You’ve heard the joke about the kid’s excuse for not doing his homework. It goes something like “The dog ate it.” This is the level that ‘progressives’, too often, have stooped. Progressives, who are desperately trying to capture readership market, and the donations that come from that, sometimes make alliances with other progressives, but when they haven’t, they are brutal. How many progressive blogs have you found to carry a lot of useful links? (But there’s those ubiquitous links to Deep State tools like Facebook and Twitter.) You know that the problem isn’t that those who run those websites don’t read around. They and their contributors are very informed. That info doesn’t just pop into their heads. They read – other blogs, books, everything and, commendably, even rightwing crap that more timid souls (like myself) can’t face. I don’t expect to find links to rightwing orgs on progressive websites. But there’s usually almost ‘no’ links. You get, often, less than a handful. Thanks Guides, for the, uh, guidance! Progressives should get over themselves. They aren’t going to save the world. I’m not going to save the world – the world being: the few people who aren’t helping to mentally and spiritually ruin others while physically ruining the liveable earth and trying to replace God with themselves – and it doesn’t matter, therefore, if my blog is never read by a single soul. And I keep company with God. Most progressives prefer a fake God, namely humankind. And Santa Claus.
From time to time, I come across expressions (that succeed in getting published) of frustration by readers visiting this or that progressive website. One of the changes I’ve noticed since the reins to Consortium News passed from the late Robert Parry to Joe Lauria was a kind of reliance on a spam filter that wasn’t there before. (Was there no spam filter in use before Joe Lauria?) I don’t know the details and I can very well imagine what kind of fun I’d have trying to get those uber conversationalists to tell me anything much. I believe they are now using Akismet. My own WordPress.com blog uses Akismet. There’s no question that something like Akismet is needed. I learned, probably naively, to trust Akismet. I no longer trust Akismet. Akismet may have zero to do with the censorship I’m experiencing (zero hits on some days, usually about one or two hits), but I just don’t know who is censoring me or how. (Akismet should have nothing to do with my being censored, but I simply don’t know. And if Akismet isn’t involved in my recent receding from view online that doesn’t mean that Akismet is on my side. But I am gratified to know that I’m giving evidoers with power ulcers. If I was stroking them, I’m sure I’d be fine and maybe famous.) Now, When I attempt to have a ‘conversation’ with others on CN, it’s completely crippled by the moderation they employ (or deploy). How do you have a conversation of any sort when the time lag is a day or days? You can’t. And a lot of ‘progressive’ websites are doing this. But not all. Off Guardian, Rogue Journalist and 21st Century are a few of the progressive places online where you can see your comments published almost immediately. It’s appreciated.
Also, because of annoying SPAM, we have installed a SPAM filter that uses algorithms to detect SPAM. The filter does a good job at this, but sometimes catches legitimate comments by accident. During the day, we try to recover these comments, but please do not be upset if one of your comments suffers this fate.
In addition, we use an automated system that pulls out questionable comments for manual review. Those comments that do not violate our Comments Policy will be restored. Do not be dismayed if there is a delay before your comment is approved or permanently removed. – Consortium News
“…I can offer no solution to stopping the imperial beast other than: educate yourself and as many others as you can, increasing the numbers of those in the opposition until it reaches a critical mass…” – William Blum, pages 15 & 16, “American’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy And Everything Else”
Do not be dismayed if your comment is permanently removed? Okay. As for the killing of the conversation, You could have also said “The State made me do it.”
I mean, Come on! With all the censorship happening, and real news fading from view, and from the consciousness of people, Is this restriction on reader interaction that so many progressive sites’ managers do the solution? Do two problems now equal a solution? As the late William Blum said, all that we have left is education. (Will we call passive learning ‘education’? Then everyone out there with a tv set is educated!) Moderation that involves a huge time lag is bad enough (and yes, it’s better than not allowing us to interact). But fairly regularly, my comments also get disappeared. Call it moderation with extreme prejudice. I don’t really care about getting disappeared on rightwing websites, should I happen to visit one and log on in order to comment. I may or may not blog about such disappearances. But when it happens on websites belonging to those I thought were on my (progressive) side… I know that I’m not evil. Therefore, If you must attack me, that tells me something about you. Got that American Herald Tribune? If I give you ulcers, then you deserve them. Be sure of it.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows, to be followed by my back and forth with another visitor to the site. His name is Robert H. Stiver. I assume that’s his real name, but I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. The excerpt from the article by Philip Giraldi is given mainly in order to keep to proper form. I’m mainly talking about talking about the article. But readers are entitled, I think, to know a little about the article that led to our (Robert and mine) exchange:
An excerpt from the top of post linked-to article follows:
Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.
