Correspondence with
Tampa Bay Mensa
Sounding Editor Tom Thomas

By John "Birdman" Bryant

Thomas's side of the correspondence has been suppressed, at his request. Evidently it embarrasses him.

 

To: Thomas George Thomas, editor, Tampa Bay Sounding (FardleBear@aol.com)
From: John 'Birdman' Bryant
Re: TBM: Open letter to Sounding editor - for publication as letter or article
Date: January 23, 2005

Dear Tom:

I noticed your 'Editor's Introduction' in the Jan 2005 issue of the Tampa Bay Sounding which said that, as the new Sounding editor, you intended to retain the old Submission Guidelines. These state, among other things, that

"Personal attacks and bigoted, sexist, hateful or otherwise offensive material will not be published."

Now the meaning I get out of this is that the Sounding is to be politically correct, which is to say that the following rules shall govern:

* Critical, negative or hateful statements about the following groups will not be tolerated: Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Indians ("native Americans"), women, the handicapped.

* Critical, negative or hateful statements about whites, the Confederacy or Christianity are perfectly acceptable.

* Critical, negative or hateful statements about other races, ethnicities, religions or groups may sometimes be acceptable, depending on various considerations. For example, it is ok to denounce Arabs and Islamics for being 'terrorists', but it is not ok to object when Islamics take over a community and want to blast a call to prayer at 6 AM over the local mosque's loudspeakers, or point out that it is white middle-class Americans, and not swarthy Middle East types, whose anuses are probed for explosives at airports by Homeland Insecurity, since the latter might be considered 'profiling'. As another example, it is ok to criticize Poles for erecting Christian crosses at Auschwitz, but not ok to tell Polish jokes. As a third example, it is ok to (mildly) criticize the Chinese for being communists, for selling the organs of newly-executed prisoners for transplants, or having slave labor camps (laogai) that fill Wal-Mart with cheap stuffed animals and nasal hair clippers, but not ok to call them Chinks, make fun of their sing-songy language, or point out their propensity for recycling fetuses by the oral route. As a fourth example, it is ok to criticize the Japanese for not opening their borders to non- Japanese or creating restaurants with Hitler themes, but not ok to criticize them for their outrageous cruelty to POWs in WW2.

So if you are going to retain the old Submission Guidelines, I would really like to see you write a defense of them. Or if you should by some miracle agree with me that they are indefensible, then I would like to see you make explicit exactly what is forbidden and what is acceptable. But in either case, I would like to see you address the following points:

* The original purpose of Mensa was to bring together 'the best and the brightest' in hopes that this would catalyze productive discussions (and maybe even solutions) of the problems of the world. So why is it that a huge chunk of the world's problems -- those of race, ethnicity, sexuality and other groups -- is forbidden to be discussed? What I mean by this is that 'discussion' implies the airing of both sides, but TBS allows the airing of only ONE side.

* Why is it ok for the officers of Tampa Bay Mensa to post outrageous lies and smears about me on the TBM website, as they have done for several years, while at the same time never allowing me equivalent opportunity to reply? You can see the relevant post by clicking on the link to my website from the "Members' Websites" section of the TBM website, found at

http://tampa.us.mensa.org/membersites.php

That is, why is it ok for TBM to keep an outrageous personal attack on me permanently posted, but not allow me to respond in the Sounding or anywhere else?

* The supposed motivation of political correctness is to keep from hurting people's feelings. (It's much more than that, but space prevents a proper discussion.) But if one is forbidden from hurting people's feelings (except for mine and those of others who are politically incorrect), then that means there are truths one is forbidden to tell. So why is it that avoiding hurting people's feelings is more important than telling the truth? (It may be that you would respond to the above by answering that political correctness IS true, and anything which contradicts it is not. But that, of course, is only your opinion, and since there is no way to distinguish truth in any absolute sense, every declaration that something is true (false) must be a sotto voce declaration that it is true (false) in the  declarer's opinion. Which is to say that one person's declaration that political correctness is true (right, etc) has no more claim to 'absolute' truth than a claim that it is false (wrong, etc).

