class materials I’d distribute.
Thank you for your attention. Please do surprise me with a non-standard response. Please do stand up for freedom. Please do declare yourself not to be a typical cultural-council apparatchik like those described by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Oak and the Calf.
G. Tod Slone, PhD and Founding Editor (1998)
The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence
www.theamericandissident.org
wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com
todslone@hotmail.com
217 Commerce Rd.
Barnstable, MA 02630

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jeanmarie Fraser and Tim Gerolami


For a full written account of "An Incident at Wilkens Library" with oddball though real dialogue, check out http://www.globalfreepress.org/editorials/topics/free-speech.  Somehow I managed to get the Cape Cod Community College student newspaper, The Main Sheet, to actually publish a letter to the editor on the incident.  Its editor should be congratulated. There is hope!  The published letter is the following: 

To the Editor, The Main Sheet, Cape Cod Community College, Barnstable, MA:
Perhaps the prime concern of humanities professors (English, journalism, etc.) ought to be rousing student interest in democracy and, in particular, the First Amendment and vigorous debate, especially regarding controversial thoughts and ideas.  Yet that concern seems all but inexistent, buried by the overwhelming focus today on multiculturalism and diversity.  
Calling the police on a man quietly holding a sign in the library is one sure way to discourage students and others from exercising their First Amendment rights.  That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago at Wilkens Library.  “Celebrate the Anniversary of the Bill of Rights, Not Banned Books Week” was my sign.   Read the full account of what happened: www.globalfreepress.org/editorials/topics/free-speech.  Perhaps CCCC writing and journalism instructors ought to expose students to the account and emphasize in their classes that, for writers, Freedom of Speech is of prime importance.  Without it, jail cells, torture chambers, firing squads, and/or exile await them.  In fact, I’d be happy to speak to students on this very topic and have even prepared a detailed syllabus with its regard.  Might there be an interested professor?  If so, contact me.  I don’t bite or make threats.  Hell, I live and publish here in your very community and even possess a doctoral degree. 
Sadly, only about one in 30 CCCC students expressed interest in my sign.   But not even one of the English or journalism professors I’d contacted cared what happened at Wilkens.  Not one of them cared about the refusal of both the Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot to report on my being permanently trespassed without warning or due process from Sturgis Library in Barnstable.  Not one library director of the Clams Library System of Cape Cod, which includes Wilkens, would even respond to my demand for due process.  Not one CCCC professor cared that The American Dissident, a 501 c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence, had essentially been banned by those library directors from the System.  Why do Dean Jeanmarie Fraser and Tim Gerolami, and professors Sarah Polito, Bruce Riley, Kathleen Soderstrom, Michael Olendzenski, Patricia McGraw, James Kershner, Dianne Gregory, John French, Christine Esperson, Bill Berry, Patricia Allen, and Dean Debower not care?  And why don’t the local politicians (Tom Lynch, Brian Mannal, Cleon Turner, Ann Canedy, etc.) care?  Is commerce all that concerns them?  And what about the ACLUM and PEN New England?
Sadly, CCCC police officers are not educated regarding citizen rights.  The police supervisor, who confronted me, explicitly and angrily ordered me to stop recording him.  Well, I obeyed, but then only later discovered citizens have “a specific First Amendment right to record police officers,” according to two major court decisions (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit and the 7th Circuit Court). 
It is mind-boggling the police were called in the first place because both Dean Fraser and Mr. Gerolami somehow determined that holding a sign silently was a “confrontational” activity and that because students were “looking” at the activity, it somehow “disrupted the flow of the education system.”  Wow.  CCCC deans and faculty need to be educated as to the First Amendment.  They clearly are not.  Court cases have sided over and again with Justice William O. Douglas’ view that “The function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it invites a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it passes for acceptance of an idea.”  Yet the deans and faculty do not seem to care about this.   Does President John L. Cox care?  Perhaps not.
Moreover, “disrupting the flow of the education system” is far too vague a term to overrule the right to exercise free speech at a public institution.  Such a term needs to be carefully defined and narrowly limited or it will accord administrators the power of unchecked censors.    Holding a sign for a mere 10 minutes, not getting in anyone’s face, not threatening anyone, and not provoking people to violence is a legal activity in America.  So, why is it a questionable one at CCCC? 
Finally, student newspapers ought to devote a page or even a small corner of a page to uncomfortable criticism of the particular college or university housing it.  Students need to be encouraged to question and challenge all things, especially those that seem to enjoy protected status. 
Students ought to be encouraged to ask themselves what they think they shouldn’t write or speak about, even make a list of such taboos and why they seem to be taboos.  If such taboos serve to avoid offending others and hide uncomfortable truths or opinions, then they need to be broken.  Citizens need to build spine and not be so easily offended.  Democracy depends on that.  Anonymous authorship ought to be fully discouraged. 
Now, the probability this letter will change absolutely nothing is very high.  So, why bother writing it?  Ego?   Well, surely, those criticized in it would a-men to that.  But I’d argue that visceral passion for the freedom to speak, opine, and write is the principle reason.  If being egocentric means having such a passion, then fine.  I’d much rather be that than a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil careerist.   The former Soviet Union was loaded with those… and today so is the USA.  The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Do not seek to diminish that right with your own spinelessness, biases and inane excuses, as in “disrupts the flow of the educational system.”
G. Tod Slone, Ed., The American Dissident
Barnstable, MA

