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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Doug Buckwald, "Common Dreams shuts out the common people!"

Hi Linh,

I expect you have heard that Craig Brown has completely shut down the discussion boards at CD. So much for public participation and building progressive community! Here is his announcement about this decision:

Due to massive fraud, spam and malicious commenters Common Dreams has decided to put commenting under our articles on hold effective January 3, 2015.

This is a typically disingenuous claim made by Craig Brown. The real reason appears to be that Brown was having increasing difficulty keeping the lid on the true story of the rampant censorship that occurs every day on his site. The truth was leaking out, more and more. This kind of pushback always occurs when authoritarian individuals use repressive tactics to hide the facts.

The truth was also coming out about the massive fraud that Brown commits during every fund drive when he claims that the only source of CD's funding is individual small donations from readers. On the contrary, we know from checking CD's tax records that it receives at least two-thirds of its income from large corporate-controlled foundations. These foundations undoubtedly have influence regarding what is covered by Common Dreams.

In addition, some of the most malicious commenters on CD (such as the notorious Siouxrose) were apparently sponsored by Brown to discredit and harass the honest commenters who tried to participate in good faith in discussions -- but were eventually driven away or banned for their efforts at truth-telling.

As is typical of Brown, he has twisted the facts to make it appear that he is the victim of massive fraud -- rather than the perpetrator of it.

In my opinion, CraIg Brown's chronic dishonesty and abusive behavior should result in his loss of control of the website. No ethical person should contribute to Common Dreams in any way -- either through making financial donations or publishing articles.

The recurring question is: why do so many prominent leftist journalists continue to support and endorse Common Dreams? Bill Moyers, Naomi Klein, Ralph Nader, and others all do so. In my opinion, by condoning Craig Brown's illegitimate actions, these people are just as guilty as he is in perpetrating fraud. This is unconscionable -- because it causes profound and lasting harm to all true leftist organizing in the USA.

Doug




.......................................

From my experience of Common Dreams, what Doug is saying is all too true. It's all about power there, as it is with CounterPunch. Liberal sites like these are not about having common goals, but about building a power base for their operators. Beside making money, they also get to delimit political discussions on the so-called "left." Manipulated by such ego-driven men, is it a surprise American dissidence is so impotent? It's all about power. When readers complained to Jeffrey St. Clair about CounterPunch's cancellation of my Postcard series, St. Clair became enraged and threatened to erase all of my past articles on CounterPunch. I was disgusted. Again, it's all about power, raging, ego-driven grab for power.

As for the support of "prominent leftist journalists" for gatekeeping liberal sites, I can only say that this crowd is remarkably homogenous, and here I'm talking as much about class as anything else. Most naturally, they feel entitled to speak for us all.

Also, Craig Brown's website is his to do as he pleases, but he shouldn't mislead people into thinking it's a common resource or forum for the free exchange of ideas. Under this disguise of "building progressive community," Brown rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from corporate sponsors, a fact he keeps hidden to better solicit from the little people, though these he will censor or even slander when it suits him.

Craig Brown violated all of his readers when he erased their old comments. Many people put a lot of thought into having meaningful and constructive conversations, but then he just casually erased everything when he reformatted his website. This shows that he never cared for these conversations or "community" in the first place.

As for a writer like me, I published on CD (for free) so as to contribute to the political conversation, not as an intellectual exercise or personal vanity project, but hopefully to sharpen my own as well as the community's response to the problems we all face. Now, if readers were indifferent or annoyed by my writing, then Brown had every right to get rid of me, but the exact opposite was the case, so when he bumped me from CD, he disrupted a very constructive dialogue I was having with readers, as well as the conversation these readers were having with each other. CounterPunch did the same. When a meaningful conversation among thousands of people can be steered, distorted or broken up by a single man, then that's obviously an abuse of power.


Linh



.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was a problem regarding DissidentVoice also right? When they prevented you from adding a response to a note they posted on one of your postcards?

Linh Dinh said...

With them, it's Kim Petersen's objection to my using "Indians" to describe the people of Wolf Point. In a private email, Petersen said that was equivalent to him calling me a "Gook." Without losing my composure, I explained to him that "Gook" is an obvious insult while "Indian" is merely a misnomer. I said that no Vietnamese self-identifies as a "gook," but everybody I met in Wolf Point had no problem calling themselves "Indian." Petersen never responded, and I've stopped giving him my Postcards. It's his type I had in mind when I wrote of "the insolent, niggling hypocrite with all the correct opinions!" This is how Petersen describes himself:

"DV Co-Editor Kim Petersen enjoys scuba diving, working out, and advancing the struggle for a world based on principles of peaceful and equitable sharing and respect for the environment and life … and Anton Berg marzipan. He studied at universities in occupied First Nations territory (“British Columbia,” “Canada”) and Norway."

Linh Dinh said...

