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. Comments are NOT moderated (i.e., CENSORED)!]
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 7, 2020

Robby Soave

The following cartoon was sketched in 2016.  I put it up now since it was never posted.  What got me to do that is the recent hagiography on Walter Williams written by the editor of Reason.  See after the cartoon my futile attempt at dialogue.  



To Nick Gillespie, Editor at Large, Reason magazine:  

This email will appear in the next issue of The American Dissident and will serve to hopefully make you think out of the Libertarian box, if possible.  Enough with the blind hagiographies like the one you just wrote on Williams, a lifer academic!  And how sad, Reason does not provide a little space for criticism against its editors.  Now, how can that help reason?  Well, it can't...

Notes on Hack Heroes

Conservative black professor Walter Williams died.  He is dead.  So, now the hack hero worshippers praise the corpse, as if somehow when alive it/he was perfect.  Well, he sure as hell was not!  In essence, how can someone who taught at the same college, George Mason University, for 40 years possibly be perfect?  How many times did Williams turn a blind eye, as he climbed up the academic ladder, at the likely intrinsic corruption at George Mason University, the hand that fed him so royally?  How many times?  We’ll never know, of course.  Williams was a careerist.  Career and truth do not mix well at all... especially in academe.  

In any case, below is a revealing response from Williams regarding the censorship (removal) of my comments posted on Frontpage magazine, run by the conservative David Horowitz Foundation.  Williams was a long-time contributor to it.   See the essay I wrote with that regard  (wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2016/02/michael-finch.html) and the cartoon I sketched on Williams in 2015 (wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2015/12/walter-williams-david-horowitz.html).  If one does not test the waters of democracy, then one does not really know how murky they are.  

Now, might Nick Gillespie be at all interested in the proof I present regarding Williams’ grotesque hypocrisy?  Of course not!  After all, Williams was “A popular syndicated columnist whose work appeared in over a hundred newspapers on a weekly basis, he was a long-time contributor to Reason and served as an emeritus trustee of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.”  

And that Nick is your achilles heel.  The one you will likely never examine. 

From: George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:19 AM

To: wwilliam@gmu.edu

Subject: Your concern for liberty for your fellow man...

To Walter Williams,

If you are not the person, though I believe you are, who wrote the article on Free Speech in today's FrontPage mag, then ignore this missive.  If you are, however, then you did write:  "Most people want liberty for themselves. I want more than that. I want liberty for me and liberty for my fellow man."

BUT do you really want liberty for your fellow man?  FrontPage mag censored my comment several days ago.  It censored my liberty.  I protested that act of censorship to Horowitz and Tapson, but nobody deigned to respond, proving the right-wing is also into censorship.  If you truly cared about my freedom of speech, you would stand up and send a protest letter to Horowitz.  Why not tell him he ought to follow Jonathan Turley's policy of NOT moderating (i.e., censoring) comments.  Likely, you will not do that.  And that would answer the question about your desire of liberty for your fellow man.  The email and my censored comment figure below.  You will note the absence of threats, prohibited words, etc. in it.  

From: Walter E Williams <wwilliam@gmu.edu>

Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2015 9:09 AM

To: George Slone

Subject: RE: Prof Walter Williams cartooned... 

One’s right to free speech does not impose an obligation that others to provide a forum for him.


Professor Walter E. Williams

George Mason University, Economics

4400 University Dr., MSN 3G4

Fairfax, VA  22030



And so all I managed to get from the professor (i.e., Williams) was a “cheers.”  What a jerk!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Claire Rudy Foster

Below the cartoon is the email sent by Foster in total outrage over the cartoon I drew on Chen Chen, poet of the establishment, anointed by the establishment as one of "10 Poets Who Will Change the World."  Now, how not to satirize that?!  The email of course inspired me to sketch the cartoon below.  I am well aware that in the very near future, such a cartoon will be prohibited and result in a fine or even incarceration.  And of course in that Brave New World, the Fosters will finally be happy.  