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ronald Liebowitz

 

NB:  A month ago or so, I'd sketched a cartoon on Middlebury College, posted it here on the blogsite, sent it on to the student newspaper and parties concerned.  Sadly, though  quite predictably, not one administrator, professor, or student editor responded.  Ever testing the murky waters of democracy on college campuses in America, I gave it a second whirl, this time with the front cover of the latest issue of The American Dissident.   And again, Middlebury College proved hermetically closed to outside criticism.  BTW, I am a Middlebury College alumnus, and am constantly asked to contribute money to that institution, which possesses a poor free-speech record and won't even subscribe to The American Dissident, published by one of its own and for only $20/year. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ted Lowry, Enemy of the First Amendment

BILL OF RIGHTS DAY

My neighborhood library, Sturgis Library, disdains the Bill of Rights; in particular, the First Amendment, which accords citizens the right to exercise Freedom of Expression with impunity. As mentioned in a previous post, I was permanently trespassed (June 2012)without due process or warning  because of my written criticism of library policy and egregious hypocrisy.  Below is Sturgis Library's response to my attempt to interest it in the Bill of Rights day.  The photo depicts library trustee Ted Lowry. 

 

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: sturgislibrary@comcast.net
Subject: Bill of Rights Day
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2013 12:10:30 -0400


To the Director, Trustees, and Staff, Sturgis Library:
It has been over a year now since your decree to punish my exercise of Freedom of Speech by permanently banning me from visiting your library (i.e., my neighborhood library).  I am requesting a two-hour reprieve so that I may host a Freedom of Speech Day event on September 25th at Sturgis Library.  Surely, you must have some notion, deep within, of the intellectual importance of Freedom of Speech for Western Civilization and America in particular. 
For your information, September 25, 2013, marks 224 years after the passage of the Bill of Rights.  Patriots across America will host events, on that day, and educate the public about how Freedom of Speech is under attack—and what we all can do to protect it.   
You will note that since your decree (and prior to it!), not one of your patrons or staff has been threatened by me.  Recall that public safety was the reason you presented to the trustees regarding your permanent trespass decision. 
Finally, for the sake of basic human honesty, why not adopt a new written policy stipulating that patrons who criticize the library will be permanently trespassed without due process.  At the same time, you should strike out certain policy statements, especially “Libraries should challenge censorship […]” and “should provide materials and information presenting all points of view,” since evidently Sturgis does not. 
You’d asked my neighbor (sarcastically?) how I was doing a couple of months ago.  Well, I am doing quite well, ever decrying injustice, hypocrisy, and left-wing political correctness.  Thank you for your attention and your hopeful approval of my request! 
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident
 
 
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Amy Martin


 

........................................................................................................................................
From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: michaelrkingjr@gmail.com; opinionumdbk@gmail.com
CC: jmcshay@umd.edu; bdula@umd.edu; mica-contact@umd.edu; brimhall@umd.edu; amartin5@umd.edu
Subject: Univ. of Maryland's Language Control Campaign
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:22:32 -0400