The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War…
One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together (DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.
DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causes in the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.
Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard.
My back and forth with Robert, minus the disappeared comment I offered as a reply to Robert’s questions follows:
My reply to Robert, disappeared from the AHT website:
Glenn Greenwald is indeed good at what he does. But he’s allowed himself to be used. So have the other celebratory lefty journos that accepted employment with Omidyar. And Glenn isn’t the shining star that he appears to be. If he was, for starters, he would admit he’s made a mistake and take steps to correct it.
I understand the argument about funding. I recently had a back and forth about that with the fine folks behind Criminal Legal News. I’m now in the habit of checking an org’s funders. That’s because so many progressive sites are fakers. Some, like Daily Kos, were always easy to spot. Others look solid, for a long time. Then out of the blue they start churning out evil pro establishment, pro empire crap. Even though other journos, like Elizabeth Vos, had warned us about a progressive org run by a billionaire, I never saw anything terrible (partly because I missed stuff, I now realize) about the Intercept until I read Murtaza’s [Murtaza Hussain] awful pro White Helmets, pro USAID article. Similarly, If Amy Goodman had run for president and I were American, I would have voted for her for sure. I was at work one day and someone who I was accompanying (a new staffer for the business I do security for), who was listening to Democracy Now on the radio, asked me what I thought of DN. Until that very moment, I would have recommended DN to her, as I told her, but the show we both were listening to was awful pro White Helmets crap.
It’s not small potatoes. For years, these types of orgs can fake people out. Avaaz can have people sending money for saving whales or forests or whatever good thing you like for years, and then one day call for signing a petition to have the US impose a no-fly zone over Syria, which effectively means the destruction of Syria, which the US and its (State and non State) terrorist allies are right now attempting. If the people dishing out funds for Avaaz’s worthy causes haven’t been paying attention, they go along with Avaaz, thinking that they’re the good guys. And the consequences for targets of US aggression pay the consequences.
Criminal Legal News, part of a stable of orgs that, as far as I can tell, do good work, gets funding from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, evil entities through and through. CLN argues that they have no choice because the advocacy work they do (prisoner rights) isn’t sexy or something that people, generally, will get behind. Well, That’s reality. You are going to sell your soul because life is hard?! The thing is, There are many orgs that seem to do okay without taking money from the mentally and spiritually ruined who are powerful and rich. I can’t judge, except insofar as it pertains to who I’m going to support. You know, I have a blog (which is censored but not completely shut down) that I’ve worked on for about 10 years. It looks fine and I have cranked out hundreds of posts and continue to. For free. WordPress.com is what I use. I guess that you could argue that the dot com version of WP, as opposed to their .org version (which allows users to use the WP platform but is not hosted by WP and free therefore from WP’s family friendly restrictions) means that WP could snap its finger and disappear me. They could. But what’s the difference between the fascist gov telling an ISP to kill someone’s account and the fascist gov telling WP to kill an account. When I asked WP about censorship they were happy to tell me that they don’t censor – unless the gov tells them to.
This is the problem with a privatized internet. It was privatized in 1995. Give Yasha Levine’s “Surveillance Valley” a read. It goes into all of this. For some time, the people were allowed to use the internet relatively unmolested, even though it had been stolen from them. But since 2016 (Google’s First Draft), the Corporatocracy State and it’s allies have been employing censorship big time. We have all but completely lost the internet. What will be left to us online when the fascists are done will be what the State finds acceptable. Guess what that will be? It will be pro war-making State statements and sentiments. The darkness is spreading and getting deeper.
I recommend a recent article by Caitlin Johnstone titled “Fight The Establishment’s Narratives By Getting Clear On Your Own.” It will help you to think about all of this, in my view. I have been grappling with what it means to be a progressive for a while and finally took a stab at airing my thoughts about that in a blog post. You might find that useful as well. It’s called “Progressives.” It’s on my blog titled “A Yappy Trade Barrier.”
“Revealed: Visitor logs show full extent of Pierre and Pamela Omidyar’s cozy White House ties” –
“Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show” –
“On the importance of keeping investors out of the newsroom, and not treating your readers like fools” –