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

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Cape Cod Poetry Review

The following is the correspondence I had with the editor of Cape Cod Poetry Review in 2013.  Note how utterly apathetic poet/editor Bonanni is to the truncation of the freedom of expression of a fellow poet/editor (me!).  Sadly, most poets today are of the Bonanni establishment-cog ilk:  fully coopted, castrated, and corralled.  I post this correspondence now because I just learned that the new editor of the ReviewCorey Farrenkopfis, is also the Assistant Director at Sturgis Library, which permanently banned me in 2012 (see theamericandissident.org/orgs/sturgis_library.html.  Might he be concerned?  Well, I shall find out!  


From: todslone@hotmail.com

To: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com

Subject: Censorship at Sturgis Library et al...

Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 15:36:34 -0400

To John Bonanni, Editor-in-Chief, Cape Cod Poetry Review:

Yesterday, I bumped into your site accidentally… didn’t know you even existed here on the Cape.  Anyhow, I’d like to accord you the opportunity to respond, prior to satirizing you and your new review.  Director Lucy Loomis of the publicly-funded Sturgis Library, permanently trespassed and censored and otherwise banned me and my ideas and poetry without warning or possibility of due process in June 2012.  What had I done?  Well, I criticized in writing the hypocrisy of her adopted library policy that stipulates libraries should be open to all points of view and fight censorship.  The permanent trespass order clearly underscores that egregious hypocrisy.  In fact, the very photo of you posing in front of your cardboard FanGirl CENSORED sign also underscores that hypocrisy.  What ever is in the mind of a little Caesar like Loomis is beyond my comprehension.  Celebrate Banned Books Week, while banning books.  Yes.  Nice.  Only a little Caesar could do that!  

Your non-response would further underscore that hypocrisy… and the great taboo in poetry:  thou shalt not criticize the hands that feed poets.  My very civil rights are being denied by Loomis because I, a local poet, would have been arrested if I’d attended your poetry workshop this past summer… or any other cultural and political event held at Sturgis.  How can you, a poet, possibly accept such a thing?  (Hopefully, you cannot.)  To date, not one person on Cape Cod has been willing to stand up for Freedom of Expression on Cape Cod.  The Cape Cod Times and Barnstable Patriot both refuse to even report on the incident (Loomis had no less than three armed police officers to escort me out of the library without even first informing me of her intention.  Yes, there I was quietly sitting alone in a room working on my laptop!  Yes, a dangerous criminal in the library!).

The directors of the Mid-Cape Cultural Council and Clams Library System of Cape Cod will not respond.  Only the student editor of The Main Sheet (CCCC) responded and published my letter to the editor, though regarding the treatment I received when standing in Wilkens Library holding a sign CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS.  The local English instructors at CCCC will not respond, nor will the local political hacks and town council members.  My assumption is that you, as a local poet, will not give a damn either, whether or not you even respond.  But, as mentioned, I’d like to at least give you the opportunity prior to finalizing my conclusion.  If you do give a damn, you would be doing what 99% of poets would never do:  bite the hands that feed.  If you want to climb the poesy ladder, then you too will not give a damn.  

Finally, of course, I’d love to get published in your new magazine, BUT I would never, never, never unlike 99% of poets, suppress truth and submit the innocuous in that effort.  How can you possibly justify carrying around your cardboard FanGirl CENSORED and not fight against censorship?  That too would be beyond my comprehension.  Hope to hear from you!  


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: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com

Subject: Arts Foundation of Cape Cod

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 11:11:51 -0400

PS:  I really have my doubts about your responding.  No matter.  You incite thought, malgre toi.  


Notes from a Poet Non Grata

What do public-money granting machines like the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Mid-Cape Cultural Council do to art and writing?  They create restrictive taboos, enforce vague rules of propriety, stifle critics and criticism, vital to intellectual growth and improvement, and generally feed, grow, and proliferate innocuous, safe art and writing, friendly to the intellectual established order of corruption and business as usual.  


Now for the cartoon.  I shall contemplate it a bit further.  But you've already helped with that FanGirl CENSORED.  Attached is a watercolor I did on the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod a year or two ago, which I sent to the diverse parties depicted in it.  Was there a response?  Certainly not!  The question remains:  Is the watercolor NOT an example of art?  And what does the suppression of such critical art do to the art scene on Cape Cod? 

G. Tod

Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 19:34:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Censorship at Sturgis Library et al...
From: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com
To: todslone@hotmail.com

Hi George,

Fan Girl Poems was a small chapbook of student work created at a workshop at Sturgis Library this summer. The illustration of the streaking cartoon character with CENSORED written across his genitals was done by one of my students as a joke. I didn't tell her to write CENSORED, she just drew it while we were workshopping some pieces. It was funny. We were all able to laugh at it. I'm sorry you weren't able to attend, but if it makes you feel any better, the workshop was designed specifically for teens.

