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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Comments

Perhaps they were confused and thought those posts were actually death threats? Death threats and orders to commit crimes are not protected speech!

...I'd like to believe this all was some terrible misunderstanding, but it doesn't look like it. I'm sorry, John. It's terrible that that site censors comments like that. And your views in particular deserve better. Hopefully Jonathan Schwarz will post a link to this entry on This Modern World or something and this problem will get wider attention.

I doubt that would really make a difference, though. Then again, I'm not sure how much difference CommonDreams makes either.

Thanks very much for the support. It was pretty depressing at first, but that's worn off quickly, and the more I've thought about it the more it just seems sad to me. Assuming they really did do this intentionally--and I don't see how that couldn't be the case--what a petty, dictatorial kind of response it is. All it achieves is to undermine their credibility.

Credibility for whom?

They're only really credible with the online left and in particular their readers. The only people who know about this are the people they've censored/blocked. No one else will remember the blocked existed.

To put it melodramatically, you've been disappeared. It's all very "dirty war" South American. You live on in baska's and srelf's memories. Maybe you will inspire volumes of protest poetry, though being web-bound, it will have the lifespan of a Higgs boson.

never read posts or commented b4.....

but why in retrospect are u "sad"
about this winston smith job
the site editors hit u with ???

why not "feel" vindicated ???

liberated from delusions even ...

after this

the reactionary censorious
absurdly obsessive
micro-manipulative nerve loop
u triggered
by your ever bolder comment stream at
(cob)common( cut out) dreams

need never be doubted again by anyone reading
this post

They had some credibility with me, though it was strained by the impression I always had that--exactly like the mainstream media--they enjoyed their position as gatekeepers of acceptable opinion, and made a practice of excluding viewpoints that went outside the boundaries they'd imposed. When they added comments a few months back it seemed like that might open up the site a bit and make it more useful--and it did, for a while. But now my earlier suspicions have been verified in spades, and it looks like the benefit of being able to have discussions on that site is fatally undermined by the editors' desire to control what people can say. It's a real shame.

it was a nice service. i spoke:
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/09/3714/#comment-92459

hibiscus: I noticed that...pretty slick. I think it's a bit subtle for them, though; their malice considerably exceeds their intelligence.

i thought of calling the listed phone to get their comment policy. couldn't find it posted. i want to rescue them.

Your optimism is inspiring, though not confidence-inspiring. But who knows--maybe a massive bout of conscience will suddenly strike them. If you do try it, please let us know what happens....

Well, that is enlightening! Thanks for the headsup!
So, it's "Not-So-Common-Dreams" after all!
Who the hell do they think they are?
This is going to come around and bite them in the ass!
I am a donor. Soon no longer?

srelf: You're welcome, and I'm sorry you ended up being collateral damage of their censorship of me. What bugs me the most is that there are thousands of CommonDreams readers who have no idea this is going on (even if they're victims, like you were).

Yet another irony of this story (they just keep coming, don't they?): I just got spam from CommonDreams begging for some of my money. Part of their pitch: "for 10 years, CommonDreams.org has been committed to this simple goal: To help build community among the millions of progressive Americans by providing a space to share news and ideas." Yeah, that's quite an interesting method they have of "building community."

And of course, the email address they used to contact me is the one associated with the account of mine that they've shut down.

What an unbelievable bunch of cretins.

After repeated e-mails to the editor, and finally a written letter, all to no avail, over a period of about two weeks, I finally canceled my monthly donation to commndreams.org. I'm not even going to look at that site anymore - I get along just fine with truthdig, znet, and GoogleNews.

I'm checking in on that place called distantocean.com too!

I'm simultaneously stunned and completely unsurprised that they'd ignore you like that, especially when you went to the trouble of sending them a written letter. The arrogance of it is hard to believe...or it would be if I hadn't experienced it for myself.

I'm sorry to have inadvertently dragged you into this, but I'm also glad to hear that you're not supporting them anymore. They need to learn that there's a cost for their actions. It's a real shame, because CommonDreams could be such a great resource (and is, in many ways).

