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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Gary Trudeau


The cartoon below was sketched in early 2015.  A recent article, "The Comic Strip’s Heyday in ‘Cartoon County," written in the New York Times by hack cartoonist Gary Trudeau, provoked the posting.  For me Trudeau is famous not for his Doonesbury inanity comicstrip, but rather for his apologizing for the Muslim murderers of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015, which is why Long Island University ought to be ashamed for giving him an award.  According to Trudeau, "Newspaper comics are regarded as a kind of public utility—a reliable, 365-days-a-year source of light entertainment."  So, we have cooptation of poetry... and we also have cooptation of comics.  Bravo to the facilitators like Trudeau...
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Monday, December 18, 2017

Todd Moore

Here's a cartoon I sketched way back in 2003.  Oops!  I misspelled PROCLAIMED.  That means the target can now focus on that little error and ignore the entire message presented in the cartoon.  Ainsi soit-il.  Anyhow, perhaps the only thing nuttier than Todd Moore's Outlaw Poetry is Poets and Writers magazine "Ten Poets Who Will Change the World."  Oh, yeah, poets gonna change the world!  Sounds like John Lennon's "Imagine" bullshit.   Have the editors been taking too much LSD?  Or do they really believe the nonsense they write?  It’s a tough call, but I’m really tempted to believe the latter...

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Patricia McGuire

Editorial--Issue #34


Torn in Two
Firewalls that once strictly separated news from opinion have been replaced by hopelessly blurred lines. Once-forbidden practices such as editorializing within straight news reports, and the inclusion of opinions as if fact, are not only tolerated; they’re encouraged. […] I’m commonly asked, “Can ‘the news’ be fixed?” In simple terms, there are two components necessary to do so: We must correctly identify (and admit) our problem, and then take steps to correct it. We have yet, as an industry, to take step one.
—Sharyl Attkisson