In terms of what you've sent us, we're in the stages of designing a new issue, but our submission period has been closed since last May, until we can get this one edited and to the printer. I think your political cartoons are really strong. If you have more, feel free to send along, and maybe we can use one in a future issue.

It appears you take nonresponse as a personal attack. To be honest, George, a lot of us are busy and your emails come across as rants. Perhaps if you organized your arguments and made your grievances more fact-related, and by extension, more succinct, you might have better success. I can see you take issue with the Sturgis Library, but my experience has been that Lucy Loomis has been very kind to me, and has even encouraged edgier work for display at the library. I feel like she may have even hung your watercolors at one point? If she didn't choose to carry some of your work, I wouldn't get too discouraged. I've had libraries that didn't want to purchase our lit journal either. I didn't view it as censorship, I viewed it as financial and/or overstock issues.

Hope that clarifies some things for you. The response has taken awhile because I run a poetry journal, I go to graduate school, and I have a full-time job teaching children with emotional, behavioral and developmental difficulties--not as any personal attack on your issues or character, George, though it's always good to see sensitive artists on the Cape.

Best wishes,
John Bonanni

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 09:30:58 -0500

To John Bonanni,

How easy for you to dismiss censorship, viewpoint discrimination, and permanent banning on Cape Cod!  Bravo! 
Allow me, just the same, to simplify what happened, since you apparently had great difficulty comprehending:   I, a Cape Cod poet, was permanently trespassed from Sturgis Library without warning or due process because of written criticism regarding librarian hypocrisy.  

Now, was that really too long for a graduate student like you to grasp?  Was it really a “rant” or a simple FACT?  Please respond!

My civil rights are being denied today because I am not permitted to attend any political or cultural events held at my neighborhood library.  

Now, was that really too complicated for you to understand?  Is that “rant” or FACT?  Please respond!  

Written library policy stipulates:  “Libraries should challenge censorship […]” and “should provide materials and information presenting all points of view”.  

Now, how does permanently eliminating my point of view fit that library policy?  Is that also too complex for you to fathom?  Is that why you have a need to dismiss it as RANT?  Or is the need really coming from intrinsic cowardice, where TRUTH must be subverted to protect the frail ego?

Whether or not Loomis was “very kind” to you and “encouraged edgier work,” implying that your work was even too lame for her, is immaterial vis-a-vis the above FACTS.  Your twisted, diversionary reasoning is akin to that used by a would-be apologist for a Hitler or a Stalin.  “Well, Adolf was ‘very kind’ to me and even ‘encouraged edgier work.’  Ergo, even if he had your family incinerated, he’s still a cool guy.”  If you cannot comprehend that, you do not belong in graduate school.  Period.  

Not one library in the Clams Library System will subscribe to The American Dissident.  That is a FACT, not RANT, and has nothing to do with “financial and/or overstock issues.”  It has everything to do with viewpoint discrimination, a form of censorship, like it or not.  Now, how many libraries in the system are going to subscribe to your journal?  

What have your grad school professors been teaching you?  How to be indifferent to civil rights and the First Amendment?  How not to care when a fellow poet is banned for life?  Well, I shouldn’t be at all surprised if you’re attending the University of Massachusetts with its PC-perverted sense of INCLUSION and DIVERSITY.  

Finally, what your response “clarifies” is that indeed you are just another cowardly poet, sucking on the teat of public funding and friendly autocrats.  All of your arguments are non-arguments, certainly not worthy of a graduate student.  Your response is not the response of a courageous individual willing to stand up for FREEDOM OF SPEECH and EXPRESSION and is sadly typical of poets and academics in general.  Cowardly.  You do not deserve to have the First Amendment.  I expect you will have nothing more to say, or at best will simply continue to divert attention away from the above FACTS by dismissing them as RANT.  How creatively original!  



G. Tod Slone, PhD (universite de Nantes, France), Founding Editor (1998) 

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




217 Commerce Rd.

Barnstable, MA 02630


Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 15:23:27 -0500
From: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com
To: todslone@hotmail.com

You sound very angry, George.

And attacking. If you could discuss the issue without resorting to personal attacks on people (faulting one's education and art for their opinions about others you don't like), you would probably gain a lot more support. When you enter into these periods, they absolutely come across as rants because you make large assumptions about people while clearly knowing very little about them. Based on the way you address people, I'm really not that surprised you've seen so much resistance.