From: Foster <claire.rudy.foster@gmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:25 PM

To: todslone@hotmail.com <todslone@hotmail.com>

Subject: American Dissident


Hi Tod,

It's been brought to my attention that you disseminated a racist cartoon of a friend of mine to my friend and his colleagues at Brandeis. Apparently you are offended by my friend's presence in academia and his recent essay about universality. Your bizarre, groundless comments about "Community Chinese apparatchiks" is racist and vile. You should be ashamed of yourself for pursuing such a low and valueless line of thought. You are quick to tout your PhD, but with actions like these, one wonders how smart you really are.

Your immature little prank is not criticism, satire, or humor. You aren't funny. In addition to being in bad taste, your harassment of my friend calls your intellect into question. You are not a rebel; you represent a vast and disgusting demographic of half-baked, armchair brains who think it's "edgy" to perpetuate xenophobic and homophobic stereotypes. Punching down just to get a reaction is a cheap move: any bully can do it. If that's the only way you know how to get attention, I feel really sorry for you. Maybe if you put that energy into crafting an original thought, you'd come up with something worthwhile? 

I am glad that my friend has taken steps to protect himself. I am not a member of the academic establishment, nor do I have a reputation to preserve, so I feel fine telling you to go fuck yourself.

Go fuck yourself.



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Kevin Larimer, Amy Berkower, Elliot Figman


Louise Glück

 Editorial, Issue #40, The American Dissident

From the Press Pass to the Victim Card,

Bullshit Lies Matter, and Glückoma

The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress.

—Gary Webb, journalist who purportedly (two bullets to the head!) committed suicide


Democracy will not/cannot survive if citizens lack the courage to openly speak out critically against the reigning party-line, whatever it might be.  Poets and writers ought to be in the forefront of citizens with courage, yet they seem instead always to be in the rear.  Their careers depend on their silence, and their inability to think for themselves.

  And so, according to The New York Times in typical journalist self-congratulatory mode, “this is where journalism matters most.”  The front cover of this issue depicts one of its newly-hired hack columnists, Ben Smith, formerly editor of BuzzFeed.  Smith’s op-ed, "Journalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.," is mind-boggling in its absence of reality in the realm of the press.  Little if any substance at all is in the op-ed, just unoriginal, groupthink, kill-the-messenger accusations, devoid of any precise examples to back them (e.g., “President Trump’s abuse of power” and “conspiracist Alex Jones”).  In the op-ed, Smith notes he’d interviewed another journalist:  “I asked him if he worried about coming off as a pompous jerk.”  Well, Smith should have asked himself the same question!  The Times’ eulogy of Smith, “The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed," constitutes an instance of backslappery on steroids.     

Purging or censoring comments that one does not like has become quite common and quite indicative of the totalitarian direction of America today.   People who purge/censor/moderate are people who do not respect the cornerstones of democracy, free speech and vigorous debate.  Censoring is NOT only the modus operandi of the left, though clearly the left has been heavily engaged in the activity.  The David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think tank, for example, censored a number of my unflattering comments.  Freedom Center?  Bullshit Lies Matter!  Below is the email I sent.  There was, unsurprisingly, NO response.  

To David Horowitz Freedom Center:  So, it is evident that you prefer “freedom” as in the freedom to purge and censor, NOT as in the freedom of speech, expression, and vigorous debate.  Shame on you for censoring my comments, regarding the poem Bawer wrote praising Horowitz’ new book!  I did take screenshots, so do have the proof.  If you’d like to see it, simply contact me.  Your actions prove that censorship is NOT only a left-wing tactic.  My tip for you would be to grow a backbone and truly embrace FREEDOM, not simply as a word to manipulate into another example of Orwellian newspeak.  You might wish to examine the cartoon and my long censored comment here:  wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2020/06/bruce-bawer-and-david-horowitz.html.  Interestingly, that comment was removed the day it was posted, then reposted a day later, but then purged a second time with all of my other comments several days after that.  You certainly will NOT have my support!


On another note, bravo to Rattle for coming up with a new super-inane idea for the billion-dollar diversity machine:   

RATTLE SEEKS SUBMISSIONS by Neurodiverse Poets for the Spring 2021 issue: Poems may be any style or subject, but must have been written by those with neurological differences who identify with the idea of neurodiversity. 

