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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Doug Buckwald on Common Dreams


Hi Linh,

In a recent post here, Ando Arike reveals that he is the latest victim of the blatant censorship on the popular leftist website Common Dreams. He says that all of his past and current posts have been deleted from the discussion boards. I can confirm that his story is 100% accurate. I remember reading many of his comments there – and they are all gone now.

Craig Brown is the editor-in-chief of Common Dreams, and he is responsible for such decisions. Ando Arike's recent banning is more evidence of Craig Brown's continuing dishonest and authoritarian practices. These actions are shameful, and they should be called out for what they are: pure censorship. Another voice has been silenced by the fake progressive, Craig Brown.

This exact thing has happened to many commenters on CD before. Why don't more people know about it? Because Craig Brown goes out of his way to hide the truth about his nefarious actions. All censors need to work in the dark –- because censorship that is readily visible is far less effective.

In a note added to CD's comment policy, Craig Brown declares:

"We do not censor comments for their political opinion. Period."

This is simply a bald-faced lie. Craig Brown bans commenters for their political opinions all the time. If you doubt this, search "common dreams, censorship, banning" and read any of the articles or blog posts that are listed. One of the best summaries of Common Dreams' censorship is found in Metaphoria ("Progressives Disappearing Progressives"). Here's a link:

One of the fastest ways to get banned and erased from Common Dreams is to mention the censorship that occurs there. The more truthful you are about this taboo subject, the quicker your comment will be erased. Craig Brown is ruthless and unrelenting on this point. (If you are a daring sort, why not try this yourself and see what happens?)

Ando Arike has been commenting on Common Dreams for some time, so now there are big gaps in the discussion records where his comments used to be posted. This not only decreases the CD community's level of shared knowledge, it also makes it impossible for researchers to use this site as an accurate resource regarding social history. On a personal level, Ando Arike has to contend with the theft of his contributions from a communal discussion. This kind of punishment is akin to the banishment that was inflicted on criminals (or simply dissenters) in medieval societies. They often feared this more than any other punishment, as it is very painful psychologically and emotionally. I know how much anguish I endured when I was erased from the Common Dreams website.

Even one single incident like this -- the unwarranted deletion of a regular commenter's entire history from the site -- should be adequate grounds for Common Dreams readers to withhold all donations and demand that Craig Brown be removed from his participation on the site. Genuine leftists would certainly withdraw their support from CD and condemn Brown for the hypocrite he truly is. After all, Craig Brown's censorship is a direct attack on people's thoughts and ideas, and his intention is to suppress them and frighten others from speaking out. This is what totalitarians do. It is unconscionable.

What really disturbs me is that many writers (like Ralph Nader, Dave Lindorff, Naomi Klein, Glenn Greenwald, and others) have been informed about this censorship -- yet they continue to contribute their work to the site. They are just as much to blame as the censors at Common Dreams -- for condoning actions against others that they would never tolerate being taken against themselves. Ralph Nader is particularly culpable on this point, as he has repeatedly criticized people for "self-censorship" -- for failing to voice their opinions on civic issues. Yet, he has turned his back on Craig Brown's repeated abuse of people who have tried to do just that. And so it continues: Ralph Nader keeps contributing articles to Common Dreams, and Craig Brown keeps censoring commenters who hold beliefs or report truthful facts that he finds unacceptable.

This kind of behavior does not "build progressive community." On the contrary, it destroys true progressive community – because true progressives condemn the repression of honest and open discussions.

If the only forums available to those of us on the left are compromised in this fashion, what can we do? Where can we meet and discuss important issues without fear of censorship or reprisal?

* * *

If your readers are interested, I will provide further information about my contacts with Ralph Nader and Glenn Greenwald regarding censorship on Common Dreams. I will also offer some of the fascinating information I've learned in my research of "left gatekeeper" websites like CD. They serve a very Important function in helping to manage the population of United States.

I will close with this quote:

"The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves."
--Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Doug Buckwald



Anonymous said...

It's been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions,
but censorship is never that.

C Brown is getting warm....

ando arike said...