Is it me you take issue with or the Sturgis Library? What exactly would you like me to do to support your free speech? I run a poetry journal, with two other editors. Once a year, we all look at poetry together and decide if we can piece together a journal. I've already welcomed you to submit some of your own work for our next submission period. 


From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:47:32 -0500


Now, why didn’t it take two months to respond again?  No longer busy?  Anyhow, thanks for the initial LOL RE “angry.”  I needed that.  Yes, in today’s smiley-face society, it is indeed a sin to be “angry.”  Also, in the absence of cogent point-by-point counter-argumentation, it is advisable to dismiss the opponent as “angry” and “attacking” (a personal attack in itself, no?)!  Are you perchance taking a grad course in how to dimiss uncomfortable criticism, truths, and logic?  Your response is very common.  It is an established-order, cookie-cutter response.  That’s exactly what Loomis had to say or at least imply.  Yes, just call him “angry” to justify eliminating his very civil rights!  A-men.   How easy!  Sounds like something out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  But now the radicals are the established-order.  Do you really believe the American revolutionary patriots were not in the least “angry”?  Hmm.  I suppose calling them “angry” would have been the response of the British occupiers, no?   Think!  And besides, wouldn’t you be pissed off angry if your public library truncated your civil rights?  ANGRY.  Think about it.  

Actually, I am not looking for support per se, but rather for poets, writers, journalists, and artists who possess a fervent appreciation for Freedom of Speech.  I am looking to live in the truth, not climb some literary ladder to dubious success.  I am looking to defend the FIRST AMENDMENT.  

Since you ask.  If I were you (a poet) and you were me (a poet), I would stand up and write a letter to Loomis expressing my support for FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and request her to rescind her trespass order, or provide proof of her assertion that I am somehow a danger to staff and the public.  I of course have no record whatsoever of violence or threat making.  Period.  And I wouldn’t care if you were a right-wing nutcase or a left-wing nutcase, angry, gay, black, stupid, PC to the gills, teabagger, or whatever, as long as you had not made threats or run around in the library hollering like a nutcase.  That’s clear.  In other words, unlike most other poets, I would stand up for FREEDOM, and not just freedom for those who I know and think like me.  To date, I have not found one person on Cape Cod sufficiently interested in FREEDOM of SPEECH to stand up for it.  Not one instructor at CCCC and not one writer at CCWC.  Not one poet.  Not one artist.  Period.   Off Cape, however, a dozen people have sent letters to Loomis in protest.  

Finally, if I were to send your magazine something, it would not be in an effort to bow-wow get published.  It would be to test the waters of democracy, push the envelope to determine just how restrictive your magazine is regarding poetry and freedom.  Does it knee-jerk reject any criticism of its editors, for example?  If you are dependent on public monies, then you will have to restrict freedom.  You will end up as just another gatekeeper of propriety, rather than freedom.  Period.  Vacuous propriety is always used to stifle freedom.  If you’re studying at U Mass in Dartmouth, you’ll find instances of it all over the place, that is, if you open your eyes and ears.  U MASS is rated amongst the worst of universities in the country for freedom of speech… thanks to its professors (your professors) and administrators.  See thefire.org for details on that.  And again, arguing your professors are nice guys is immaterial to whether or not they punish freedom of speech.  Can you comprehend that?  You ignored in my last email.

Now, how about publishing an essay on what can happen to a poet/artist on Cape Cod who exercises his right to freedom of expression?  Can one criticize on Cape Cod without being kneejerk ostracized on Cape Cod?  I don’t think so.  Business, commerce rules the arts on Cape Cod, not freedom.  And if you don’t know that, then you need to open your eyes.  

Is it really possible that both you and your friend Gouveia are blind to the reality of just how restrictive established-order poetry, organizations, etc. have gotten?  What you both need to do in an effort to open your restricted horizons is test the waters of democracy therein.  But that would be RISKY, and most poets abhor RISK.  That is their shame.  Most poets are gregarious, herd followers lacking in courage and dissident spirit.  Until you test the waters you will have a false, but very comfortable, sense of reality.  If you wish to grow, then that is your direction.  If so, on my website, check out the essays by famous people you will likely not be reading in your grad classes.  Try Solzhenitsyn’s “Living in the Truth.”  If you wish to climb the ladder, then that is not your direction.  Do not examine the points made by dissident poets like me.   Just dismiss them as “angry.” 

G. Tod

Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2013 16:25:08 -0500


From: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com

To: todslone@hotmail.com

My point is that your anger still seems very misdirected, George. 