At the time, I wrote:

Without alerting me, Dissident Voice added a footnote to my latest Postcard, "1 At least one DV editor finds that referring to the Indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere as incorrectly being from the Indian subcontinent is bad form," so I've just asked them to include this also:

Author's explanation: When I was in Wolf Point, the word "Indian" was routinely used by people with Sioux, Assiniboine or Chippewa blood to describe themselves. As for the allegations of abuse of children in the Wolf Point schools, I first became aware of the issue from reading a long article by Christine Rose, a prominent activist who maintains the website, racismagainstindians.org, with an Indian Education Resources page, among other features. In the article, Rose routinely uses "Indian" when referring to the Wolf Point children. Since I don't presume to be more correct than the people of Wolf Point or Christine Rose, I've used "Indian" in my Wolf Point Postcard. While "Indian" is obviously a historical misnomer, "Native American" is itself problematic since the people who were here before Columbus never saw themselves as Americans. In the end, a Sioux is no more a "Native American" than a Palestinian a "Native Israeli," but we're trapped in talking about a colonized people in the colonizers' language. As Russel Means has pointed out, English is itself a problem. Finally, if you come to Wolf Point next month, you can attend a pow wow in neighboring Poplar. The participating tribes call it Poplar Indian Days.
............................
10:16 AM update: After Dissident Voice refused to run my explanation, I've asked them to remove my Postcard from their website, so they have.

Linh Dinh said...

While Leonard Peltier and millions of Sioux, Cherokees, Navajos and Apaches, etc., don't object to being called Indians, here you have a scuba-diving, marzipan munching white man getting all livid over its usage!

Linh Dinh said...

Sharon Smith on another example of leftish pigs' insolence:

Why CounterPunch owes women an apology
May 16, 2013

BREAST CANCER is no laughing matter--certainly not for the roughly 232,340 U.S. women who will be diagnosed with it this year, or the 39,620 women expected to die from it.

Yet the editors over at the CounterPunch website were apparently guffawing over Angelina Jolie's recent decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. Their e-mail promo for an article posted on the site on May 14 reads: "Ruth Fowler unsnaps Angelina Jolie's bra and exposes privilege, health care and tits." Presto! A double mastectomy morphs into locker room fodder.

[...]

Anonymous said...

I laughed hard at "marzipan munching!"

Linh Dinh said...

I didn't even know what a marzipan was, so had to do a google image search to get an inkling. I still don't know what it is.

Linh Dinh said...

Being so "correct," maybe Kim Petersen can send a box of marzipans to the imprisoned Leonard Peltier, key member of the American Indian Movement. (Oh shit, bad word! Not "American," but "Indian"...) Foofoo confectionary not enough, he should also send Peltier scuba diving gear. After all, no correct progressive should ever be caught without scuba gear.

Anonymous said...

Too hilarious! Brilliant bit on "Not 'American' but 'Indian'"

Justin said...

After the debacle at Counterpunch, I stopped patronizing the site. Obviously, I've stopped visiting Common Dreams now as well. If I may suggest an alternative: Naked Capitalism. I don't always agree with the commenters, and I refuse to click on the Counterpunch articles that the site may link to on any given day, but the discussion by regular readers is always fruitful. Yves Smith, who leads the site, is very impressive as well.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Justin,

I don't know that site but will check it out. Thanks!

Linh

Chuck Olroski said...

Linh,

Am wondering how long it will inevitably take the raging Empire to drown P.C. anarchists and designate them Spoiled Marzipan, dispatch to FEMA District Reservations?

I'd love to try scuba diving. However, the closest I ever came to such joys was "dumpster diving" inside roll-off containers, belonging to Scranton-based Mercy Hospital. As a supervisor, on boiling hot July 2005 day, my company assigned me to extract illegally disposed human blood contaminated E.R. garments, tubes, and needles from out of the trash packed roll-off cans.

Company did not give me scuba air-gear; only tyvek, nitrile gloves, and a cheap dist mask. No frog legs either! Please feel free to attach the photograph of this disgusting "dumpster dive" along with my comment?

As youth, I read all of Zane Gray's books and noted he called foes "American Indians," and not Kim Petersen's designation, "Original Peoples." Inside the stomach wrenching Mercy Hospital roll-off, sore and sweating balls-off, I found a purple E.R. garment grossly contaminated with human blood. Not yet P.C. indoctrinated, exasperated, I lifted the E.R. scruffs, struck can's metal sides with rake, and yelped for free air like Leonard Peltier, said to co-worker, Rob DeLayo, "Looks like a Rider of the Purple Surgery Sage did not make it."

Linh Dinh said...

Hi all,

For a more thorough account of Chuck Orloski's task of digging through hospital trash for bloody emergency room mess, go here, and remember to look at the photo at the end of his article.

Linh

CC said...

In addition to what Doug quoted about CD's explanation for removing the comments section, CD stated that it wanted to install a:

"...new & improved comment system that doesn't rely on 3rd party data mining corporations like DISQUS or Facebook that give us little or no control over comments."

That's hogwash.

CD has plenty of control over the comments under DISQUS because I've seen some of them deleted by its administrator.

I now enjoy Information Clearing House more than I enjoy CD.

CC said...

As of today, CD still hasn't reinserted its comments section. I'd be surprised if it does, even if it's in a compromised format.

CD probably wants this matter to fade away.

I'll miss many of the usual commenters, although a few of them have migrated over to ICH.

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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 two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), 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). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. 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.