John,
Regarding this article, upon re-reading it I didn't find the link to "another article" discussing censorship at Common Dreams to lead to anything about that issue. Am I mistaken?

The "another article" link is titled "After 9/11, Rudy wasn't a rescue worker," but the letter in question is titled "Tangent"--and if you read down a bit in the letter you'll see that most of it is a discussion of comment censoring at The Huffington Post and CommonDreams. Here's an excerpt:

There's a creepy, old-Soviet approach to simply "disappearing" comments without acknowledgment or explanation; it's like waiting until your puppy is momentarily distracted and hiding its toy ball because you're sick of playing with it. Furthermore, these sites also disappear comments that call attention to the censorship!

I'm very glad to have found this because I too have been treated similarly by Common Dreams, where progressive, grass-roots, common dreams seem to have become very uncommon.

DD: Sorry to hear that. Welcome to the club. Do you have any idea what put you on their radar? It seems like the standard crime is expressing views that the CommonDreams editors don't like.

As I said on the other thread, the best thing we can do is to out CommonDreams' censorship in public forums. They're relying on the fact that they control the communications, and the only way they're going to get their comeuppance is if enough people become aware of what they're doing.

Hi john,

i have made repeated attempts in commondreams discussons of both Obama and Gaza stories to inform people of Obamas rather harsh letter of support for Israel. They get repeatedly deleted. While I haven't been kicked off entirely, I seem to be on a "probation list" - even my most innocuous posts now all get an "awaiting moderation" note.

Your link to the blog of one of the CD players - the guy with all the sailboats - may explain the source of this arrogance. Forgive me in indulging in stereotypes, but the guy is filthy rich and probably hasn't worked a hard hard day in his life. All such people I've ever been aquainted with do tend to be arrogant - as if their wealth confers on them some kind of innate intellectual superority. Being from Maine doesn't help either.

There are hundreds of people who have suffered this fate, some worse than others, many never to return ( or unable to ).

There is no doubt the COMMONDREAMS.ORG is big time into censorship and deletions of those postings contrary to their pro-Israeli and Zionist "hidden agendas". I know this with similar google searches and comparisons to copies I've saved on my HD.

I have been BANNED and/or deleted, with perhaps a dozen screen names, and many hundreds of postings. I have felt on several occasions, that gut-wrenching sweat intensity of realizing the LOSS of much that I valued, but would add that it is not so much my own vanity -- but all of those other readers that also LOSE, and the termination of a sense of community that builds upon each posting -- to create even bigger common dreams

I would guess that several people complain every day about problems with "word press" ( web server S/W ), but in all likelihood, it's the editors preventing postings that match certain key words.

IF one continues to post at CD, it's always wise to SAVE a copy, if you want to "keep" that writting for future use, because there is no guarantee of fidelity or ever getting a response.

I now use Tor "onion" net, so that the editor's scripts cannot trigger off of my semi-dynamic IP address ( and stop postings a priori ), which is essentially changing or anomimizing that IP several times a day.

It is especially evident that my anti-zionist postings have triggered the outright massive months of deletions, because many of the responses to my postings ( by zionists ) are still available -- like swiss cheese holes ( for anti-Israeli postings ). BTW, I am definitely not anti-Jewish, and very proactive about PEACE and REVERENCE for ALL LIFE

My next incarnation will avoid zionists, but perhaps better would be to have two -- and still respond. I will persevere, because I'm part of that community, regardless of what the editors think and do

Namaste
« We must be the change we wish to see in the world » — Gandhi
« There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed » — Gandhi
« We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself » — ML King

Isnt there something legal that can be done about their 501 (c) status?

I am "more than liberal"--but this neo-liberal stuff is becoming neo-fascist.

Just got banned from commondreams. I posted a comment saying how we progressives were the real losers in this election, and when I went back to the site, I couldn't get past the homepage. A notice appeared saying my IP address had been banned.

The only reason I can see for this is that I said Obama had chosen a *Zionist* as his chief of staff - or at least I think I did, since I can't get back into the website to see. (I'm going to get someone to check on that momentarily.)