* Can you divine why the outrageous treatment I have received at the hands of the Powers-That-Be in TBM have not caused them to be tried and expelled from Mensa? I outline the full case in my book

Political Correctness, Censorship and Liberal-Jewish Strongarm Tactics in High-IQ/Low-Morals Mensa: A Case Study

which I have now placed online for all to read at the following URL:

http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/TBM/TBM-Bkmensa.html

Many of the persons responsible for the abuses I suffered still hold office in TBM, and for this reason the story should make interesting reading for their friends and acquaintances. This is especially true in light of the recent catfight between Mary Matthews and Maxine Kuschner, both of whom are first-order assholes and who have been involved in my case in one capacity or another. (FYI, a piece on the conflict written by Matthews can be found at http://www.extremelysmart.com/resignation.php )

* Will you publish this letter in the Sounding, and if not, will you tell me why?

To give you a bit of personal background, I run a website, www.thebridman.org, which was begun precisely because of the abuse which I received in Mensa. It is now one of the most popular websites in the world, with 11,000 unique visitors and 3/4 million hits per month, and an Alexa rank that has generally varied from 20,000 to 60,000 out of an estimated 40 million websites worldwide. From these stats, it is clear the political correctees and the enemies of free speech made a mistake when they tried to censor me, as my work has now reached hundreds of thousands of people who would never have seen it. But besides this, the stats also indicate that the issues I am dealing with are of great interest to the people of the world. In particular, they seem to strike an especially resonant chord in Europeans who have now mostly lost their legal right to discuss these issues -- a fact which would make me subject to a long jail term should I set foot on the European continent, as several people I know already have been.

I am waiting for an apology from both national Mensa and Tampa Bay Mensa for the rotten treatment I have received from both. I will probably never receive that apology, but I will stick around and continue to make my case in my unwanted but forcibly commissioned role as the Conscience of Mensa. Battles over censorship and suppression of ideas are hardly new in the world, and this is but another one, but it is an important battle because it is being carried on among the world's supposedly-smartest people who nevertheless seem to exhibit no smarts at all in this particular case. The battle is also important because political correctness is a mass delusion which our country -- and indeed, the entire Western world -- is foundering on, and will soon break up as a result of unless some of the smart people get a grip on reality and bring it to a halt.

You have a chance to do something, Tom. You probably won't, because you probably don't have the courage to buck the TBM Establishment. (Indeed, you may even be politically correct yourself.) But you have a shot, Tom, and I hope you'll take it. It might just start an avalanche that will bury political correctness under the pile of shit that it is.

-Birdman

PS: Am I correct that your AOL handle is a reference to that line in Hamlet, "For who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life ..."? If you like Shakespeare, you might be interested in my book Better  Than Shakespeare. You will find it described on my site (www.thebirdman.org) under "John Bryant's 40 Books".

 

[Tom responds: Suppressed]

 

[Birdman replies:]

Tom:

This is an overview-type response to your rejection of my letter submitted for publication. I have responded to particular points of your letter in the copy that follows this letter.

If there is any one thing my first letter was intended to say, it is the following:

First, one cannot say anything significant about the problems of the world without being offensive to at least some people. So any forum which bans offensive statements is going to end up saying ... NOTHING!

Second, the ostensible purpose of Mensa is to bring together 'the best and the brightest' with the implicit if not explicit purpose of focusing on -- and perhaps solving -- the world's problems.

Third, the editorial guidelines of the Sounding make it impossible to discuss huge areas of the world's problems, because of the ban on statements which are negative, critical, etc. This includes many problems concerning races, groups, and the like, but from your letter it also sounds like it includes pretty much any kind of negative or critical statement.

Conclusion: Not only do the submission guidelines undermine the ostensible purpose of Mensa, but they guarantee that the Sounding will be a useless piece of butt-wipe. Now it seems to me that, as editor of the Sounding, you would want to be in charge of something which is more than butt-wipe -- something that people would notice, comment on, discuss over coffee and in Internet forums, something that would make people say, Hey, there goes Tom Thomas, the Sounding editor! As an editor myself of one of the world's most popular websites, thebirdman.org, I delight in the intense interest which people have in my site. For example, hardly a week goes by when I don't get a letter telling me how great my site is, and also hardly a week goes by that I don't get a letter telling me what an awful person I am for having the temerity to put it up. In other words, my site is a swirling cauldron of intellectual ferment -- everything that a Mensa site ought to be. You, on the other hand, seem determined to have a publication which will never attract anything more than a few silly pieces from women or castrati [REPLACE WITH: certain groups that the editor refuses to be named]. The only possible respite from this is you may get some liberal hit/hate pieces denouncing people like me or ideas which I deal with, which, judging from your comments, you will have no hesitation in publishing.

