Rat-Like Gatekeepers

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Worse Than Obama’s Kill List? American Support for It | Common Dreams -by Jon Queally, staff writer

*edit, December 23, 2016 – Someone read this post today, prompting me to re-examine it. That’s proven to be, besides a vanity thing, extremely useful. I find typos and other messes I missed and, sometimes, I have related info that all on it’s own justifies an edit that will allow me to add it in. For example, below I discuss Common Dreams’s apparent censorship. Later, The ‘apparent’ was resolved into ‘not actual’ as CD pleaded with us to be patient as they dealt with saboteurs. And things were smooth sailing for me there after that, until… This year, I was banned for real by this pseudo (pro White Helmets, pro Politico, pro neoliberal destroyer of Russia [in drunkard, pro West Boris Yeltsin’s reign] Jeffrey Sachs, pro CIA asset Graham Fuller] progressive organization. Progressive orgs are dying [being found out or selling out] like moths and it’s probably only a matter of time before my presence on some discussion boards [of seemingly progressive organizations and individuals], where I am as critical of editorial choices as I was at CD, will deal with me. Then there’s a third way progressive organizations (and anti, in some way, establishment businesses) can disappear. The state can disappear them. (Today, Another organization that looked utterly solid and received nothing but praise from me, failed. Canadian Dimension magazine offered up a couple of articles spouting pro corporatocracy nonsense about Aleppo having ‘fallen’ [instead of being ‘liberated’] and about the ‘wonderful’ White Helmets. For real, as in truthful, news about the White Helmets there are any number of still progressive websites and authors, including 21st Century Wire and The Real News Network and Vanessa Beeley and Max Blumenthal.) And that’s unfortunate but okay. As Jesus told his followers, “…store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, whether neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.” I have tried, to no avail, three different email addresses in an effort to re-register at Common Dreams (in an open and transparent fashion).

Also, I’ve since done up an essay about gatekeepers that I keep in the cloud, hosted by a company (pro Google, sadly) called Box. I’ll link to it here.

*edit, February 17, 2013 – I was prompted by another participant’s reply to my complaints about what appeared to be Common Dreams’s censorship in relation to my posts disappearing to revisit a link at the top of the page attached to the most recent article (by Ralph Nader re minimum wage) that I had posted a (disappeared) comment too. (I had read the msg before but it didn’t sink in.) The message linked to explains that CD is dealing (gracefully?) with an onslaught of spam attacks seemingly originating in that paragon of capitalism, namely China. My bad. I will shut up. Although the rules allow for my being banned, it hasn’t happened yet. However, Craig (who I emailed about my disappearing posts) could have emailed me to do the same thing that my friend had to do publicly, but I guess CD hasn’t received enough donations yet to allow the staff to attend to any but the most basic and urgent matters. And that’s that.

*edit, February 15, 2013 – I seem to be not allowed to reply to Catherine Carre. It’s utterly annoying. It’s nothing bad that I’m doing, but I have no clue, and CD isn’t giving me one, why I’m getting that treatment. I emailed Craig Brown, a staffer at the top of the list of staff attached to a link on the CD website about it. This was a day ago. No reply yet. I simply asked him why I can’t reply to Catherine’s comment. And I asked him to have CD stop sending me requests for donations. What else can I do or say to register my frustration? I couldn’t donate if I wanted to. Still…

In regard to my participation in the discussion attached to the above linked-to article, Try keeping track of a conversation online when some asshole (or assholes) keeps interfering, both by disappearing comments you make and by the ‘awaiting moderation’ move. In the case of Common Dreams, a clearinghouse for anti-imperial, anti-corporatocracy articles from all sorts of authors (in alt media and major media) all over the world, one doesn’t usually see ‘awaiting moderation’ after posting a comment. I have been a registered participant on the Common Dreams website for years. I visit daily and comment frequently. Only occasionally, and recently, have my comments been met with ‘awaiting moderation’ and disappearance.

As I noted in a comment I attached to an entry by Glenn Greenwald (which seems to have been ‘automatically’ disappeared, since I just posted it and it’s not there, which is unusual/ See “DOJ Kill List Memo Forces Many Dems Out of the Closet as Overtly Unprincipled Hacks”), whose critiques of imperialism, American foreign policy and corporatocracy (not using that term that I know of) are bang on, comments by myself that I’m seeing CD hold up or disappear are similar in content and politics to his. I don’t expect CD to disappear anything printed by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald.