Journalist ideologues do not like the First Amendment because it permits those outside of their ideological cocoon to openly question and challenge the absence of reason and fact normally inherent in ideology.  Authoritarians hate the First Amendment because it permits criticism. The ploy of journalist ideologues now seems to be to dismiss free-speech activists as haters and white-nationalist racists. It is mind-boggling, childishly simplistic, and downright stupid to bellow HATE, HATE, HATE, though in a far too often successful effort to KILL DEBATE.  Too much following!  Too much groupthink!  WANTED:  Individual free-speech activists!!!
    Fascists today in America seem content bellowing:  Hate! Hate! HATE! Racist! Racist! RACIST! Islamophobe! Islamophobe! ISLAMOPHOBE!  Nazi! Nazi! NAZI!  Yet such ad hominem is not a counter-argument and contradicts democracy’s cornerstone, vigorous debate.  Boston Globe Assoc. Editor and Columnist Renee Graham joyously and mind-bogglingly declares, in evident absolute lack of any semblance of journalistic objectivity, let alone integrity: “‘Free speech’ activists, greatly outnumbered, found no purchase here for their thinly-veiled hate.”  The title of her essay, “Trump Is White Supremacists’ Leader,” might lead an individual thinker into arguing therefore “Obama Is Black Supremacists’ Leader.” But double standards prevail and annihilate such a logical counter-statement.  On the nation’s college campuses, chanting choruses of children condemn free speech and vigorous debate.
       We live in darker and darker times. “Liberalism is white supremacy!” bellowed BLM protesters at William & Mary College and prevented, via the heckler’s veto, Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, from speaking. In other words, for those successful fascist protesters, freedom of speech, a core tenet of liberalism, must be eliminated. It has gotten to the point where one cannot express an alt-opinion without getting moderated (i.e., censored) into oblivion, as if one didn’t even exist. InsideHigherEd.com recently did that with several of my alt-opinions, which therefore inspired this issue’s front cover. For the censored alt-opinions, see wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2017/08/doug-lederman-and-scott-jaschik.html and wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2017/08/scott-jaschik-and-doug-lederman.html.  Both IHE editors, Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman, incarnate the shame of academe today. College president Patricia McGuire, also depicted on the cover, responded in full approval of the censorship of my response to her article, which I’d sent to her.  
     On another note, Poets & Writers magazine offers “Writing Prompts” in each issue. So, if you want a prompt for The AD, check out P&W’s website and write something critical, critical, critical on any of the amazingly inane featured articles, including “Writing Prompts” like the following:    
Last month, Crayola announced the retirement of one of their yellow crayon colors, Dandelion, which will soon be replaced by a blue crayon. Since Binney & Smith first began producing Crayola crayons in 1903, many colors have been cycled in and out. Some colors have remained the same shade but changed names over the years, such as Peach, which was previously named Flesh Tint, Flesh, and Pink Beige. Read more about the history of Crayola crayon colors, and write a poem inspired by some of the names you find most evocative, perhaps finding thematic potential in how the types of names have evolved over the years.
    Yes, let’s all write poems inspired by crayon colors! You cannot make this shit up, as the saying goes. Now, here’s an unabashedly racist, sexist and even ageist zine, though with the seal of approval of ideology (i.e., identity politics).  And, of course, if you’ve been sufficiently brain-washed (i.e., multiculti/diversity-indoctrinated), you will be compelled to disagree with my observation.  
Quillsedge Press is accepting submissions for our “50 over 50” anthology through September 22. Women poets over the age of 50 are eligible to submit. Translations welcome if the original poet is also a woman at least 50 years old. Discounted fees for women of color. For full guidelines, visit www.quillsedgepress.org.
    Now, how about submissions from men over 50 and discounts for white men?  Ideology with its inevitable double standards always trumps reason in our brave new world… Quillsedge ain’t the only anything-but-the-rude-truth mag out there.  In fact, they all seem to be thus. Here’s a few of the more inane amongst them, as listed in Poets & Writers:  
—Coffee Poetry Anthology edited by Lorraine Healy, published by World Enough Writers (imprint of Concrete Wolf). Send us poems that involve coffee in some fashion. 
—We need poems, short fiction, and creative nonfiction to fill an upcoming anthology with the theme “Tattoos.” Sponsored by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. 
Common Ground Review is looking for wave-themed poetry for our 2018 Spring/Summer issue: New wave, sine waves, radio waves, tidal waves, hand waves, any wave function—surprise us! 
     Finally, since poets love to deify poetry and themselves, they ought to stand up—not in groupthink pussy-hatted clusters—but as individuals and speak truth to power, especially where it might actually be a wee bit risky for their lit careers.  Think of Villon, who spoke truth to the ruling theocrats of Paris in the 1400s and ended up in a medieval hole in the ground (“En fosse giz, non pas soubz houz ne may”), then forever exiled. Poets who don’t want to make waves will come up with all kinds of lame excuses and seek to belittle the rare ones who do, as in sour grapes, tired trope, full of himself or whatever…  


Monday, December 4, 2017

Dr. Ted Thornhill

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Below is the brief correspondence RE the cartoon.  Thornhill of course did not respond.  

From: George Slone
Sent: Friday, December 1, 2017 10:17 AM
To: editorinchief@eaglenews.org; news@eaglenews.org; opinion@eaglenews.org
Cc: tthornhill@fgcu.edu
Subject: Thornhill lampooned

To Ed.-in-Chief Zack Rothman, News Ed. Alexandra Figares, and Op-Ed. Bruno Halpern, Eagle News, Florida Gulf Coast University 
Well, vigorous debate is a good thing!  Hopefully, you might publish the attached cartoon I just sketched on one of your professors… or is the “White Racism” issue now hermetically closed at FGCU?  Please do let me know of your decision.  Thanks! 



From: Zack Rothman
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 11:35 AM
To: George Slone
Subject: Re: Thornhill lampooned

Hello George,
Unfortunately, since we're a student newspaper and are only able to publish student work, we won't be able to use your cartoon. However, we do accept letters to the editor from non-students. You're more than welcome to submit one.
Best,
Zack Rothman


From: George Slone
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 4:09 PM
To: Zack Rothman
Subject: Re: Thornhill lampooned
 
Hi Zack,
Thanks for the response!  I just posted the cartoon here: http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2017/12/dr-ted-thornhill.html
Feel free to share it.  Someone besides me ought to shake Thornhill up a bit and bring his attention to the privilege and cocoon status of his position!  Alas...
G. Tod