Joe and I have both attended occupations, sat in administration buildings, and banged our pots and pans... but in order to do these, we were able to organize with others, not just attack everyone who didn't initially respond to pleas for support. That's a really good way to alienate would-be supporters--compare them to Nazis, make assumptions about who they are and what they do because they're deciding whether or not they agree with your cause. Direct your anger appropriately. If it's at the Sturgis Library, then it's at the Sturgis Library. 

You want me to write a letter to Lucy? If I do that, I need to know what your written criticism said, exactly? Was it criticism for not carrying your book? Welcome to the world of literature. Send me the letter you sent her, and maybe I'll throw her a line supporting you, if I agree with it. Doing so initially probably would have been a much more effective plea for support--rather than a demand. 

You want me to publish an essay of yours? Submit it like you would with any other lit journal. Like I said, I'm one of three editors. We'll all take a look at it when we re-open for submissions. Push whatever boundaries you need to--If it's well-written, maybe we'll all want to publish it.

Best wishes,


From: todslone@hotmail.com

To: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com


Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2013 10:59:55 -0500

Hi John,

Glad you’ve decided to enter into a mini-dialogue, even if quite brief, with perhaps a person who is your opposite.  Most people would simply keep the doors slammed shut.  That is my long experience.  

Your remark on anger certainly got me thinking.  I will perhaps do a cartoon on it because it encompasses a fundamental principle.  

Angry.  You wrote that  I seemed angry.  Well, shouldn’t I be angry that I am no longer permitted to step foot into my neighborhood library, which my taxes help pay for?  Yet now you call my anger “very misdirected.”   Rather than ANGRY, I am DISAPPOINTED .  There is perhaps a difference, no?  

You write, regarding the criticism I wrote that provoked a permanent ban:  “Was it criticism for not carrying your book? Welcome to the world of literature.”  So, is that the real world of literature that you espouse?  Shouldn’t you be fighting against it, rather than simply stating, well that’s out it is, so if you don’t like it, too bad?

The problem with the group demonstrations that both you and Joe partake in is that you’ve got the group as support.  Would either of you dare stand up as individuals without such support to do what is right?   Have you or him ever done that?  Will you respond?

Again, you seem to conveniently confuse ANGER with RUDE TRUTH TELLING.  In fact, as mentioned, labeling someone as ANGRY is an example of ad hominem and demonizing in an effort to dismiss all of the opponent’s arguments.   He is angry; ergo his arguments are without merit.  It’s quite that simple.  I wish I could get you to contemplate that point.  Loomis used it.  You use it.  It is a very common tactic, as mentioned.  Again, in the documents provided by Sturgis, not one of them mentions an iota of the criticism that sparked Loomis’ autocratic decree.  Both letters were sent to Loomis and about 25 other library directors in the Clams Library System of Cape Cod, one week prior to the sudden unannounced trespass order.  Now, that’s quite a coincidence, eh?  In fact, one ought to wonder why the letters are not included in Sturgis’ files.  Both were posted on The American Dissident blog site prior to the trespass order.  If you’re really interested, you can read them here.  Can you not grasp the egregious hypocrisy that they pointed out regarding written library policy?  So far, you have not been able to do that.

Open Letter I:


Open Letter II:


Do you believe that publicly-funded institutions like Sturgis Library should be able to keep their records concealed from the public and stifle the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION of any citizens criticizing—not threatening or hollering and making a public disturbance, but criticizing—those institutions by permanent trespass without due process?  You don’t seem able to grasp that simple question, which is critical to a thriving democracy.  Loomis and her librarian trustees all believe the answer is YES.  In fact, all of the directors of the libraries on Cape Cod believe the answer to be YES.  And all the cultural and arts council members believe it to be YES.  So, my question is whether or not one poet or one artist on all of Cape Cod believes the answer should be a resounding NO.  To date, I have not yet found one such poet or artist.  And believe I have been searching!  

So, what do you and Joe believe?  Please respond.  Please take the time to tell me why those letters merit my permanent banning.  I’m really quite curious how other minds operate.  Also, I could not find the purported reference to my comparing you and Joe with Nazis.  Where did you get that from?  If you can show me, then I will have to re-contemplate the remark.  But can you show me?

It is not really a question of my wanting you to write a letter to Sturgis.  It is a question of your being or not being an advocate of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.   If you are such an advocate, then you would write a letter irrespective of my wanting or not.  Is that clear?  Because I don’t think you understood.   This is fundamental.  It is also fundamental that serious advocating of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION will inevitably put one in confrontation with gatekeepers, including those who provide public monies and public venues to poets and artists.  Do you understand that?  Please respond.

You’ve ignored my points regarding UMass.  Why? Please respond.  