Hi Doug Buckwald and thank you for your support. I agree totally with your criticism of CD's censorship policies, but what's more interesting to me is an analysis of why a so-called "left" or "progressive" website would bother to do this.

Why should it matter to them if I question the dominant narratives? It really shouldn't -- but I think we're entering a phase where the ruling class is getting really worried about its hold on the ideological apparatus.

Which tells me that we should redouble our efforts to push and push against the neoliberal capitalist consensus, wherever and whenever possible. And I see that happening, more and more.

Capitalism, as we've known it, is collapsing of it's own internal contradictions... Let's shove it over the precipice, whenever and wherever we can. We have to remember that it's only an idea -- money is only an idea. Maybe we can kill this idea before it kills us. --AA

ando arike said...

Even more interesting is the question of how these "progressive" astroturf sites will promote Hillary Clinton for the election in 2016... How will they transform this neoliberal she-devil into the ONLY CHOICE for the presidency?

The whole charade is running out of steam...

Anonymous said...

Thank You. i have ben banned from Common Dreams, Op Ed News, Firedoglake and TruthOut.

This is organized folks.

Gregory Hilbert said...

Common Dreams is, in effect, a front run by long-time Dem operator Craig Brown for the faux-progressive wing of the Dem establishment. Contrary to its claim of being 100% supported by thousands of small donations from readers, two thirds of CD's funds come from foundations funded by wealthy corporate capitalists and their heirs. The foundation list disappeared when CD revised its site in 2014. Here's the list from the old site.

What's damning is who funds those foundations, which CD banned me for posting. Walmart Waltons, Ted Turner CNN, IBM, GM, Hewlett Packard, Citgo Oil,JP Morgan Chase, for example. They pay CD (Brown) to keep progressives from going off the USA Empire Inc establishment rails on which their dynastic wealth and power depend.

CD banned commenters critical of its support of Obama in 2008 and 2012. It intensified censorship in 2014, banning scores of dissidents, and anyone complaining about censorship or mentioning who funds CD. It now also prohibits the posting of links, and deletes comments and entire threads that expose the years-long quid pro quo by which an astrologer who does biz with convicted felon Kevin Trudeau polices threads for Brown, attacking dissidents and critics of establishment propaganda articles. Exempt from commenting policy, she routinely alleges that dissident progressives are paid neocon and govt agency trolls, promotes CD's duplicitous agenda, and flags commenters for banning when they post anything she knows Brown wants censored.

CD's primary current agenda:(1) support the Dem establishment lie that Warren has broken with Obama to lead it sharply leftward, and (2) promote McKibben's 350 while concealing that (a) McKibben was bankrolled in the millions by Rockefellers and the same IBM and GM heirs who fund the Schumann Media Center, which (b) was led for years by Bill Moyers, who (c) was before that for years a Rockefeller Trustee and Bilderberger, and before that LBJ's Press Sec and Special Advisor, and is now retiring with $24 million. And guess what, (d) the IBM and GM heirs gave CD $200,000 in 2012, the last year for which their foundation filed their IRS-required annual report. Readers may wonder why wealthy gatekeepers are funding 350 and CD. Primarily because McKibben-350 endorses the carbon trading scheme they and Wall Street want, but also for keeping people focused on Keystone and international too-little-too-late agreements rather than fracking, Wall Street, Washington, con-artist Obama, and Dem complicity in general. Keystone is moot. Tarsand oil will go by rail tanker if not by Keystone. If you doubt that, ask Boone Pickens, who is already making more billions from investing in rail and manufacture of tankers.

CD has run multiple articles promoting the Rockefeller PR stunt about divesting from oil.
The Rockefeller heirs have trillions in oil and oil-derived wealth. They also fund two foundations. The smaller one, the Rockefeller Brothers, has pledged to divest of tarsand and coal, nothing more. The big and infamous one has pledged nothing. Neither have the Rockefellers surrendered their vast non-foundation wealth, nor have they blown the whistle for all they know about oligarch control and steerage of the establishment, inclusive of neo-lib and neo-con front orgs, their Repub-Dem duopoly, corporate cartels, etc.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.