I'm not sure why the use of this term would cause me to be banned, since I myself have used it many times in earlier comments, and without any repercussions. Actually, during all the years I've posted at commondreams, no comment I've ever made has been deleted or *moderated,* but now, because of three short sentences, I'm apparently banned for life even from *reading* the news articles.

I'm aware of course that commondreams came out with some new policies regarding comments, but there were no warnings about words that would cause a user to be banned. It seems ridiculous that people would be TOSed out without being given any warnings regarding the terms of service.

P.S. I have sent e-mails to both the webmaster and editor of the site, but based on what I've been reading online, I don't expect I will hear anything back.

Well, we can see from your intemperate tone what an unreasonable, angry, ranting poster you must have been, Mike. Don't try to hide it!

Seriously, sorry to hear you've gotten caught up in their web of absolute control as well. Banning by IP address is their new thing, apparently; I imagine they didn't like the fact that when they blocked people by username, the person could overturn their death sentence just by reregistering and posting under a new username. On the good side, though, all you have to do to get around the ban is to change the IP address on your Internet connection—which usually just means disconnecting and reconnecting. When you do, don't visit CD using the same user name or they'll just ban you again, and make sure you delete all cookies for commondreams.org from your browser before you try.

That's if you want to visit them again at all, now that you know what they're about. I still do, since they provide a valuable resource, but I'd never waste my time or effort posting there again.

I'm back ( see above Presence « namaste » on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 05:12 PM ), and banned from CD once again as of 5-Nov-2008.

It's CD's worse affront yet, to block even reading of their site. The deletions and blocking are seriously NOT progressive, and appear quite arbitrary ( like useful questions about Obama's connections and plans ) -- but I wouldn't go as far as KDELPHI mentions above. The element of secrecy is very unsettling, and the truncation is like an emotional amputation of well established personal connections to friends and even to those people not sharing our own ideas, who enable the possibility of growth and new knowledge

John Caruso's suggestion of disconnection/reconnection approach -- may work for others -- but is not working for me to get a new IP address, so I use "Onion Network" for proxy anonymousfying ( Vidalia with Firefox ).

The more obvious the censorship becomes to the CD readership ( and web at large ), the more people will discuss and react to those no longer being there ( both postings new and old ).

I posted a rather harmless comment a day or two before the election on why I'm preferring Nader -- the Dems took impeachment off the table, funded the war requests, etc. etc. -- and my message was flagged and my IP address banned. And it's been about a week now that my IP address has remain banned. I wrote a message to their editor, and had no response. Who or what is in charge of that site?? I'm starting to think it is a facade of some sort. I've been posting much harder hitting messages on my local newspaper's blog and haven't had a single post censored.

I reread the more recent messages in this thread, and accounts of others who've been banned. Looks like they tend to involve anyone suggesting zionism, or progressive alternatives to the Democratic party. Could be that neocons have jumped ship from the Republicans, since that namebrand has long since been thoroughly tarnished, and have now taken the helm of the Democratic Party? If this theory is correct, an Obama administration may be less a retread of Clinton and more a replay of Bush??

I too got banned from Commondreams and I was dumb enough to vote for Obama and not do a write-in for Nader as I live in TX ! I took up the issue of Rahm Emanual and poof. They delete my posts for the most part and ban me outright. That site needs to be reported to the IRS because they are not non-partisan which I believe is a violation of 501c3 or something like that.

P.S.: Snow Wolf and some non-Obama folks are still there from what I heard but I hear the discussions are very bland and boring. On the bright side, some people are raising hell about their comments being flagged and CD pruning them out but they might risk losing their accounts.

JWVerez: I'm surprised to hear that they're still censoring Obama criticism; what's the point now that the election is over? I suppose the point is the same as it's always been: to exercise their obsessive control over what people are allowed to say on the site.

If you're in contact with other CD posters and want to send a message that CD really will hear, you could organize a boycott of their next fund drive, with people sending in email explaining exactly why they're not going to donate. I guarantee you that would get their attention.

twelvepax: I've been posting much harder hitting messages on my local newspaper's blog and haven't had a single post censored.