Now, I wonder if well-paid Rattle editor Tim Green might consider me neurodiverse, since he evidently believes my criticism of the poetry establishment to be a “neurological” disorder of sorts—oops, one must use the pc-term “difference,” not “disorder”!  Out of the “1220+ literary magazines,” recognized by Poets & Writers magazine, Rattle is, of course, one of them.  The American Dissident is, of course, NOT one of them. 

Finally, regarding the recent Nobel Prize for Literature brouhaha, cite Henry David Thoreau, “Let your life be a counterfriction to stop the machine.”  Well, sure, Henry didn’t really follow his own advice.  But what precisely might constitute the “machine”? In the case of poetry, it is obvious. The academic/literary establishment is that “machine.”  Below is the front cover of Issue #10, featuring Louise Glück, a ladder-climbing, academic careerist, something I sincerely believe poets should NOT be. Glück has lots of “credentials” (i.e., ladder rungs), including Poet Laureate of the US Congress (2003-4), a hug and National Humanities Medal from Obama, English professor at Yale, and this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.  To obtain such credentials, professional ladder climbers inevitably learn to obey the prime taboo of upward runging:  thou shalt keep your mouth shut and not criticize those on higher rungs.  Glück did not respond to the front cover, which I’d sent to her. 

The following Glück comments are direct quotes taken from Alexandra Alter’s New York Times hagiographic interview, “‘I Was Unprepared’: Louise Glück on Poetry, Aging and a Surprise Nobel Prize."  For a critical essay on Alter, see “The Hillary Poets and the Hillary Resistance.” The Nobel Prize, unsurprisingly, is only awarded to poets of the “machine,” certainly not to poets critical of the “machine.”  The Nobel judges, who are perhaps not so noble, declared Glück to be an “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Now, what does that even mean?  Ah, it’s poetry, stupid!  It doesn’t have to mean a damn thing.  Another critic, uh, publicist, Ron Charles, proclaimed Glück to be “one of the most celebrated poets in America,”  a clear indication of innocuousness.


Louise Glück: I’m a very sociable person. The fact that I dislike interviews doesn’t mean I’m a recluse.  BLM#1

The Editor: Well, why don’t you stop doing interviews then?! 

LG:  Completely flabbergasted that they [i.e., the Nobel judges] would choose a white American lyric poet. It doesn’t make sense.  BLM#2

The Editor:  Well, why don’t you make it make sense by rejecting the Nobel like Sartre had done and demand a black lyric poet be given the prize instead of you?  Ah, but you won’t do that! 

LG:  People keep telling me how humble I am. I’m not humble. But I thought, I come from a country that is not thought fondly of now, and I’m white, and we’ve had all the prizes.  BLM#3

The Editor:  So, you don’t think fondly of America.  Others don’t think fondly of America.  Why then are so many humans crashing the borders to get into America?  I’m white and haven’t received any of the prizes!  Yet plenty of blacks have gotten many of the prizes!  

LG:  I’ve been working on a book for about four years that tormented me. Then in late July and August, I unexpectedly wrote some new poems, and suddenly saw how I could shape this manuscript and finish it. It was a miracle. The usual feelings of euphoria and relief were compromised by Covid, because I had to do battle with my daily terror and the necessary limitations on my daily life.  BLM#4

The Editor:  Tormented?  Daily terror?  White privilege! 

LG:  I think I am fascinated by syntax and always felt its power, and the poems that moved me most greatly were not the most verbally opulent. They were the poets like Blake and Milton, whose syntax was astonishing, the way emphasis would be deployed.  BLM#5

The Editor:  Syntax, eh?  No wonder poetry doesn’t matter!  George Orwell hit the bulls-eye when he wrote:  “In cultured circles art for artsaking extended practically to a worship of the meaningless.  Literature was to consist solely of the manipulation of words.  To judge a book by its subject matter was the unforgiveable sin and even to be aware of its subject matter was looked on as a lapse of taste.”
LG:  My students amaze me; they dazzle me.  BLM#6

The Editor: Well, maybe that’s because they think just like you and, like you, dare not question and challenge the literary establishment, wonder who the faceless Pulitzer Prize judges are, what their literary biases might be, and why they’d give you, an academic poet who is quite financially comfortable in a job-secure position, over one million dollars.  