OK, so now I have laid it out for you as to what your PERSONAL interest is in getting rid of the old Sounding guidelines. But there is also a SOCIAL interest, ie, the fact that problems can't be solved unless they are 'cussed and discussed'. Let me put it this way, Tom. Why do you suppose that my website -- with absolutely no advertising whatsoever -- now has 11,000 unique visitors and 3/4 million hits per month? I'll tell you why, Tom: Because people are CHOKING TO DEATH on political correctness and other forms of Establishment misbehavior. They want to see someone who lays out the facts, and that means telling the truth, and letting the cow chips fall where they may. Because you can't tell the truth -- you can't state the facts -- without hurting SOMEBODY'S feelings.

But it's not just that more and more people are getting as mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. It's that the entire Western world is falling down around our ears even as I speak, and we are at the eleventh hour as far as doing something about it is concerned. I could enumerate dozens of aspects of this situation for you, many with heavy racial overtones -- but since they are already discussed in detail and thoroughly documented on my webpage, I will leave you to research them on your own should your curiosity somehow get the better of you.

Now let me point out to you a very elementary rule of human interaction: IF SOMEBODY DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW SOMETHING, THAT MEANS THAT THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE. So why do you think, Tom, that the Establishment, from Mensa to the government, and everything in between -- is promoting political correctness, ie, censorship of information about races and groups? The answer, Tom, is obvious: SOMEBODY IS HIDING SOMETHING. Even YOU ought to be able to figure that out. And it's not just here in America -- it's in Canada, Australia, and in virtually every country in Europe, ie, the entire Western world. In fact, it is much worse outside the US, because I would be in prison for my website if I didn't live in America. In fact, several people I know HAVE been in prison or are presently incarcerated for saying just the kinds of things I say.

So if America is the last bastion of freedom of speech -- and at the current rate, perhaps not even that for very long -- it seems that, if you place any value on freedom, you might just want to take some effort to preserve it. In fact, you are in a position to make a difference -- a small difference, but nevertheless a difference. And yet you are just going along with the tide of censorship. In fact, you don't even seem bothered by the fact that you yourself are censored -- my website is blocked at your work. Sure, you 'justify' it by saying that it is a private company, etc, etc, etc, but the fact is, there are things people don't want you to know, and this is the way they try to keep you from knowing them. And you go along with it! So cooperative you are! And maybe when they get ready to take you to one of the Camps (there are 600 in the US at this moment), you will serve them tea and crumpets before you leave!

There's a lot more I could say, Tom, but I will just conclude this letter by recapping what I have already said: There is a clear choice between being nice and telling the truth, and specifically, telling the vital truths that need to be told if Western civilization is not to go 'the way of all flush'. And there are people -- very powerful people -- who don't want these truths told. But even if you don't see the big picture, Tom, you ought to be able to see the little one, which is that you are going against the fundamental purpose of Mensa, that you are helping to insure that the Sounding will remain a piece of butt-wipe, that you refuse the opportunity to do anything toward righting a moral wrong against me, and that you are willingly if not eagerly helping people who have a lot of nasty stuff to hide. It is not a pretty picture, Tom.

-Birdman
www.thebirdman.org
john@thebirdman.org

PS: How about publishing this letter as a challenge to the Sounding submission guidelines? I ask this on the basis of the following statement in your letter to me:

[begin]

"I do not agree that the Guidelines are indefensible, but if I did it would not matter, as they are also contained in American Mensa's Editor's Handbook. Besides the Guidelines, the handbook specifies that the contents of local newsletters are first and foremost to communicate Mensa announcements, activities, and group reports, and insofar as they meet the guidelines, to print letters, articles and other communication from local members. If you were to present a letter or article that meets the guidelines, I would be obligated to print it. I am also obligated to work with you to modify anything you do submit to help it to comply with these guidelines (as I attempted to do with Ronnie Dubs and the responses to his letter). I hope to get better at this with time."