Unbelievable—you can post things on a mainstream news site that the CommonDreams censors won't even allow? I'd say that's the most damning indictment I've heard of CD yet.

You're not alone and the banning and erasing keeps piling.
For those of you who were banned for whatever reason, take heart. Even a lot of us who supported Obama and some such as myself who did not even criticize him got banned anyway. Ironically, Snowwolf and jakenewton are still on the site. I was not noticing much discussions on that site and except for Thomas More and Sioux Rose, most everyone I had seen on that site I had never met before. And this I started noticing only after the election was over that there are fewer discussions. I don't know what's going on at CD but whoever's owning it is probably hell bent on trashing it and turning it into a Limbaugh site altogether. That used to be a great site but now I cannot believe that they would go this far in kicking people off the site. The only thing that could be even considered remotely controversial was when I said that we need to focus on local elections and even Thomas More, emaho, and Sioux Rose had taken kindly to my idea. A couple of other users on the forums took up my idea and thanked me for bringing it up. Maybe that's my crime. To bring up the awareness that local elections and even statewide elections do indeed matter and can make a significant difference is probably what scared the admin folks at CD that somehow I was a threat to their ideal status quo in Washington. Maybe in 2 years when the Democrats lose their seats and probably even their majority status will CD stop banning diversity. Until then, all they want is kiss up or get kicked out. Very very sad.

By the way, what do you people think of the idea of going back to local elections and improving turnout there first followed by statewide offices and then federal? I was thinking that local elections are like the foundation of building a better government from the ground zero on up. At least that's the only way I can expect that there'll even be a chance in 20 years that we'll see a President Nader or the likes, no?

And as of writing this, when I go to google to get the cached pages, it seems that today, CD has just disabled google caching. Even freerepublic.com was never this nasty. I suspect that whoever now owns CD must have some serious mental paranoia or something.

John,

The fact that the purge - even blocking viewing of the news articles, happened AFTER the election is what is so chilling about the whole thing.

I pretty much verified that the whole "let Obama do what he needs to to get elected, then we will push and criticise him" tack was pretty much a lie. That they don't ban critics from the right, only form the left is just icing on the cake. The commondream Obama-lovers fully support his right-wing Mitt Romney style, Big Insurance Preservation Act - that's what the "affordable heakthcare" is code-language for. They fully support a "final solution" for the tribes of Afghqanistan and NW Pakistan.

I live in a fairly safe state (Pennsylvania) but still didn't feel that great about voting for Nader, but I am starting to feel better about it now.

Lets remember, the people running Commondreams are, first and foremost, rich men. haven't met one yet who doesn't enrage me with their superiority complexes and condesction.

John,

I posted some findings on the HTTP 403 IP address blocking issue on your other commmondreams thread.

I think the best way to get back at commondreams would be to publish a well-researched and written article on CD's shennanigans on another widely-accessed news site - our local Indymedia sites, Indymedia global, Informationclearinghouse, Znet, maybe even Counterpunch. I'll try to get a start on mine soon.

Nathan,

Like most of those at Guantanamo Bay, CD's purge no doubt caught many "innocent" (by CD standards) people like you as well. As far as CD turning itself into a Limbaugh site, what we critics have been trying to tell you is that it is only exxagerating a little to say the whole Democratic Party is turning itself into a "Limbaugh site"! That is why I despise it so.

I was just now kicked off of CD...I was flagged by a self-styled Sephardic Jew who really didn
't like my snotty remarks about Israel. He capped his remarks with a death threat. My response to the death threat (stating I would report it to the FBI) along with my original remarks were 'disappeared', and I am blocked from posting further comments. I am preparing my letter to the FBI right now.
The American Peasant

Yup, it continues.

The thing that sends them on a banning tizzy the quickest is simply to bring up that they ban people. Pretty Orwellian. How does Mr. Brown handle the cognitive dissonance: I can just hear him saying: "he accuses us of banning people? This is outrageous; ban him!"