BTW, Loomis is the type of person (like Obama, for that matter) who will NOT back down, no matter how wrong she is.  She will NEVER admit wrong.  She is an autocratic LEADER.  Try talking reason to a Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin or again, for that matter, Obama.  Good luck to you.  So, any letter that you might write will not change anything at all.  Only an expensive lawyer could do that.  Yes, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION can cost a lot of money in America.  The only reason you’d write a letter is not for me, but for you.  Do you understand that?  It is key.

As for a possible submission to CCPR, “well-written” and “quality” are terms used by established-order literati to stifle uncomfortable truths.  Can you fathom that?  In essence, if the truths written in an essay prove to be uncomfortable for those reading it, then the latter will reject it as “poorly written” and not of “quality.”  Do you follow this or not?  It is basic.  The NEA dismissed my request for a grant for The American Dissident, for example, almost with those precise words and refused to provide any further information whatsoever.  Shame on the NEA, which seems to have become intrinsically corrupted by left-wing ideologues!  Recall the Great NEA Obama Scandal!  What if I were to write an essay on Cape Cod and the iron grasp of the Chamber of Commerce on art and literature on Cape Cod?  Would that be uncomfortable for CCPR editors?

Finally, you ignore much of what I write to you.  Yet I always respond point by point regarding what you write to me.  Why?  No time… or rather no counter-arguments?

G. Tod

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com
Subject: Educated to respond with faulty, diversionary reasoning
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:15:41 -0500

PS: I found the Nazi comment.  Your response with its regard illustrates how you’ve been “educated” not to think critically with sound logic.  The comment was not comparing you to a Nazi, but rather pointing out that your comment regarding Loomis’ banning was superficial and immaterial to the fact.  Your faulty logic was:

Loomis was nice to you, therefore Loomis is nice to everyone and would not ban people from her library.

My point, since you were incapable of focusing on it (why?) was:  Hitler was nice to many people in Germany, therefore your comment is immaterial.  I think now you probably (hopefully!) understand.  I did not imply that you were a Nazi.  Period.  The implication, however, is that Loomis has fascist tendencies, since she opposes transparency, due process, and freedom of expression.  

1.        Transparency.  It took 9 months for the State Secretary of Records to force her to release documents with my regard

2.       Due process.  Due process was not an option for me.

3.       Freedom of Expression.  My criticism of library policy resulted in permanent banning.

For you, I am trying to simplify as much as possible.  Can you really not understand these things?  

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Molly Demeulenaere


Below is "This Week's Muse," the one I criticize in an essay and cartoon:


So much has happened in 2021! We are thrilled to go into 2022 stronger than ever and fully committed to our mission to serve the entire Cape Cod community and visitors to the area by offering instruction, entertainment, and exhibition in the visual, literary, and performing arts.

We have moved through our succession plan and are thrilled to announce Molly Demeulenaere as our incoming Executive Director. Under the steadfast leadership of Bob Nash, Lauren Wolk, and the Board of Trustees, the Cultural Center has grown into a leader in the arts and non-profit community. Earlier this year, Bob and Lauren were honored with the Person of the Year Award from the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce to recognize their tireless commitment to our community. As most of you know, Lauren is moving on to write full-time, and Bob will be staying with the Center as our new Director of Facilities, where he will continue to ensure that the campus gets the care and attention it deserves.

Thanks to the generosity of so many this summer, we were able to pay off our mortgage, which freed up over $20,000 per year to go straight into arts education and made the Center debt-free.

We have also welcomed two new team members to the Center—Julian Loida, Head of Music and Events, and Diane Giardi, Director of Learning—to honor two critically important areas:. live music and arts education!

None of this growth could have happened without your ongoing support, and we hope that we can once again count on you as we close 2021.


Please consider making a gift to the Cultural Center so we can continue to bring you the programming you know and love … and surprise you with the unexpected.

Thank you for supporting YOUR Cultural Center!

Bob, Molly, Lauren, Diane, Julian, Laura, Meg, Becky, and Mary Ann

Full Press Release

We will be sending our Season Preview on Friday morning, so check your inbox when you wake up so you can see everything we have coming up in 2022!

Don't forget that the last day to purchase Gift Cards or Gift Memberships before we close for the holidays is Sat, Dec 18!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

William Pannapacker


The cartoon below was sketched in 2007, but not posted on the blog.  Privileged Pannapacker is still yelping on his platform on the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is why I post it now.


Below is our brief correspondence.