-->
To  Mike King, Ed. In Chief, and Maria Romas and Nadav Karasov, Opinion Editors, The Diamondback:  Univ of Maryland’s Independent Student Newspaper: 
Since it is likely those engaged in the multiculti-diversity indoctrination scheme at Univ. of Maryland do not believe in vigorous debate and freedom of speech, democracy’s very cornerstones, I write directly to you, student editors.  Please examine the critical cartoon regarding University of Maryland’s Inclusive Language Campaign posted here:  http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=239569862679528067#editor/target=post;postID=7599339213322549347;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=link.  In fact, might you be sufficiently independent from the chief indoctrinators to actually publish it in your newspaper?  If so, please let me know.  In fact, why won’t the University of Maryland subscribe to The American Dissident, which offers a point of view contrary to that pushed by its Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy. 
Thank you for your attention.
 

.................................................................................................................................................................
UNsurprisingly, no response was ever received.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Editorial for Issue #25 of The American Dissident


Democracy?  We No Have No Democracy!

Twenty-five issues of The American Dissident have been published over the past 15 years!  So, where the hell are the trumpets, laurels, and flamin’ kudos?  Not a damn sound to be heard.  Well, obviously that’s not why I’m publishing The AD.  I enjoy putting together each issue and of course get to include a lot of my own stuff.  And often there’s too damn much of that in a given issue… and that’s because poets, writers, and artists generally just ain’t interested in sending their stuff to a mag like The AD.  As for cost, well, I have to foot about half the bill for each issue.  Subscribers, to whom I’m ever grateful, pay for the other half.  Libraries have been next to impossible to attract. When Dan Sklar was inviting me and ordering 20 copies for his students that put me over the breakeven point.  So Sklar was a boon while it lasted, and I was quite thankful.  And of course I enjoyed speaking to his students.  Each issue costs about $450.  Anyhow, let the trombones blow and the jelly rolls fly!  The grim reaper is looking at me… and I’m looking at him… especially when I’m NOT slugging down the merlot… picrate… gros rouge. 

What viscerally outrages me is everyone being so easily offended. The Bill of Rights does not guarantee citizens from being OFFENDED.  And it’s amazing how many citizens don’t give a damn about issues of freedom of speech.  “Note the general reaction to the vast majority of Wikileaks cables, which are of the lowest classification,” wrote Diana West.  “There was and is a widespread sense that We, the People, shouldn't be allowed to see this evidence of instances of lying, ineptitude and concession by our public servants. A free people, I submit, would instead feel outrage.”  Well, I feel outrage! 

            Many, perhaps even most in today’s Nanny Nation, would like to replace the First Amendment with hate-speech and anti-blasphemy legislation and thus follow the dubious example of Europe and Canada, where a citizen can actually be tried and found guilty for speaking or writing a fact, as in  the Qur’an calls for the death of all apostates.   The offended group simply has to complain to authorities. 

              Another thing that viscerally outrages me is the fine art of demonizing ones opponents, which can be especially effective in keeping ones partisans uninformed as to the corruption in the party.  I’m a liberal; anything a conservative says is horseshit!  Or I’m a conservative; anything a liberal says is bullshit.  Just listen, read, or watch us and we’ll tell you what to believe and what not to believe.  And if you want to know what happened regarding Benghazi and that infamous video, since the machine is now a liberal one, the liberal media will explain that nothing at all really happened.  It was just politicized.  What a crock!  Do they think we’re all stupid?  Perhaps…

Whenever I bump into an Obama or Hillary worshipper, I’m left dumbfounded.  I sensed Obama was a charismatic liar from day one.  Bush, well, he was a liar too, but not so charismatic.  Why are so many Americans unable to sense the obvious?  How can they be so easily taken in by fake smiles, crocodile tears, and charisma?  How can democracy possibly survive when the citizenry is so easily duped?  Likely, it cannot and will not. 