Ive been banned from Commondreams.org yesterday for questioning editorial choices, putting a corporate news vancouver sun article in the side ticker when there is more progressive news sources about. I did remake an account though after they deactivated my account, to ask them to repost my comment and write a justification for closing my account. The next day my IP was blocked and i cannot see the website now at home, unless i fiddle with my router and i plainly just wont bother. Time to use other sites that have a less dictatorial stance on what can be said in comments. No matter how progressive the articles posted are, the comment issue just makes the website feel like an entire ironic joke.

To be clear (im french, i stumble sometimes) what happened is that my account was first deactivated when i commented about the editorial choices of putting corporate news in the ticker. They banned me when i remade a new account to comment and ask for the ban to be transparent and justified.

No matter how progressive the articles posted are, the comment issue just makes the website feel like an entire ironic joke.

Definitely agreed. Commondreams is an ongoing testament to the fact that the left can be just as bad as the right when it comes to trying to control what people can say.

This is from another thread.

I also wanted to share that I was also blocked/censored by commondreams recently (in January 2010). My crime? Not supporting Obama's health bill. And stating that commondreams was complicit in not having single payer healthcare being discussed. I know, they talked about it more recently but back when it would have mattered (a year ago) all the articles were 'support the public option.' I guess I also had been a Nader supporter.

Kind of like how they had all the Nader articles recently, but not when the presidential race was going on. Then it was marginalize Nader, Kucinich, and not even mention Gravel or McKinney.

In short, commondreams oppresses any dissent for the purpose of pushing the democratic/corporate agenda to the forefront.

I have to admit it was discouraging, though fairly obvious during the democratic presidential election when there was this blind support of Obama and Hillary, but very little talk of any other candidate. Yes, a few crumbs, but easily overwhelmed by the pro democratic party leadership stance.

so it goes,
Attila Gyenis

www.NotOneMore.US - The Pledge for Peace and Justice

Hey guys. I'm on my third incarnation at CD and got tangled up in a thread today that wound up getting wholesale disappeared per usual. One of the reasons I don't donate money to them in spite of their excellence at selecting a decent array of material everyday is because real time censorship is a very expensive proposition. I don't want my cash going to pay some dildo a few bucks an hour to yank peoples comments and IDs.

That said, the reality is that the internet is a place of business, and all the big blog/news sites are into making money. Even though CD doesn't take ads, they're still devoted to maximizing their donations, and to do that, you can't have the plebes questioning your integrity out loud. That's doubly true if you don't take ads, which I give them credit for.

I don't mind Brown getting a Stalin hard-on so much as I intensely dislike the dishonesty about the process and the arrogance and aloofness of management. The reality though is you can make comments about almost anything on there *except* for the site itself and how it is run.


Actually I was disappeared for posting a comment that was critical of Medea Benjamin--I had no idea they were censors at the time, so I certainly couldn't have mentioned it. And (as you can see on this page) others have been censored for similar offenses against the sensibilities of the CD Napoleons. Which makes sense; if all they were censoring was mentions of their censorship, how could the cycle even have started?

So pointing out their censorship may be one of the thoughtcrimes (and no doubt one of the more reliable ones), but it's definitely not the only one.

2014 UPDATE TO CD SILENCING OF INDEPENDENT PROGRESSIVES

I'm commenting here for purposes of informing independent progressives that Common Dreams today suspended my account and deleted all comments I've made in the past month, a number of which had scores of up-votes.

They did so because I am an outspoken critic of the Repub-Dem duopoly, and often condemn the neo-lib Dem establishment for its duplicitous support of the wealthy, their corporate cartels, perpetual war, Israel-AIPAC, etc.

(I always held that every CD reader fully understood Repub evil, but that many did not realize the extent of establishment-Dem evil, so I tended to focus on that.)

In a recent comment I reported well-researched facts of CD's dependence on foundations funded by wealthy corporate capitalists, stating my opinion they would expect articles favorable to the neo-lib Dem establishment. (It goes without saying, given their over-representation on the CD foundation funder list, that they would frown upon anything calling attention to the excessive influence on the neo-lib Dem establishment of a subset of the wealthy some refer to as "Zionists".)