December 12, 1998

The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Directly from Diapers to the Ivory Tower”

Dear Bill Pannapacker, 

First the idiot comic strips, then Ms. Mentor, now your essay. The systemic crap that the Chronicle prints is disturbing, yet wholly comprehensible for it serves that diversionary purpose in the Chomsky sense. While ivory tower corruption florishes in all sorts of forms, lying deans, cowardly professors, cheating students, corrupt evaluation and sexual harassment procedures etc., garbage essays, yes cloaked in tweed and radiating that false "Life," as you call it, like cheap wallpaper in ghetto rooms indeed serve America well, but in what sense? 

Pierre Vadeboncoeur stated, "Il faut renverser les monuments pour voir les vers grouillent." Well, when are you going to turn over the Harvard monument and its media wing The Chronicle? 

G. Tod Slone, Ed. 

P.S.:  P.S.: "Have you had a job-seeking experience you'd like to share?" asks The Chronicle at the end of your essay. I have over and over and over tried to share my experience at Fitchburg State College (MA) and with the MTA, but of course the paper’s editors did not want that kind of thing in their lily white newspaper. 

Some of the most cowardly and in that sense corrupt professors that I knew at FSC came from Harvard's education program with their Harvard doctorates. 

P.S.: Please circulate the following flyer. Thank you. 


From: William Pannapacker <pannapac@fas.harvard.edu>
To: Tod Slone <ENMARGE@prodigy.net>
Date: Saturday, December 12, 1998 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: PS


I'd like to see as many grad students and adjuncts as possible come forward with their stories. In fact, I'm preparing a collection of them for publication. If you're interested, send me a description of a 20-page essay you might like to write. Maybe it can be included. Also, I might be able to quote you in future columns or speeches. So, any comments or narratives you have are appreciated. I hope you don't count me among the lily-white Harvard types!

--Bill Pannapacker


December 12, 1998

Dear William, 

Perhaps it is because you are not yet in regalia that you have responded. I have been at this for two years now, blacklisted, unable to continue my passions of French and Spanish in academe (My doctorate is from the Universite de Nantes in sociolinguistics. I received excellent student evaluations and two ad hoc committe evaluations). I was nearly hired this past August but the dean of a southern university, after having flown me out, wined and dined me, decided not to hire me, despite the desire to hire me of the department members and chair, because I had not gotten tenure, though I suspect he called up Fitchburg State at the last minute. I won a monetary settlement from the latter... but not that much. In a state where cronyism and nepotism (legalized in 1986) is rampant, there's not much one can do except publish a review like The American Dissident. 

Anyhow, I have little faith in you, though, there is always hope. I found your essay to be quite very lily-white Harvard. Can you actually tell me it wasn't? If I hadn't, I wouldn't have responded. Let's just say, like the Ms. Mentor column (I also responded, but of course she never wrote back), your essay provoked my response. 

Of course, I'd be interested in sending you an essay, but again doubt it would go anywhere. As mentioned The Chronicle won't touch the subject. I have also written numerous poems on corruption in academe, some published here and there in the littles. I've written a play, "In The Year of the Citizen," and two novels as well as many essays on corruption in the Massachusetts educational system. None have been published. I've sent out everywhere, even to Harvard University Press. My recent novel, Junk Country: Total Chaos in the Underbelly of a National Blue-Riubbon High School , is being considered by an obscure publisher, but I doubt it will go anywhere because of the omni-important marketability factor. Of course, the conclusion could be that my writing sucks... But Bill Moyers himself stated that the system does not give much heed to dissidents (good writing or whatever). In any case, it's about my recent experience at Martha's Vineyard Regional HS as a Spanish teacher. I was fired five days after I published a letter to the editor decrying chaos at the school, a good example of the consequences of exercising free speech in America. Lawyers cost $100,000 to take a case like mine. I did write every lawyer-professor at Harvard Law (12 of them) with a specialty that might be apropos. Only two responded. One was no longer practicing, while the other wanted $250 up front before discussing my case. 

I have contacted many academics throughout the country, none but you and one or two others responded. Academics loathe criticism, probably more than any other characters. I even sent Michael Lewis a letter praising his recent book, Poisoning the Ivy, though questioning his own lack of action relative to corruption in his particular ivy tower (U. Mass.). By the way, my writing tends to be very concise, to the point, and quite lacking in obfuscatory or diversional imagery and metaphor. 

Amen. Hope to hear from you. If you are truly interested, please be more specific as to what kind of essay you would like. 

G. Tod 

P.S.: I just received a rejection for my essay, "Nepotism in Massachusetts," from CommonWealth. The editor was not all interested in the subject, yet he professes to be interested in matters that concern the citizens of the CommonWealth. He commented that my essay was full of personal animus, yet I did not mention one name in it. Just the same, the "personal animus" response seems to be quite common when you poke a nerve. 