Well, I can’t give you a screen shot of my disappeared post or posts. But I can show you the awaiting moderation msg that greeted my post. Annoyingly, It appeared after a few edits. Initially, the post was without the ‘awaiting moderation’ msg. Then it appeared. If it’s an automated feature, then it doesn’t work. Well, It works but not for democracy.

CD response to Catherine Carre awaiting moderation

The following is either part of a very long post I submitted or one of a couple I posted. It’s not the original, obviously. It’s from memory:

***************************************************
CD: If you disappear this (my last reply to Catherine Carre was disappeared), which you are free to do, it will not disappear. I’ll be posting it to my blog. That’s what I do. Sometimes I don’t see it coming (thinking “Friends won’t disappear my posts.”) and so I don’t copy my comments. But I can usually remember what I’ve said. I will now repeat what I said previously. Disappear this and it will be up on my blog in a category labelled ‘Disappeared’. And it will link to this article and your website.

In fact, I comment fairly frequently here. Sometimes the posts are short and sometimes they are long. You may have disappeared a couple of my posts tonight. I’m not seeing quite a bit that I know I wrote.

Catherine: That’s not correct. Cognitive dissonance isn’t a positive. It’s a negative. Critical thinking is an entirely different thing. I have read a fair bit about it.

A cognition is any singular thought you have and it can come from any other thought or deed or source.

Cognitive dissonance, a theory originated by Leon Festinger (http://bit.ly/XxWBne) and his associates, deals with specific cognitions. For example, We all hold a basically positive self-image of ourselves. If a person does something that he knows contradicts that image, he will acquire cognitive dissonance in relation to that behavior. Cognitive dissonance is like an itch. It’s a mental itch if you wish. Like any itch, you’ll want to scratch it. If you can’t remove the source of the itch, the next best thing will [be] reducing the itch to a point where you can mostly ignore it. There’s two ways to deal with cognitive dissonance: You can deal with it positively, by admitting that the bad behavior that caused your dissonance is bad behavior and change course accordingly. That doesn’t reduce dissonance so much as eradicate it. Take out the sliver, and the distress soon enough completely disappears.

The other way to deal with cognitive dissonance is to merely reduce it, which is the course chosen by those who lack humility (which those who possess a moral foundation will not lack). That negative approach is referred to as dissonance-reduction. Rather than make corrections to one’s behavior that will remove dissonance and allow one to easily hold onto his (or her) positive self-image, the ‘reducer’, who doesn’t intend – for whatever reasons – to change the bad behavior causing his mental itch will then attempt to change the chain of thinking, and the chain of cognitions, linking his bad behavior with his positive self-image so that the one doesn’t so glaringly contradict the other.

“…I made the point that people are capable of rational, adaptive behavior as well as dissonance-reducing behavior. Let’s return to that issue. If a person spends all of his time protecting his ego, he will never grow. In order to grow, we must learn from our mistakes. But if a person is intent on reducing dissonance, he will not admit to his mistakes. Instead, he will sweep his mistakes under the rug, or worse still, he will turn them into virtues. The autobiographical memoirs of former presidents are full of the kind of self-serving, self-justifying statements that can best be summarized as “if I had it all to do over again, I would not change a thing.”” -page 156 of “The Social Animal,” by Elliot Aronson (http://bit.ly/P7kr8w)
*********************************************************

Well, the above was my complete post. But I no sooner published it when I found this article on Rabble which resonated with me due to my issues with CD. I’m not up on Alex Hundert and, in perusing some of his entries on Rabble, I see that he disagrees with those who feel that the Black Bloc are divisive. In that case, I disagree with him. That aside, read his disturbing article “Back in the hole: ‘Anarchist material removed’.”