Adrienne Rich

 The following cartoon was sketched in 2010.  


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Chen Chen


Chen is a master of the fine art of THE BRILLIANCE OF GIBBERISH, as featured in the above cartoon sketched in 2018.  In the latest P$W mag, Chen is again featured.  I've cartooned so many career poets like him/her over the past few decades that I'd forgotten I'd already cartooned him.  Thus, I did a search and bingo, there (here) he/she was.  Since there are so many, many INANE/INNOCUOUS POETASTERS featured in P&W, I try not to sketch the same one twice.  Chen tempted me, but I resisted.  For Chen's endless identity politics hate-whitey tirade, see https://www.pw.org/content/craft_capsule_against_universality_in_praise_of_anger.  #29 is a good example:  "I’d like white writers to get angrier. Why did so few of my white grad school classmates speak out? Some of my Asian American peers could get angrier too. About racism. About who still gets left out of Asian American spaces. About anti-Blackness in Asian America."  

Now, why doesn't Chen Chen express a little anger at all the hands feeding his/her dainty fingers, including P$W, Academy of American Poets, and Brandeis University?  He/she is poet-in-residence at the latter.  So, why doesn't he/she do that?  The answer is simple:  Chen Chen is a flaming hypocrite in pants or skirt!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Stephane Despatie Exit Revue de poesie



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Michael A. Giaquinto

The other cartoon on the museum is posted here:  https://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2012/09/hrant-r-russian.html


Unsurprisingly, no response was ever received from Giaquinto...


From: George Slone

Sent: Monday, February 17, 2020 8:55 AM

To: exhibit@ccmoa.org <exhibit@ccmoa.org>; cmfadirector@ccmoa.org <cmfadirector@ccmoa.org>; education@ccmoa.org <education@ccmoa.org>; hrussian@comcast.net <hrussian@comcast.net>

Cc: Christopher Busa <cbusa@comcast.net>

Subject: Giaquinto satirized in a new P. Maudit cartoon


To Michael A. Giaquinto, Exhibitions Curator, Cape Cod Museum of Art:  

Surprise!  No response at all from you regarding my December 14th art-exhibit proposal (see below).  In any case, attached is a cartoon I sketched on you yesterday.  It incarnates your Achilles heel.  Examine it, that is, if you seek to improve, as opposed to remaining in your Chamber-of-Commerce safe space of "acceptable" art.  Likely, I will eventually include the cartoon and exhibit proposal in a flyer, which I shall distribute in front of your museum as a cogent example of CAPE COD CENSORSHIP.  The curators of art on Cape Cod are truly shameful in their utter inability to deal with rare criticism that comes their way.  They are censors and against the very FREEDOM OF ART!


G. Tod Slone (PhD—Université de Nantes, FR), aka P. Maudit, Radioactive Dissident, Founding Editor (1998)
The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence
217 Commerce Rd.
Barnstable, MA 02630

An Art Exhibit Proposal:  FREEDOM OF ART vs. THE HANDS THAT FEED

To criticize the hands that feed, or potentially can feed, constitutes the prime taboo of artists (and poets and writers) today, one that most of them cannot even contemplate as a possibility.  Might that incapacity implicate clear cooptation and castration?  Probably.  

As an artist, I’d like to see the art/academic/literary  establishment open its hermetically-sealed doors to art (and poetry and writing) that dares to criticize it, including its multitude of organizations, cultural apparatchiks, and icons.  