From: William Pannapacker <pannapac@fas.harvard.edu>
To: Tod Slone <ENMARGE@prodigy.net>
Date: Saturday, December 12, 1998 5:42 PM
Subject: Re: PS


Please call me Bill. I'm not eacatly sure what "lily-white Harvard" means, though I assume it means I'm not as radical and angry as you seem to be.

I like your zeal, but, as you probably know, I can't really publish anything that attacks particular individuals. While we can attack institutional practices, I'm afraid we must remain silent on some of the specifics. Otherwise, I'll never find a publisher for the collection and, more importantly, the causes I think we both represent will never get a fair hearing and redress.

The question is what specific issue do you think is most important in the reform of higher education? What can you speak most eloquently about?



December 13, 1998


My experience tells me this little conversation of ours will end up in the garbage bucket, but I shall continue my efforts nonetheless... for that is what I do. 

First, as already stated, my writings do not mention particular names of people or institutions, though this really hasn't made much difference at all relative to getting published. The system will always find a reason for not wanting to publish something that is clearly against it. My dealings with the NEA's Thought & Action have taught me that. First, they rejected an essay because it was too personal. I rewrote and resubmitted it, then the NEA told me it was too impersonal... and I simply laughed. 

Although you might have the will and sincerity, I doubt you could ever really understand why I am angry and "radical," as you mentioned, without going through the mill yourself. 

In any case, I tend to answer all questions posed. Most of my correspondants rarely do that. What does lily-white Harvard mean? Well, it means somebody either born into the system's elite or somebody born in an industrial district awe-stricken by the amassed wealth and superficial mannerisms (call it culture), etc. of the elite and desiring to be part of that, as you seemed to mention in your essay. I suppose I could have chosen a better term, but, as mentioned, your essay got me ripping. The Chronicle pisses me off because of the type of essay it tends to publish (e.g., Ms. Mentor). As mentioned, The Chronicle does have a monopoly on academic news... thus, it can publish whatever it wants and can and does alter reality. In brief, the academy owns the Chronicle... it is not independent, as the media should be, though rarely is. 

Relative to your question on the important issues in higher education, they haven't really been mentioned as far as I'm aware. I suppose by giving you my thoughts, you can incorporate them into your project, dump me, then get published by Harvard University Press. Well, so be it. I'm not sure if I really care, so here goes. 

These issues haven't been mentioned because they would invariably challenge the very system of American capitalism of which higher ed is evidently an important cog. From my personal travails, I'll tell you what the issues are. As mentioned, I already have essays regarding these issues, have already attempted to get them published and have failed... which is why I created The American Dissident... to give voice to those whose voice has been suppressed. Please post my flyer on a wall somewhere. Thanks. 

There are two crucial areas that desperately need reform: 

1. evident suppression of free speech and criticism of academics by academics, colleagues by colleagues (Clearly, Ray Flynn's loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, semper fi garbage is responsible for this state of affairs... learned at an early age via emphasis on team-playing, networking, etc.. Academics should be zeroed in on truth seeking, not on how to be more loyal! Just try criticizing as an untenured professor the president of your college!) 

2. the consequent nature of most academics as sheep-like, obedient, non-questioning, etc.. 

Clearly, the emphasis on team-playing, networking and all the other latter day corporate crap has something to do with this state of affairs. Rampant nepotism and cronyism in public higher education also result in creating the type of academic beast mentioned. 

Would you like to see my essay on nepotism in Massachusetts? Or my essay on life in a blue ribbon high school? Or my essay on the aftermath of an arbitration settlement? 

True. If you want to get your collection published, keep it lily-white Harvard. 


G. Tod 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Rob Casper, Library of Congress

No response was ever received from apparatchik Rob Casper!


From: George Slone

Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 7:37 PM

To: bwig@loc.gov

Cc: rcasper@loc.gov; pao@loc.gov

Subject: Absence of INCLUSIVITY et al


To Rob Casper, Director of the Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress:  

What precisely is the criteria for your subscribing to a 501c3 nonprofit journal of poetry and literature?  Beecher Wiggins, Director of Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access, simply refused to respond to that question last year when I posed it.  Will you?  

The Library of Congress seems to be run like an autocratic government entity, quite shameful indeed for a democracy.  You are featured in a new P. Maudit cartoon with that regard et al.  See https://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2018/12/jesse-katz-and-tracy-k-smith.html.  You were also featured in a cartoon sketched in 2014.  See https://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2018/11/james-h-billington.html.  Both cartoons will appear in The American Dissident.  In a democracy like ours, the Library of Congress should be INCLUSIVE and that means INCLUSIVE of criticism lodged against the Library of Congress and its diverse apparatchiks.  Evidently, it has failed in that area.  


