A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ]. If you have questions, please contact me at todslone@hotmail.com.
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, not to mention Sweden, England, and Austria.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Monday, December 19, 2016

Glenn Cummings

The following email correspondence regarding the "hate crime" illustrates the horrendous scorn for vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy, by USM students, as well as the editors of The Press Herald, which refused to respond...

From: Krysteana Scribner
Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2017 3:14 PM
To: George Slone
Subject: Re: A free speech poem and... The In-Lock-Step Press

We will no longer be responding to your commentary. Do not reach out to us again, we only publish student work.

On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 9:39 AM, George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com> wrote:
To Humza,
Several points are made in that poem, which does not constitute a hate crime… not yet.  I suspect you might have missed all of them.  So, I delineate them here, and again it is sad that these things will not be debated at your public university because of its ban on outside criticism.  The Free Press?  What an odd misnomer for University of Southern Maine’s student newspaper!  If it were honest, it would be called The In-Lockstep Press.      
1.  Free speech is fundamental to democracy.
2.  In its current form, Islam and free speech are NOT compatible.  Why not?  Because, as you surely must know, Islam prohibits free speech that criticizes Islam.  
3.  In order for democracy and free speech to survive, citizens must build spine and not  be easily offended by opinions they do not like.  
4.  In essence, Deus Vult is an expression of free speech and should be treated that way.  In essence, it should not be viewed as a vandalism crime because of that.  Yet it will likely be treated as a crime.
5.  Hate speech is NOT illegal in America, though it is in Europe.  Why not?  Well, HATE for you might be REASON AND FACT for me, and vice versa.  Sadly, many American universities attempt to treat it as a crime and have been taken to court by, for example, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, AND have lost!  

6.  Many universities, like yours, for example, seem to be heading in the direction of totalitarian entities and thus increasingly stand in contradiction to democracy and its prime cornerstone, free speech.  Thus, in essence, holding a placard might actually be treated as a hate crime at such institutions, even though legally it is not.  
G. Tod

From: USM Student Body President <muhammad.khan@maine.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 4:21 PM
To: George Slone
Subject: Re: An Islamophobiamania Cartoon and an Open Poem to the University of Southern Maine

Thank you for the poem. 

On Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:18 PM, George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com> wrote:
Yes, you might wish to pass this poem around at your next student senate meeting:

Devious Islamophobiamaniacs
And here I thought graffiti was a mere misdemeanor!  
Well, apparently it is, but misdemeanors are crimes.
Graffiti is vandalism, which constitutes criminal mischief.
So, the college student who wrote DEUS VULT on a desk 
at the University of Southern Maine, a public institution,
might be charged of committing not only a crime, 
but because the term was the rallying cry 
used by medieval Christian crusaders against Muslim invaders,
student Muslims might be offended and/or intimidated,
so the graffiti guy might be arrested and cuffed, 
and otherwise shamed and branded as a criminal hate writer.

Now, if that student had written DEUS VULT on a placard
and brandished the placard during a student senate meeting,
whose very senate president was an easily offended Muslim,
likely causing even greater offense and greater intimidation;
in theory, he could not be charged as a criminal hate writer

because brandishing a placard is not a crime in America, not yet…

G. Tod

From: USM Student Body President <muhammad.khan@maine.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 10:49 PM
To: George Slone

Subject: Re: An Islamophobiamania Cartoon and an Open Poem to the University of Southern Maine

Dear George, 

I sincerely apologize for not responding. We are certainly on vacation from the University and I have not been able to make it to the office lately mainly focusing on my job. :) Trying to work as many hours as possible. I will respond shortly. I apologize once again for not responding. 

On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 11:35 AM, George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com> wrote:
To Humza,
So, after giving me a mini-lecture on dialogue (i.e., debate), you decide to kill the dialogue?  Perhaps the reality is that you really prefer monologue.  Hopefully, you are not as easily offended as I suspect. 

G. Tod

From: George Slone
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2017 8:49 AM
To: USM Student Body President

Salut Humza,
So, that was quite a dialogue you and I had, after your mini-lecture on dialogue.  Are you, by chance, a fake?  In any event, to keep you updated, my voice was not permitted into the debate on Islam at USM.  So, you can be happy about that!  The Portland Press Herald (at least it’s not called Portland Free Press) would not permit my commentary in its pro-Islam pages.  And so Islam continues its ALLAHU VULT.  But I and others shall continue fighting against its forward push and its hatred for FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.  

Au plaisir,
G. Tod

From: George Slone
Sent: Monday, February 6, 2017 7:44 AM
To: ngallagher@pressherald.com
Subject: USM Hate Crime Incident

To Noel K. Gallagher, Portland Press Herald:
No new news on the USM hate-crime incident?  If no news occurs, then one has to suspect it might have been overinflated.  I tried to penetrate into the student newspaper bec. of the incident's educational potential regarding the First Amendment.  Sadly, the paper would not permit my comments.  The cartoon I sketched, which I assume you ignored because of lack of courage, highlighted the educational aspect and the need for vigorous debate, as opposed to cries of shut-the-conversation-down islamophobia, especially at a public university.  Alas...
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident

[No response from Gallagher.]

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