Additionally I was critical of years of CD tolerance of chronic and near-daily defamation attacks on independent progressives by one SiouxRose, a commercial astrologist whose real name according to public copyright records is Susan Rosenberg. Whether she is a wealthy donor I do not know, but I don't think it just coincidence that CD suspended my account and deleted all my recent comments on the same day that SiouxRose -- after several weeks not commenting -- resumed commenting and attacking independent progressives with a vengeance.

I routinely abided by CD commenting policy, the proof of which in the past month has now been purged by CD. I was not the among the most frequent or popular commenters on CD -- you can't be highly popular on CD if you are a frequent Dem critic -- but my blunt comments were getting considerable notice in the last month, and no small amount of agreement.

CD is a 501c3, but CD censors progressives too critical of the Dem establishment and CD support of it, in violation of their right to free speech, and does so in favor of the wealthy keen to suppress threats to their wealth and control. Their influence extends more deeply into CD article selection etc than even most independent progressives realize. The LAST thing I would want is for other independent progressives to edit their speech on CD in surrender to this insidious complicity with the wealthy of the Dem establishment and their propagandists, much less surrender to a chronic defamer of independent progressives.

I've been made aware of several similar CD bannings of other independent progressives in recent days and months. When others see them, they tend to then conform to the coerced view so as not to get banned.

I just made a $35 donation to Nation of Change in hopes it will survive and not go the way of CD. I'm the co-founder of a site at http://sen4earth.org/articles/ which has been mostly idle since 2010 for lack of resources including co-founder time. Perhaps I should reactivate it and pound hard on all I've learned about USA Empire Inc and the Dem establishment role in it, and do an expose of how it trickles down into sites like CD and even gives rise to silencing of independent progressives and tolerance of those who chronically, recklessly, and insanely defame them, using commercial brand names to do it. Anyone having thoughts about this can reach me by submitting a message to "Website" [where you select department] at http://sen4earth.org/articles/... All messages are relayed to my personal email.

Be warned that being banned by CommonDreams may have larger consequences now, since they're now using Disqus. I was banned again there (as far as I can tell) for posting something that contradicted CD's editorial stance, and I thought, no surprise. But then I found that I could no longer comment at a different site that uses Disqus for comments -- and I know for a fact that that site almost never bans commenters or otherwise censors speech (and they wouldn't have had cause to with my comments). Unlike CD this other site allows "anonymous" usernames, so I logged out of the Disqus username I'd used on CD and tried some tests to see what exactly was banned: the Disqus username, the associated email address, or the IP address. What I found is that I had to change my IP address and use a different name and email address to be able to comment there. I don't know how Disqus works on the backend for site admins, but I'd guess that CommonDreams is "banning" people by telling Disqus they're spammers and blocking every aspect of their online identity--which would be in keeping with their scorched earth policy toward commenters.

So be aware that being banned by CD now may make it difficult for you to post at other sites that use Disqus (and many people either don't know how to change their IP address or can't do it with their Internet setup).

2015 UPDATE: Common Dreams Censorship and Misrepresentation

On Jan 3, 2015 CD temporarily suspended commenting, announcing days later that it would soon deploy a new commenting function giving it the COMPLETE censoring control over comments and commenters that Disqus didn't.

The temporary suspension of commenting was occasioned by the increasing exposure (by CD commenters and CD-banned commenters on other Disqus-using sites) of wealthy gate-keeper funding of CD, CD fundraising misrepresentations, CD censoring, and the infamous and years-long CD-SR quid pro quo.
In the months leading up to the temporary suspension, CD had been intensifying its efforts to suppress exposure of the foregoing, via prohibition of links, numerous bannings erasing thousands of comments, selective purging of threads and subthreads and individual comments, and follow-up scrubbings to reduce traces of censoring left by routine Disqus "moderation" actions. Throughout that period, CD fundraising emails continued to misrepresent the source of most of its funds, and claimed that "snakes" and dark forces were trying to silence CD.