In vain, I have tried prying open those doors one the past several decades, but have almost always encountered the same reaction, one of silence, ad hominem, and/or outright absurdity, as in, for example:   

—“go away troll” (dyke poet Eileen Myles)

—“Your idea of criticism, from the shrillness of your rants, excludes any sense of illumination. Please do not contact me again.” (Chris Busa, Ed., Provincetown Arts)

—“Please feel free to criticise Quillette and myself in any forum you see fit. However please refrain from submitting to us in the future.” (Claire Lehmann, Ed., Quillette, “a platform for free thought”

Art publishers, art editors, art museum curators, and artists truly do tend to possess extremely thin skin.  I have knocked on the doors of both local and national establishments, including Cape Cod Art, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Cape Cod Art Center, Provincetown Arts, Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown, Mid-Cape Cultural Council, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, the NEA, ALA, PEN New England, and on and on.   Sturgis library was the only door that opened and allowed me in September 2011 to exhibit some of my establishment-critical “work.”  Sadly, nine months later, its director, Lucy Loomis, permanently banned me without warning or due process, five days after I’d posted an open letter critical of its hypocrisy, in particular, with regards to its collection development statement: “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Loomis rejected a free subscription offer to the nonprofit magazine I publish.  In fact, not one library on Cape Cod will subscribe to it, whereas  Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYPublic Library, Newton Free Public Library, and a handful of others subscribe.  

Today, my civil rights are being denied because I cannot attend any cultural or political events held at my neighborhood library.  Nobody on Cape gives a damn about that, not even the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. 

In any event, I would like to exhibit critical cartoons and critical aquarelles, especially regarding the local art and literary establishment, including the two cartoons I sketched on the Cape Cod Museum of Art. 


Friday, October 16, 2020

HR 569

Below is the front cover and editorial for Issue #31 (2016), which I decided to publish in an effort, likely futile, to somehow help convince Tricia Somers that the assaults on free speech are far more from the left, than from the right.  Seated on the Democrat donkey is the one of the bill's Sponsors,  Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. [D-VA-8].  On the left is Ibrahim Hooper, Communications Director, CAIR, then on the right is Nihad Awad, Exec Director, CAIR and Roula Allouch, National Board Chair, CAIR.


Political correctness dead-bolts the mind and rigs an alarm system that demonizes any challenge to orthodoxy…  [It] divides society into an oppressor class and a victim class, and elevates group rights over individual rights. In this view, individuals have only the distinction of drops of water in a clear pond… Politically correct superstition is now dominant, a veritable jihad of junkthought, and increasingly deployed by government.

—Lloyd Billingsley

Absolut Conformity 
From The Age of Reason to The Age of Multiculti
Assaults on Freedom of Expression

Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.  

—Omar Ahad, co-founder of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)


Without freedom of speech and expression, art and poetry inevitably become safe and innocuous… for the pillars of society.  As PC continues its conquest of the American mind, art and poetry continue on their way to becoming mere state-friendly ornamentation.  Poet laureates ineluctably illustrate the point.

     America seems to have become the last bastion of freedom of speech in the West.  Canada and the EU possess so-called hate-speech laws, whereas the US does not yet possess such laws, though it is clearly heading in that direction, as noted by Robert Spencer:  “We already have hate crimes in the United States.  […] The difference between a crime and a hate crime.  Well, it is speech.  And so we already have hate speech in the United States.”  

     The front cover of this issue of The AD was created as a result of HR 569, a bill that seeks to be the first hate-speech or anti-blasphemy law in America.  It clearly contravenes the First Amendment.  Over 82 Democrat congressmen are co-sponsors of it.  Only Democrats have signed on to it.  That alone ought to make a freedom-loving individual turn against the Democrat Party. A PC-groupthinker, however, would likely proclaim all Republicans racists and islamophobes, since not one Republican has yet been willing to co-sponsor the bill, which in itself is surprising considering the mass of Islamic Muslim Brotherhood money and influence pouring into both sides of the aisle.  

