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, October 5, 2014

Anne Speyer

The following was distributed in front of Sturgis Library during librarian Anne Speyer's lecture several weeks ago.  The hypocrisy of Speyer and librarian Lucy Loomis is mind-numbing.  Yes, today, those who ban books and people celebrate Banned Books Week.  And those who don't give a damn about banned books in their own neighborhood present lectures on banned books and censorship.  Mind-numbing...


Librarians Banning Books Celebrate Banned Books Week

(What Anne Speyer’s Lecture Will Conveniently Fail to Mention)

Of course, free speech is often precisely about pissing off other people—challenging social taboos or political values.

—Jonathan Turley, left-wing legal scholar, George Washington University

 

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ostly, we have hypocrites in politics.  No surprise there.  We also have hypocrites in higher education.  No surprise there either.  We have hypocrites in the ranks of those professing to be advocates of freedom, including public librarians.  Now, that ought to be surprising…

     Is it not ironical that some (perhaps many) of the very organizations that promote Banned Books Week are either banners of books or apathetic when books are banned?  Is it not equally ironical that some (perhaps many!) of those who attend “Banned Books Discussions,” likeBowdlerized, Banned, and Burned: An Investigation of Banned Books” presented at Sturgis Library by Director Anne Speyer of South Dennis Free Public Library, don’t give a damn when book banning occurs in their own backyards?  How to possibly understand their apathy, if not outright support?  Unsurprisingly, Speyer wouldn’t even respond to that question. 

     On June 19, 2012, Sturgis Library director Lucy Loomis PERMANENTLY BANNED not only The American Dissident and any books I’ve authored, but also me and the ideas of those published in the journal.  On that nefarious day, three cops showed up with the director in the room, where I was quietly working alone on my online college courses, to escort me out of the taxpayer-funded library without warning or even possibility of due process.  Imagine that not one library director in the entire Clams Library System of Cape Cod would respond to my complaint regarding that authoritarian decision, let alone express an iota of interest in it. The only response I received was an indirect one from Dan Santos, Sturgis Library Trustee at the time, current director of Barnstable’s Department of Public Works:  “He is no more than an exhibitionist engaging in intellectual masturbation.”  Yes, just the kind of ignorant fellow we need in public service! 

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ternally banned, yet I never made threats, never made disturbances in that library, and I'd been going to it almost every day for several years!  What I did, however, was question and challenge IN WRITING, one week prior to the decree, Loomis’ hypocrisy regarding, especially, the written collection-development statement, borrowed from the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” that “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Well, my point of view is certainly not provided in that library, which proves the point I’d made. 

     Loomis refused to present me with a written document stipulating the reason for her decision.  The library trustees also refused to do that.  It took the Massachusetts State Secretary of Records nine months later to order the library to make its records available to me (i.e., the public), since it determined the library was not only being funded by the public but was clearly serving a public purpose.  In those records, only an indirect comment by Loomis to Ted Lowry, president of the library trustees, indicated the reason for the decision:  “Because of his behavior when the police were here they almost arrested him—he can go from calm to extremely agitated in a matter of seconds.  So l believe this is the correct decision for the safety of the staff and public.”  No other reason or incident is mentioned in the library’s records!  In essence, the only reason was thus an after-the-fact one (i.e., after the decision to permanently ban). 

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eally, I was quite pissed off when I saw three cops enter the room with Loomis!  I hadn't even spoken to anyone in the library for a week.  And yes I was quite pissed off when one of them actually grabbed my arm, twisted it behind my back, and frisked me because I’d said, “I do not have any weapons.”   I’m 66 and not a big guy.  And I was not making threats in any way whatsoever.  Ah, but it turned out that cop was the training officer and showing a new recruit how to frisk a citizen.  And I have no record of violence whatsoever.  In essence, Loomis played the he-makes-me-feel-uncomfortable card.  Since that nefarious day over two years ago, if indeed I were such a danger to the staff and public, why have I done nothing at all to harm the staff and public?  So, here I am today with an almost-arrested police record for the crime of manifesting a little anger in public… and PERMANENTLY punished for it.  Bravo America, or rather Barnstable! 

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oggedly since that nefarious day in June, I’ve contacted scores of organizations and town officials.  To date, not one of them proved sufficiently concerned to offer to help or even write a simple letter to the director, requesting she rescind the authoritarian decree or at least provide due process.  Not even the ACLUM or State Attorney General Martha Coakley would lift a finger!  To date, not one of the official sponsors of Banned Books Week has been willing to do that either!  So, why the hell not American Library Association, PEN America, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, American Book Sellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Project Censored, and Center for the Book at the Library of Congress?   And why did not one town counselor or commissioner of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission give a damn either? 

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ssentially, a responsible citizen does not keep his or her mouth shut in the face of injustice, which is why I stand protesting here tonight next to library property.  Those attending Speyer’s lecture, who had the curiosity to take a copy of this flyer, should ask themselves after the lecture why they too likely do not give a damn.  BTW, featured in the above picture are local hack hypocrites Brian Mannal, Ann Canedy, and Cleon Turner, as puppets of propriety.  Indeed, for them and so many others, some vague notion of propriety is far more important than freedom of speech and expression. 

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