OVERVIEW

CD is, in effect, a neo-lib front run by Dem Party operative Craig Brown. Contrary to its claim of being 100% funded by small donations from readers, two thirds of CD's "take" is from foundations funded and controlled by gate-keeping wealthy corporate capitalists and heirs. Among them Citgo, IBM, GM, Walmart Waltons, Ted Turner CNN, banksters, media moguls, etc. CD banned scores of progressive and dissident commenters in 2008 and again in 2012 for complaining about its support of Obama. In a move analogous to USA Empire Inc's use of Sept 11 as a pretext for perpetual war and erecting a domestic police state, this past summer CD used a hyped HamBaconEggs campaign to launch its intensification of overt and covert censorship, of which prohibition of links is just a part. Most of what others thought were voluntary departures were bannings. CD bans anyone (a) complaining about its support of faux-progressive Dems, (b) mentioning its funding by wealthy gatekeepers, (c) mentioning the bannings and pervasive censorship, or (d) complaining about the CD(Brown)-SR quid pro quo.

The CD(Brown)-SR quid pro quo is in my opinion as follows: SR is exempt from commenting policy (for example, SR is allowed to routinely and falsely allege that numerous other progressive and dissident commenters are paid neo-con and/or govt agents), allowing her to promote her astrology biz and indulge her insatiable ego and habit of attacking popular dissidents and her own detractors. In return for that she polices article threads daily, commenting to reinforce the Dem and neo-lib propaganda articles, attack and harass article critics, and manipulate the gullible and timid. She pays particular attention to comments posted by her antagonists. Seeing any she knows Brown wants censored (see a,b, c, and d above), she flags them to CD moderators for banning, thus serving herself and Brown. So, it has long been the case that one can post comments critical of SR on CD without getting banned, but not any comments exposing a, b, c or d. Some commenters are well aware of the foregoing, but censor themselves so as not to be banned, which is exactly what Brown wants, because that in turn keeps most readers and commenters wholly unsuspecting, and adding donations to those from his wealthy backers.

In the most recent year for which data is available, 2013, Brown's personal take (from reader donations of roughly $250,000 and wealthy gate-keeper grants of over $650,000) was over $150,000. And that doesn't include his travel expense accounts. You can Google "Sioux Rose Kevin Trudeau" for links to videos of SR's ongoing biz with convicted felon Kevin Trudeau. In one of the videos Trudeau and SR recount their long relationship, and Trudeau says that SR stayed at his ranch for months. That would be irrelevant except for the fact of the quid pro quo that allows SR to use her commercial biz name and promote same on CD. CD is a 501c3, prohibited from conduct inuring non-incidentally to the financial benefit of the business that is "Sioux Rose", both as to brand name and commercial website domain name. Further, for using that name, SR has made herself a public and commercial figure.

Brown's wealthy funders include a number of apparent AIPAC backers keen to keep liberals and progressives oblivious to faux-progressive Dem support of Israel, war spending, elite-serving police state, regressive tax policies, etc. The current strategy is one of promoting Warren as the savior breaking with Obama. In fact, Warren is a former Reagan Repub installed by bankster-installed Obama, and has already endorsed Clinton. Her role is lip-service to populism, championing such duplicitous and too-little too-late appeasements as the wealthy will go along with to quiet and dupe the masses, and keep progressives in the Dem fold of the duopoly.

But Brown is also heavily promoting McKibben's 350-led "movement", and his cosmetic sponsor in turn, Bill Moyers. Background facts: Moyers was Press Sec and Advisor to Dem LBJ, who gave the wealthy the war of capitalism versus socialism they wanted in Vietnam. After that Moyers served as director of the Rockefeller-funded Council on Foreign Relations, and was long a Bilderberg member and even a director of the infamous Rockefeller Foundation (think Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, CIA, MIC, banking cartel, big oil, etc). Then from 1990 until shortly ago, Moyers was Pres of Schumann Media Center, a foundation funded and controlled by wealthy neo-lib IBM and GM heirs. Moyers backed McKibben. Guess who bankrolled McKibben in the millions? Ultra-wealthy Rockefellers heirs and wealthy IBM and GM heirs. Why? Because McKibben keeps heat off Obama and the Repub-Dem duopoly and fracking madness, focusing people on a pipeline segment that's moot. Ever more tarsand oil will go to Houston for refining and shipment to highest bidder by existing pipeline and rail tanker even if the Keystone segment is never built.
And more importantly, McKibben endorses the carbon trading scheme that Wall Street wants. The scheme is an analog to the banking cartel's Fed, taxpayer funding of the MIC and police state, the ACA health insurance cartel, NAFTA, etc. What's good for Wall Street is good for wealthy Rockefeller, IBM and GM heirs. They fund neo-lib orgs to keep progressives duped and on the duopoly rails that keep them in dynastic wealth and power. In the last year for which I can determine who Rockefeller, IBM and GM heirs funded, 2012, they gave Brown (CD) over $200,000. Moyers? He's now retiring with $34 million, and CD publishes the work of his servant, Winship, one of many pundits supported by grants etc from wealthy gatekeepers.