[end]

Of course the question in deciding whether to print my letter is whether it is 'offensive'. If it is, I would like to know what you consider 'offensive'. My purpose in writing, of course, is to pose a challenge to the Guidelines -- matters of race, ethnicity, etc, are not discussed in this letter, but merely noted; hence cannot be 'offensive'. Is attacking the Guidelines 'offensive'? Note that I put in brackets an alternative wording of something that you would undoubtedly want to censor.

PPS: I have attached your letter with a few brief comments. I begin mine with a line of *********, yours with a line of #########; sometimes my comments are two in a row.

Date: 2/13/05 6:53 PM From: FardleBear@aol.com To: jbryant@lzy.net Copy: Subject: Re: TBM: Open letter to the Sounding editor for publication as letter or arti...

[Begin attached letter with comments: Letter has been suppressed except for Birdman's comments and small quotations to which these comments refer. 'T' marks a Thomas quote; 'B' marks a Birdman quote:]

T: This is to be differentiated from critical statements about an action or statement an individual may make, which is fair game. But as soon as you ascribe an action taken by an individual or a subset of a group to the entire group, you run up against the first guideline.

****************

B: What about discussing the Jewish role in 911?

##################

T: I would add that the converse is true as well: No group shall be praised to the detriment of any other group, nor may praise of an individual or their actions be taken to apply to a group they are associated with. Besides, this would be a flawed affiliation, since no individual belongs to only one group.

**************

B: What about pointing out that blacks make up 85% of the NBA?

****************

T: Until you brought it to my attention, I was not aware of the page in question. There are now a couple of people working on revising the site, and the question of warnings on links is being addressed. It has been proposed that since we obviously cannot police websites that are not housed on the Mensa site, that there be a general caution notice placed on the Member Links page as a disclaimer that Mensa does not necessarily support the views expressed by the members on their sites.

If there are substantiated complaints about a particular website, as there were in your case, then a second standard warning will be put in place bahind their link. The warning would be non-specific in nature, simply noting that complaints have been received and investigated and that the person going to that site acknowledge that they are aware they will be viewing potentially offensive material and giving them the option to decline to proceed.

************

B: Doesn't this strike you as a bit silly, as well as insulting to even an average person's intelligence? People on the Net are exposed to all kinds of 'offensive' material. Porn is the biggest category, but the Net is the Wild West of information, and telling someone to 'be careful here' is patronizing of the most offensive sort, speaking of offense. Of course what you are really doing is generating an excuse to keep up the 'warning' sign on my website, is it not, Tom?

############

T: The investigation process is necessary so as to filter out frivolous complaints. For example, I had expressed that for my part I am offended by an overabundance of kittens and bunnies on someone's site (and I'm not kidding), since it seems awfully childish and precious and a waste of my time - but this sort of complaint would not result in a warning, no matter how many people raised it. Since you state up-front on your site that your goal is to be offensive, I'm sure you can have no quarrel with this approach.

***********

B: You confuse existence with intention. I don't intend to be offensive, but people are often offended by free speech. Can you see the difference, Tom?

#############

T: It is possible to tell a truth without hurting people's feelings; it's just that many people feel it is a waste of their time to make the effort.

*********

B: It might be possible to say that water freezes at 32 degrees F without offense; but it is often not possible to say that there was heavy Jewish involvement in 911 without offense. Is it clear to you now? ...

The Six Million is an objective falsehood. But I take it that you would never let me discuss why this is in the Sounding.

#############

T: I visited your website, though it was not a simple matter to do so - it is, for example, on the forbidden list at my place of employment based on the content. (Since a private employer is not a government entity, this violates no censorship laws.) I'm curious, though: based on what I saw on your site when I finally got there, I'm not certain which part of the warning page you consider a personal lie or smear. It seemed merely descriptive of what you yourself admitted to on your site.

*************

B: For starters, please tell me where you saw me advocate rape. In fact, please tell me where you see ANYONE advocating rape.

#############

T: I think Shakespeare (or whoever wrote the works that bear his name) was reasonably talented. I'd rather hear from someone more objective before considering the idea that you were better.

*********

B: If you bother to read the description of the book on my website, you will find TWO people who have acknowledged that, yes, I am 'Better than Shakespeare'. Is that objective enuf for you?

 

[Tom responds: Suppressed]

 

[Birdman replies:]

Now at last we are getting somewhere.

