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

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…