An excerpt from Alex’s Rabble article follows:

** On the evening of January 21st, I was brought back to the hole. Not on misconduct this time, but to what is known as Administrative Segregation because the Security Manager has decided that having me on range, where I can associate with other imprisoned people, constitutes a threat to security. That is only after having spent a week in the hole for “inciting a disturbance likely to endanger the security of the institution.” I was returned to Unit 5 on the order of the provincial adjudicator. I was placed on one end of the Unit where only [some] did not participate in the protest action here that occurred on Jan 12th. I have not been provided with any basis for being removed from general population aside from the vague notion of security measures, nor have I been given any justification for being stripped of any of my so-called privileges. All I know for certain is that it was the personal prerogative of Security Manager Martin Krawczyk. On the way to the segregation unit, the Sergeant said if I didn’t write so well, I wouldn’t be in this mess — or something to that effect. Perhaps Krawczyk and the CNCC [Central North Correctional Centre] administration have adopted the Harper-esque notion that bad public relations are synonymous with a threat to security. Regardless, it would appear that I am to be held in solitary confinement potentially indefinitely. Regardless of any particular reasons, it seems that being an anarchist organizer is now being understood as an inherent threat warranting segregation and the loss of most privileges. Given that the primary basis for this may very well be the writing I have been posting to this blog since–and prior to–my imprisonment, it feels appropriate to now post a piece I have been waiting for the right time to release. It is titled “Anarchist Material Removed.” **

“I am a settler imprisoned in a colonial institution, the Central North Correctional Centre, commonly referred to as the Penetang Prison, a provincial prison built on Anishinabek land. This superjail in Penetanguishene is located by Georgian Bay’s Penetang Harbor.” – Alex

Gatekeepers include those who have official, paid positions as gatekeepers. They can be police officers, judges and prison guards. They can be anyone. They can be regular people gatekeeping on their own, on their own time and dime or at work and with or without their employer’s knowledge, just because. It’s a wonderful world. (I just finished reading “The Coke Machine,” by Michael Blanding. It’s utterly disturbing to see, as we do in Blanding’s account, how judges line up with powerful anti-civil society forces to pervert justice by rendering decisions that support criminal corporations that poison, pollute and murder in the pursuit of profit and glory. Blanding in fact pulls his punches and tries to make nice with the corporatocracy even while his own reportage completely shatters any basis he could have for wimping out the way he does. But the book is well worth reading.)

The following is my online response to Alex’s Rabble article:

*********
“I have been trying to talk to someone here about the “screening of mail” and “letters and material not received” almost since I arrived here. I sent three requests to the Security Manager between July 27 and September 17 (“request” forms are the only way to communicate with management if you are a prisoner in the system), followed by another three to the Superintendent between September 18 and October 8. None of these received any response from the institution.”

That is what ‘professionalism’ looks like in a mafia capitalist system.

There’s both an acceleration of attacks on civil liberties and democrats happening today ‘and’ a frightening ememy creep (increasing numbers by converting your allies rather than undecideds). It’s like Tron. One day you’re blue. The next day you’re red. It happens too easily. And to anyone. Anywhere. I’ve been a registered participant on Common Dreams website (www.commondreams.org) for some time. Recently, I’ve been annoyed – and distracted – by the disappearance of my posts and by the appearance of ‘awaiting moderation’ messages. Do you want to kill a discussion? Get an asshole gatekeeper to interfere with it that way. Gatekeepers are like rats, as I’ve said before on Rabble. They can be found in enemy territory and in friendly places. Is Common Dreams infected or worse?

Interestingly, I find that messages of mine that get disappeared are similar in content to articles by Glenn Greenwald, whose articles CD would never disappear, I’m sure. But would that be a good strategy? I don’t think so. When I pointed that out in a comment attached to a recent Glenn Greenwald article picked up by CD (http://bit.ly/Y6caVi), the comment was ‘automatically’ disappeared! That was tonight. There was no ‘awaiting moderation’ message. (Normally, with CD, your post appears and remains and you don’t get an ‘awaiting moderation’ message.) What’s that?!

Is there really solidarity when your allies so easily believe one thing one day and another thing the next day?

Enemy creep certainly has a way of demoralizing you, as the enemy surely knows. I’m sure then that the enemy would like the idea a lot and see fostering enemy creep as a worthy, very supportable operation.
**************

Alex Hundert - photo by Christina Gao with Epoch Times

Alex Hundert – photo by Christina Gao with Epoch Times

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