First you say that you will publish letters which meet the Guidelines, and that you have an obligation to work with writers to make their letters meet those Guidelines. Quote:

"I do not agree that the Guidelines are indefensible, but if I did it would not matter, as they are also contained in American Mensa's Editor's Handbook. Besides the Guidelines, the handbook specifies that the contents of local newsletters are first and foremost to communicate Mensa announcements, activities, and group reports, and insofar as they meet the guidelines, to print letters, articles and other communication from local members. If you were to present a letter or article that meets the guidelines, I would be obligated to print it. I am also obligated to work with you to modify anything you do submit to help it to comply with these guidelines (as I attempted to do with Ronnie Dubs and the responses to his letter). I hope to get better at this with time."

But then, confronted with a letter that meets the Guidelines, plus your additional criterion of 'Focus', you won't post it. Or if it doesn't meet the Guidelines, you certainly have not pointed to anything that is incompatible with them (Do I notice an absence of 'working with someone to satisfy the Guidelines' here?). Beyond this, it is quite irrelevant what my motives are (or what you think they are) -- motives are not mentioned in the Guidelines. It is equally irrelevant whether you and I agree on the purpose of the Sounding. That's not in the Guidelines either.

And on top of that, you make such amazing statements as chiding me for 'picking and choosing' the things I responded to in your letter (I did, because those were the only things I had a response to) and declaring that the Sounding is not the place to debate the guidelines for the Sounding. (Well tell me, Tommy-boy, where shall we debate them? In Harry's Bar or Martha's Whorehouse?)

Back in the days when I was growing up, they called the kind of behavior you are exhibiting 'lying', 'hypocrisy' and 'not keeping your word'. Do you have any more accurate terms?

I thought not.

 

[Tom responds: Suppressed: He merely says that my second letter did not meet the Guidelines.]

 

[Birdman replies:]

I am still waiting for you to point out what in my letter is incompatible with the Guidelines.

 

[Tom responds: Suppressed]

 

[Birdman replies:]

All I can say, Tom, is that at each new exchange of correspondence between us, new barriers seem to grow up to my letter being acceptable for publication. Now it has suddenly become 'overlong', 'personal', 'deliberately offensive', 'self-promotional' and so forth -- none of which is mentioned in the Guidelines, with the possible exception of the second. And beyond this, to keep your butt out of any further fire, you are 'not going to communicate further'. Right, Tom. And you are going to remain, as you were before, a lying, hypocritical, word-breaking SOB, to say nothing of a shill and water-carrier for the forces that are taking our country and Western civilization down the toilet. Thank you, Tom, for revealing yourself unambiguously so that all can see.

PS: I will be posting our correspondence permanently on my website, unless you object to having your side of the correspondence posted, in which case I will simply post MY side. But if you object to my posting your side, that will of course mean that you are ashamed of what you said, and your refusal to post will stand as an acknowledgement that you got your butt whipped.

It's your call, Tommie-boy.

 

[Tom responds: Suppressed]

 

[Birdman replies to Tom's demand that his correspendence not be posted:]

That's right Tommie-boy -- hide your shame behind your 'standard practice that private correspondence remain private'. But Tommie-boy, our correspondence ISN'T private -- it's gonna be right up there on the web where all yr friends can see it. Except they won't see your stupidity, your ignorance, your foolishness, your lying, your hypocrisy, your failure to keep your word -- just my reactions to it. And of all the gall -- accusing me of 'giddy eagerness' to misrepresent those I disagree with -- why not only is that a bald-faced lie, but in this case it is YOU who are suppressing your own correspondence, so if there is any misrepresentation, it is YOU that is responsible.

Really, Tommie-boy, it is hard to believe that anyone would sink so low as you and the other political correctees over at the TBM shitpile. You and they are frightened to death of being called 'racist', 'anti-semitic' and all the rest. It is just amazing to see how you are willing to sacrifice every shred of personal honor, and every pretense of being courageous and moral, just to keep from incurring liberal -- which is to say, Jewish -- wrath. You are so sickening, so cringing, so gutless, so unmanly, so feminine, so testosterone-free, so completely worthless as a member of your sex and your race, that it absolutely makes me puke.

Have a nice day, Tommie-boy.

[Any further correspondence will be posted if appropriate]

 

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