   Pope Francis would have people believe that an 11th Commandment exists:  Thou shalt not criticize religion! But religion tends to be anti-reason, anti-fact, and, in some cases like Islam, outright anti-freedom of speech and expression. How can a thinking individual not protest against attempts like HR 569 to limit the basic human right of freedom of speech and expression? Shamefully, President Obama and Hillary have been on the wrong side of this issue, as manifested by their collusion with the UN and its Resolution 16/18 (the Istanbul Process).  Shamefully, Trump has also been on the wrong side of this issue. Recall that he’d blamed Pamela Geller for the jihad attack on her free speech Muhammad cartoon event in Garland, TX.  Well, he’s gotten a taste of his own medicine: the media has largely blamed his speech for violence at his rallies. Thankfully, HR 569 is likely not going to be adopted. 

On another freedom note, bravo to artist Milo Moiré (see photo on p.4), who protested alone the day after the mass sex assaults in Köln at Domplatte square in Deutschland.  She stood naked, holding a sign for 20 minutes in 39 degree weather:  „Respektiert uns! Wir sind kein Freiwild, selbst wenn wir nackt sind!“ [Respect us!  We are not free game, even when we stand naked!]  Sadly, her protest will likely not convince the New Year’s Eve rapists—most, if not all, of whom were Muslim—to stop raping.  Multiculti feminists of the far left seem aberrently silent on Islam and its culture of rape.  They did not even come out from their comfy dwellings to back Milo.    

Yet on another freedom note, the following exchange (see video here: https://youtu.be/QFM6kLiUO14) between a young preacher named Joshua and an unnamed black cop took place in front of the University of Texas at Austin. It serves as an excellent example of the perhaps widespread, pitiful ignorance of the police with regards First Amendment citizen rights. It illustrates the gulf between de jura and de facto rights.  In essence, sure you have the right, but sure a cop will arrest you anyhow, put you in jail, and collect time and a half pay to watch you in court.  Yeah, that happened to me a decade ago in Concord, home of Thoreau and Emerson.  Hmm.

Intern: Um, does freedom of speech protect offensive speech?

Officer: Does freedom of speech do what?

Intern: Uh, protect offensive speech?

Officer: It doesn’t matter, freedom of speech. Someone was offended, that’s against the law. I- I don’t wanna argue with you—it’s against the law…

Intern: I’m sorry, can you say that again, it’s against the law to offend somebody?

Officer: Yes.  

    Finally, imagine being brought to court and fined for writing this—or anything else for that matter—on Facebook:  “…The ideology of Islam is every bit as loathsome, nauseating, oppressive and dehumanizing as Nazism. The massive immigration of Islamists into Denmark is the most devastating event Danish society has suffered in recent historical times.”  Flemming Nielsen was fined 1600 kroner for those words. Blasphemy is a crime in Denmark, even if the blasphemy is entirely factual and reasonable. Those depicted on the front cover of The AD want it to be a crime in America too. The Ages of Reason and Enlightenment are ever yielding to the Age of Multiculti.

I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans.  To be sure, there are some kinds of speech that are unprotected by the First Amendment. But those narrow exceptions have nothing to do with “hate speech” in any conventionally used sense of the term. For instance, there is an exception for “fighting words” — face-to-face personal insults addressed to a specific person, of the sort that are likely to start an immediate fight. But this exception isn’t limited to racial or religious insults, nor does it cover all racially or religiously offensive statements.

                    —Eugene Volokh, Constitutional scholar


Monday, September 28, 2020

Banned Books Week… And Prohibited Thoughts with Its Regard

Banned Books Week… 

And Prohibited Thoughts with Its Regard

Words words words

—Léo Ferré 

Experience—real, personal experience—helps profoundly in the perception of reality.  In the absence of such experience, one will likely end up perceiving and presenting a faux-reality.  Try testing the waters of democracy at your local library in an effort to grasp its reality, as opposed to the likely virtue-signaling un-reality, of its library director and library trustees!   In 2012, as an example of reality, I was permanently banned without warning or due process from my neighborhood library in Massachusetts.  No document was presented to me as to the reason for the banning.  The State Secretary of Records had to force the library to open its records to public scrutiny so that I could discover what precisely was written about the banning (see sturgisbansdissident.blogspot.com).  All I could find was an informal email from the director to the president of the library trustees, noting “for the safety of the staff and public.”  Yet I have no criminal record of violence.  What I’d done one week prior to the banning (no mention whatsoever of it in the library records!) was distribute an open letter to the library directors in the particular system (Clams Library System of Cape Cod), pointing out the hypocrisy of their own collection development statement, in particular, that “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Rejecting a free subscription to the journal I publish and permanently banning me and my points of view certainly back the accusation.  For actual documents et al, see theamericandissident.org/orgs/sturgis_library.html.  The question comes to mind:  how many others have been banned due to their ideas from their neighborhood libraries?  Where might one find such information?  Well, I have no idea if such information is even recorded! 