On another note, it is not always easy to tap into baggage once one obtains it.  Most seek to get rid of it.  But I choose to create from it.  The front cover of this issue resulted from one of my recent pieces of baggage, that is, Sturgis Library’s permanent trespass order against me for mere written criticism, and my inability to obtain any justice at all.  The front cover depicts real community pillars indifferent to that authoritarian denial of freedom of speech and expression.  For the record, the two seated pillars are Karen Wulf (PEN New England) and Carol Rose (ACLU of Massachusetts), both of whom would not respond.  Standing and clapping outside the ribbon on the right is Cape Cod Times Editor Paul Pronovost, who refused to print the story.  Inside the yellow ribbon from left to right are Betsy Newell (lawyer and library trustee), Ellie Claus (realtor and former president of the library trustees), Anita Walker (Massachusetts Cultural Council), Lucy Loomis (library director), Daniel Santos (trustee), Ted Lowrie (president of the library trustees), Thomas K. Lynch (town manager), and State Senator Daniel A. Wolf.  Many others of course could have been added.   Perhaps it would be difficult to find a community pillar who wasn’t apathetic.  After all, free speech exists so that citizens can question and challenge the pillars.

Vive Pussy Riot (Russian) and Femen (Ukrainien)!  How I admire those feisty women fighting for freedom of speech.  They are the direct opposites of community pillars.  German Chancellor Merkel is fighting for the freedom of the Pussy Riot members serving sentences in a gulag.  But why aren’t our female leaders fighting for them too?  What the hell is the most admired woman in America, Hillary Clinton, doing?  Lying and denying and spinning, beggaring up the ladder of power!  What else?  And what about Michelle Obama with her $10,000 inaugural dress.  Well, what else is new, right? 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Victor S. Navasky





To the editors of Columbia Journalism Review,
Please consider publishing the satirical cartoon posted on The American Dissident website (www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=239569862679528067#editor/target=post;postID=6570831808058857053). Victor S. Navasky, one of your own, is its subject.
If successfully multiculti-indoctrinated, however, you are likely complicit in the subversion of Freedom of Speech in America and will, of course, not publish it. Will you at least contemplate why? Does the cartoon make any valid points? Does it serve democracy? Do you serve democracy or political correctness? Will you even respond? If not, ask yourself why not. As you can see, this letter has been cc'd to some of the faculty of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Likely, not one of those professors will express interest. It has been my experience that professors tend to be cowardly, herd creatures, unwilling to step forward as individuals, risking career to speak the "rude truth in all ways" (Emerson). Thank you for your attention.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Frank Bidart


Question:  Will just one poet staff member of the Academy of American Poets respond? 

Answer:  No.


From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: jbenka@poets.org; gcoletta@poets.org; adimitrov@poets.org; engleson@poets.org; aference@poets.org; agaleo@poets.org; mgannon@poets.org; pguzman@poets.org; slasner@poets.org; plegault@poets.org; bmerrell@poets.org; mnesmith@poets.org; rquigley@poets.org; ksugar@poets.org
CC: mediarelations@wellesley.edu; fbidart@wellesley.edu
Subject: Bidart Satirized: Open Letter to the Academy of American Poets
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 14:53:13 -0400


To Staff Member Poets of the Academy of American Poets (Jennifer Benka, Alex Dimitrov, Eric Engleson, Audrey Ference, Mary Gannon, Patricia Guzman, Stacy Lasner, Paul Legault, Billy Merrell, Meghan Nesmith, Gerard Coletta, Amber Galeo, Richard Quigley, Kate Sugar):


Please forward this email to the high-and-mighty Chancellors, since their emails are not available (i.e., Victor Hernández Cruz, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ron Padgett, Marie Ponsot, Claudia Rankine, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C. D. Wright).


Might there actually be a freedom-of-expression proponent amongst you and/or the Chancellors today? Might one of you actually be capable of thinking and acting exterior to the group-think, established-order poesy box? Have things changed at all at the Academy of American Poets since it censored and banned me in 2007 from commenting on its forums, or is it still censorship and indifference to censorship as usual? Your likely silence will serve as a response to that question. If just one of you is curious, for further details regarding the censorship incident, including the transcript of the censored comments, consult http://www.theamericandissident.org/orgs/academy_american_poets.html.


For cartoons of former chancellors Bidart and Hejinian just posted today on my website, consult http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/. This letter with your names will be posted under the Bidart cartoon. Thanks to the Internet, dissident poets like me do have a voice and freedom of speech scorning poets like most or ALL of you can still be publicly denounced. Finally, as Bukowski perceptibly wrote,“Poetry has long been an in-game, a snob game, a game of puzzles and incantations. It still is, and most of its practitioners operate comfortably as professors in our safe and stale universities.”