PS to John C. Now that CD is switching to a non-Disqus commenting function allowing totalitarian control of comments and commenters, I would anticipate it will be preloaded to block previously-banned email addresses and/or IP addresses.
In any event I would anticipate that Brown will succeed in preventing significant exposure of all he wants concealed, as will the whole of the gate-kept neo-lib network.
Even dissidents like Hedges limit their call-out of the gate-kept neolib network because they are dependent on being published by that network to reach a sizeable audience. Tellingly, CD didn't publish the last Hedges article complaining generically about gate-keeper funding of the neo-lib network. Few will ever see such opinions and facts as we citizens are able to express here in exercise of our right to criticise public entities and figures, and no such opinions and facts will survive the totalitarian censoring portended at CD.

The above comment by Greg Hilbert sounds like a conspiracy theory.

While I'm in sympathy with OP's experience of censorship by CD, and agree Craig Brown is at the very least an asshole, Mr. Hilbert's comments about Israel should give all progressives pause.

Hilbert writes:

"They did so because I am an outspoken critic of the Repub-Dem duopoly, and often condemn the neo-lib Dem establishment for its duplicitous support of the wealthy, their corporate cartels, perpetual war, Israel-AIPAC, etc."

These are talking points from the radical extremist right, repackaged for leftist consumption. I can't speak to Mr. HIlbert's motives, but he wouldn't be the first to be duped into promoting what sounds like progressives criticism, but is actuality dogwhistle propaganda:

"not left or right" = nutbar right libertarianism
"wealthy cartels" = Jews
"Israel-AIPAC" = Jews

One can read more about how to make legitimate criticisms of Israel from an anti-racist perspective here:
http://www.buildingequality.us/prejudice/antisemitism/rosenblum/

I came to this website researching Medea Benjamin and Common Dreams. Benjamin was part of a political meeting of antisemite personalities at a conference:

http://blog.adl.org/international/iran-new-horizon-conference-draws-u-s-anti-semites-holocaust-deniers

I am personally convince Benjamin has become a dishonest mouthpiece for Anti-Semitic propaganda and radical right politics under the cover of extreme leftism. As for CD, they seem like they either have an agenda or were/are under the strong influence of someone with an agenda, most likely a political associate that earned their trust and wants a leftist platform.

If true, it's very unlikely to be "Citgo, IBM, GM, Walmart Waltons, Ted Turner CNN, banksters, media moguls, etc". More likely candidates are connections to Libertarian party think tanks and/or radical "Patriot" groups. Because that's how that kind of political fraud works.

Look at the arc of Cindy Sheehan. She started as an antiwar progressive, moved to "not left or right" Libertarianism and now is a mouthpiece for 9/11 trutherism and Tea Party woo.


"wealthy cartels" = Jews
"Israel-AIPAC" = Jews

Uh huh.

You know, when you've reached the point of tossing out hysterical (both senses) and knee-jerk accusations of anti-Semitism in an 8-year old posting about comment censorship, you might want to consider whether your obsession has gotten the best of you.

Thank you John Caruso. I was thoroughly disgusted reading S Kit's ugly and pathetic attempt to CONCOCT grounds to throw the canard of anti-Semitism at me and the record of documented FACTS surrounding the history of censorship of dissidents by Common Dreams, which is ongoing and well known to scores of commenters banned by Common Dreams just in 2015, many of whom now comment at Truthdig.

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