Needless to say, Andie Bulman’s CBC article, "Banning a book: Why the freedom to read can't be taken for granted," definitely grabbed my attention!  Was there anything at all critical in it?  Not really!  In the article, Bulman cites Bonnie Morgan, librarian and collections manager with the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries:  “I see such efforts [to ban] coming more from a place of fear and control than morality.”  Yes… but those efforts also come from library directors, not simply from patrons, though Morgan and Bulman, do not mention that at all.  Bulman notes, “While the Newfoundland and Labrador public library system rarely has books challenged, it was a regular occurrence when denominational school boards existed.”  But there is certainly more to it than “challenged.”  What happens when library directors simply decide not to purchase certain books or periodical subscriptions?  Where might one find that information?  Who might even raise that as a reality?   Shouldn’t such occurrences also form part of Banned Books (And Periodicals) Week?  Yet sponsors of the Week, who I’ve contacted, including the American Library Association, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and National Coalition against Censorship, did not care about that at all!  The ALA’s American Libraries Magazine would not even publish a brief account of my banning.  In general, the response has been one of non-response. 

Bulman notes, “The public libraries of Newfoundland and Labrador are committed to protecting the freedom of readers and writers. The provincial library board even formalized that commitment by endorsing the International Federation of Library Associations Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom as part of the libraries' collections policy.”  Yet inevitably, due to the personal sensitivities of librarian directors, a definite divide between those words and reality exists.  Morgan states that “We take each complaint seriously while considering our commitment to intellectual freedom.”  How not to cite Léo Ferré, “words words words.”  Not one library director has yet manifested any commitment whatsoever to my intellectual freedom!  With that regard, examine the revealing dialogue de sourds I had with the director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (see wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2017/04/james-larue.html).  Well, at least he actually responded.  The current director refuses to respond.  

Morgan states, "Maybe someone else has a different take on a book you personally disliked or found disturbing and can open your eyes and mind to seeing it in a different way. Don't be afraid to ask the question, 'read any good books lately?' A new more diverse world of ideas and experiences can open up for you.”  What Morgan fails to state and what Bulman fails to question, however, is the problem of library directors, who do not de facto follow their own collection development statements.  Where might one find criticism of such directors?  Certainly not from Morgan or Bulman or library magazines like American Libraries Magazine or Library Journal.  How about Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research?  Well, in vain, I searched through a number of its article titles. 

Bulman states, “My thesis may have been wordy, but the idea rings true.  Here it is: Libraries are great equalizers. They function as public places where anyone can access information or entertainment no matter their social or economic status.”  Well, I cannot access information at my public library!  How many others cannot access information at their public libraries?  And what information is NOT accessible at those libraries, thanks to their gatekeeper library directors?  These are questions that ought to be addressed, but simply are not.  Library directors, like it or not, are indeed gatekeepers of information, allowing some information to enter, while preventing other information from entering.   

Bulman concludes, “Finally, celebrate Banned Books Week by remembering that libraries being threatened, books being taxed and works being challenged or banned are all movements that have a harmful impact our collective access to information.”  Well, perhaps Banned Books Week ought to open its doors to more than library director (and free-speech advocate) virtue-signaling… and actually include criticism regarding library directors, who themselves reject/ban books and periodicals.  And what about library patrons being threatened?  