 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lyn Hejinian

 
 
Above is a sketch I did a while ago on Lyn Hejinian when she was a high-and-mighty censorship-favoring professor/chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  For her rationale of censorship, regarding the Academy's censorship of my comments, as well as the censored transcript of my comments, examine http://www.theamericandissident.org/orgs/academy_american_poets.html.  A new guard exists today at the Academy.  And I am contacting each member of it to determine if perhaps one censorship-abhorring person got through the Academy cracks.  My next blog will contain the results of my poll.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lucy Loomis

Thanks to Russell Streur, Camel Saloon Barkeep, the Supervisor of Records for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts forced Sturgis Library to hand over all documents with my regard last week.  After reading the documents, I noted the absence of the reason for Director Lucy Loomis' decision to permanently trespass me from Sturgis Library without warning or possibility of due process.  The reason, of course, was the written criticism I'd disseminated one week before regarding library policy on censorship and openness to all points of view and Loomis' egregious hypocrisy regarding that policy.  On the same note, Global Free Press just published an article I wrote regarding the local press' refusal to publish anything about that permanent trespass decree: http://www.globalfreepress.org/editorials/topics/free-press/3427-dereliction-of-duty-journalists-without-journalistic-principles.

The recently acquired documents inspired the following poem.
 
Beware of Marm
With pleasure I will torpedo the ark.
—Henrik Ibsen, “An Enemy of the People”

The ploy was not ingenious, but rather sadly typical of the day,
convenient and diversionary—no counter argument necessary,
just demonize the messenger and ignore what he had to say.

And so on the basis of a single event of cops called and
suddenly confronting me in the public library that day in June,
when I was working in a room alone and quietly,
the Marm in Chief,* who’d invited them, would later write
to the trustees who’d hired her:

Because of his behavior when the police were here they almost
                                                                                                  arrested him.

So now I had an almost-arrested police record, and almost appeared
in the almost-arrested blotter of the local newspaper. 

He can go from calm to extremely agitated in a matter of seconds,
she’d written clinically, though without PhD.

Yet who in their right mind not on meds would not have raised
his voice viscerally
at such a grotesque affront to freedom of speech and expression?

So this is the correct decision for the safety of the staff and public,”
she decided as judge, jury, and henchbitch. 

And out I walked that miserable day in June, three cops by my side,
imminent danger to staff and public safety, though no gun
and bullets in hand, no jihadist bomb belt round the gut,
not even hatred in my eyes, just a pen, paper, and laptop computer.

If he does come into the library, the police have advised us not to
interact with him but simply call them and they will come and arrest him,
she noted, proud of her successful orchestration.

But to the Marm in Chief’s likely dismay, I’ve yet to set foot in her library
since that notorious decree to permanently trespass me,
and so no life sentence in some harsh penitentiary up till now for me! 
…………………………………………………………….

*The Marm in Chief is Director Lucy Loomis, Sturgis Library, Barnstable, MA.  Thanks to Citizen Russell Streur’s perseverance and the resultant positive decision made by the Secretary of Records for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, nine months after that dismal day in June, I was able to view the document containing the Marm in Chief’s above statement. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Patrick Cassidy


N.B.:  Unsurprisingly, not one of the journalists contacted regarding the above cartoon wished to comment.  Journalists really have become a sad lot today.  TRUTH telling has certainly NOT become their prime motivation.  So many forces push the weak into a particular professional mold.  The forces of business, politics, wealth, advertising, and readership push them to supress TRUTH whenever that TRUTH might be deemed offensive those elements.  Because journalists learn to play the professional game of diversion, deceit, and diplomacy, they pose a threat to the health of democracy. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

George Gascon

Notice of this blog entry was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle and District Attorney George Gascon, two entities that seem bent on truncating the First Amendment.  Imagine if I'd done something similar in China or even in a European country today, where hate laws exist to censor freedom of expression.  Yes, even in Germany or Denmark, for example, I could be prosecuted for such a cartoon, if it involved a German or Danish D.A. and I were a citizen of the country in question. The First Amendment truly makes America different.  American citizens must continually stand up and fight for it... or lose it.  Far too many American citizens remain ignorant and apathetic with its regard.  Far too many other American citizens seek to truncate it.  Hillary Clinton and Obama fall into that category, in particular, with regards their involvement in the Istanbul Process. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tracey Ross