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

Carla Hayden

The following essay was written in 2017 and not posted then.

Unchecked Self-Aggrandizement—A Review of an Interview

New York Times interviewer Ana Marie Cox seems to be devoid of critical-thinking capacity.  Should one be surprised?  Not really.  After all, isn’t this the age of fake news?  “Carla Hayden Thinks Libraries Are a Key to Freedom” is an interview she did on the new librarian of Congress.  So, was banning library patrons like me without warning or due process a “key to freedom”?  If so, then that freedom really meant the freedom of librarians to be unaccountable and punish criticism of librarians.  

Cox begins her interview by asking what the best preparation for a librarian of Congress might be.  Hayden responds, “to have an open mind,” then notes that “Each librarian has been almost perfect for the time that they served.”  Does Cox challenge that statement?  Not in the least!  And yet a minimum of research on her part ought to have provoked challenge!  For example, the previous librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, lived a one-percenter lifestyle (e.g., “first-class airfare, $1,000-a-night hotels in Rome and Florence, chauffeured cars and Acela trains”), thanks to the dubious James Madison Council of exclusive one-percenters he created to purportedly fund-raise for the Library of Congress.  Long-time librarian Maureen Moore noted: “He likes to associate with rich and famous people.  To my knowledge, they’ve never put money toward anything useful.”  

Now, does that sound “almost perfect”?  And what about the congressional investigation that criticized the Library of Congress for its “technological failures”?  For details on that less than “almost perfect” librarian of Congress, see “Librarian’s trips abroad, posh hotels all paid for by James Madison Council.”

An independent, critical-thinking capable mind might have also wondered how the autocratic selection of poets laureate could be perceived as “almost perfect.”  And was “almost perfect” having to persist over and again for nine months to obtain a simple response from the Library of Congress? 

Dear Dr. Slone:

My apologies for not having responded to your earlier message.  The Library has determined that it will not acquire your serial.

Thank you.

Beacher Wiggins  bwig@loc.gov

Director for Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access

Library of Congress

Then when I asked what the criteria for acquisitions were, Wiggins would not respond.  Period.  So, I wrote a lengthy Open letter to the Library of Congress, which unsurprisingly did not respond.  Was non-response to questioning and challenging citizen-plebes like me “almost perfect”?  So, why didn’t Cox question and challenge?  Ah, back to square one:  the new librarian of Congress was a black female appointed by Obama!    

Well, it’s funny that you mention that each librarian appointed seems to have turned out, in retrospect, perfect for the time, because you’re a very particular librarian. You’re the first woman and the first African-American named to the role, and some people have called you a radical librarian.

Yes, a radical librarian who will likely not respond to citizen-plebes like me just like her predecessor.  And what is the librarian stereotype?  Well, Hayden gets it right, though not of course meaning it as I see and have experienced it.  

Maybe I’m a romantic, but I do think of librarians as inherently radical. There’s something political about access to information.  And it has been throughout history.

Yes, indeed, “something political about access to information,” including the acquisition of (i.e., access to) some periodicals, but rejection of others.  Well, “access” probably means precisely that in the Orwellian world of librarian gatekeepers.  Cox asks, “Do you think libraries can help in this epidemic of fake news and lack of trust in the media?”  And Hayden responds.

Librarians have been pounding on this issue in a different way for a while—that just having computer literacy is great, but as information professionals, we’re always looking at what’s the most authoritative source for the information and teaching information literacy.

“Information professionals” is of course a euphemism for information gatekeepers.  In other words, librarians like Beacher Wiggins, for example, guard the library collection, determining what enters and what must not enter into it.  Might I be wrong in assuming that “information literacy” probably means the ability to reject that information which conflicts with pc-approved information and dogma?  It’s a frightening brave new world today, especially the world of librarians.  

Hayden notes regarding her past that “In being elected to head the A.L.A., I became the face of the association.”  Well, the American Library Association will not publish any criticism with its regard.  And its “Office for Intellectual Freedom” is another of those librarian euphemisms, for it is really an Office for Intellectual Constraint and Impotence.  Well, now Hayden is “the face of the Library of Congress.”  Any difference?  Likely not in the least!  Will Hayden deign to respond to this review of her interview and that 2014 open letter?  Well, I shall not hold my breath…

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dan McCullough and Cape Cod Times

Privileged columnists like McCullough don't give a shite that most citizens do NOT have voice in the press.  Why is one community college instructor given voice week after week after week, while others are not?