Over the years, I have “knocked” on many library doors in an effort to get library directors to subscribe to the journal I publish.  My attempts were largely futile.  In vain, for example, I tried to get St. John’s and Charlottetown (PEI) libraries to subscribe.  In the States, one library banned me for six months because I had somehow disturbed its reference librarian by evoking library hypocrisy (see theamericandissident.org/orgs/watertown_free_public_library.html).  Another library had decided to subscribe, but then suddenly ceased to respond (see theamericandissident.org/orgs/mashpee_public_library.html).  Of course, one serious problem exists regarding the journal I publish:  it actually encourages criticism regarding libraries and librarians!  Where else might one find such criticism?  It is as if somehow, libraries and their directors are above criticism.  Today, I have essentially given up trying to expand my small list of library subscribers.  For me Banned Books Week will always be a farce, certainly not something to celebrate, especially when I see its poster hanging up outside my neighborhood library.  

Friday, September 4, 2020

Charlie Hebdo

Below is the front cover for issue #29 (2015).  


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Randi Weingarten


The following cartoon was sketched in 2015.

From: George Slone
Sent: Tuesday, September 1, 2020 9:28 AM
To: rweingar@aft.org <rweingar@aft.org>
Subject: Weingarten satirized in a P. Maudit cartoon

To Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers:   
Apparently I didn't send you the cartoon satire I drew on you in 2015 (see attached).  Perhaps you'd like to share it with your teacher colleagues, since you are supposed to be a proponent of debate.  Yes, I am currently writing a counter essay regarding "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate," of which you are a signatory.  The cartoon will be part of that essay.  If something in the cartoon is not on target, please do inform me.  Thank you for your attention.

G. Tod Slone, PhD (Université de Nantes, FR), aka P. Maudit,

Founding Editor (1998)

The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence




217 Commerce Rd.

Barnstable, MA 02630

Monday, August 31, 2020

Wendy Kaminer

The cartoon below was sketched in 2009.

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: wendykaminer@aol.com
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 20:10:44 -0400

To Wendy Kaminer,
Your book, Worst Instincts, was truly a great read. I do quote you now and then. In fact, I even recently sketched a cartoon on you and the CEO of the ACLU. It is posted on my blog. Thank you for that inspiration.

On another note, perhaps you ought to be aware of what goes on under your very nose on Cape Cod. For one thing, Truro Library and the rest of the libraries in the Clams Library System of Cape Cod have essentially banned The American Dissident from the system. In fact, in a last ditch effort to get just one of the libraries to subscribe ($20/year), I sent a letter to about 25 library directors of the system, including Truro's. Only one director responded a week later, though not in writing. Lucy Loomis, director of Sturgis Library, had no less than three cops enter the library to escort me out of the library. I was quietly working on my laptop per usual. I have never caused a ruckus or threatened anyone at the library. Loomis announced that she was PERMANENTLY trespassing me from the library because I'd been critical of it and made her "feel uncomfortable". She refused to hand me a written document, arguing her decree was verbal. Ellie Claus, president of the Barnstable County libraries, refused to accord me due process, despite my request. A year and half earlier, Loomis had prohibited me from leaving my critical flyers on library premises and from talking about that with staff. I obeyed. In fact, she even refused a free subscription offer. The ACLUM will not take my case, though it did say it spoke with the library. It would not tell me what was said. So now I am forced to pay taxes to help support a library that has permanently banned me. That really makes me feel quite uncomfortable. Yes, Loomis had told the cops that I'd made her "feel uncomfortable."

This whole incident was really surprising to me, even though several years ago Watertown Free Public Library had trespassed me for three months w/o due process. I had asked a rather surly reference librarian if she'd consider subscribing. In fact, I've only been to that library once in my entire life. Yet the cops told me the ref librarian had said I'd been a problem on other days too.

I do hope you might respond.


G. Tod Slone, PhD and Founding Editor (1998)

The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence




217 Commerce Rd.

Barnstable, MA 02630 

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: wendykaminer@aol.com
Subject: RE: No response from you at all
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2012 09:28:59 -0400

No response at all from you! Should I be surprised that you don't give a damn about what happens on Cape Cod vis-a-vis free speech? Probably not.
G. Tod Slone