 
To The Root (Washington Post Weblog): 
The difference between you and me is that I would publish your response, whereas you will likely not publish mine. The evident reason for that is you do not likely believe in vigorous debate and freedom of speech, cornerstones of democracy. In any case, a satirical cartoon on Tracey Ross is this week's blog entry (http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/). Take a look. Curiosity, contrary to popular opinion, did not kill the cat; PC indoctrination killed her. Silence... is not as golden as you'd like to think.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Paul Pronovost

Scroll down for a larger version and description of those depicted.
 
 
 
Well, it is, I suppose, good to observe that those contacted (see below) are not completely brain dead or rather impervious to anything emanating from outside their safe-zone professional cocoons.  The number of "hits" regarding this post indicate a certain reluctant curiosity. 

From the Editorial for Issue #25 of The American Dissident:
"On another note, it is not always easy to tap into baggage once one obtains it.  Most seek to get rid of it.  But I choose to create from it.  The front cover of this issue resulted from one of my recent pieces of baggage, that is, Sturgis Library’s permanent trespass order against me for mere written criticism, and my inability to obtain any justice at all.  The front cover depicts real community pillars indifferent to that authoritarian denial of freedom of speech and expression.  For the record, the two seated pillars are Karen Wulf (PEN New England) and Carol Rose (ACLU of Massachusetts), both of whom would simply not respond.  Standing and clapping outside the ribbon on the right is Cape Cod Times Editor Paul Pronovost, who also refused to respond and would not print the story.  Inside the yellow ribbon from left to right are Betsy Newell (lawyer and library trustee), Ellie Claus (realtor and former president of the library trustees), Anita Walker (Massachusetts Cultural Council), Lucy Loomis (library director), Daniel Santos (trustee), Ted Lowrie (president of the library trustees), Thomas K. Lynch (town manager), and State Senator Daniel A. Wolf.  Many others of course could have been added.   Perhaps it would be difficult to find a community pillar who wasn’t apathetic.  After all, free speech exists so that citizens can question and challenge the pillars."

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Email sent March 6, 2013


To Anita Walker, Betsy Newell, Carol Rose, Dan Santos, Ellie Claus, Karen Wulf, Lucy Loomis, Paul Pronovost, Senator Daniel A. Wolf, Ted Lowry, and Thomas K. Lynch:

You are depicted naked on the front cover of the latest issue of The American Dissident (only $9 per copy if you’d like one!). The cover image is posted here: http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2013/03/paul-pronovost.html.

Please feel free to comment on the blogsite! The American Dissident NEVER censors comments. And vigorous debate and freedom of speech are, after all, the very cornerstones of a thriving democracy. Ah, but is it really thriving here in Barnstable, Massachusetts? Methinks NOT!!!

Thanks to the Internet, this will be part of the public record, you know, the one you'd all like to limit.


Monday, February 25, 2013

David J. Leonard

 
Notice of this cartoon was sent to the student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, which, as predicted, did not respond.  It was also sent to David J. Leonard, who as predicted did not respond.  It was sent to Leonard's immediate colleagues (see list below), as well as the President of Washington State University Elson S. Floyd, who as predicted did not respond.  Only an adjunct instructor ended up responding, though via email, and not really regarding the issue evoked in the cartoon. 
 
Vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy, is evidently NOT prized at Washington State University.
 
.....................................................................
 
To David Leonard, Chair, Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race [Indoctrination] Studies, Washington State University at Pullman: 
Your racist, stereotyping comments attracted my attention and provoked me to sketch a cartoon on you.  See http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2013/02/david-j-leonard.html.  Hopefully, though doubtfully, it might foment at WSU a little vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy.  You and your colleagues and students are encouraged to comment on the blog.  Comments are NEVER moderated (i.e., censored).  The editors of The Daily Evergreen have been encouraged to publish the cartoon, though if you and your colleagues have been successful with their regard, they will likely not be responding.  Courage is, after all, not a prime quality in academe.
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