31, 2009, Volume 16 Nr. 7, Issue 251
Common Dreams is well aware that In Latin America, during the 20th century, a new term emerged for those people that had simply vanished, as if they never existed. The term, to disappear, was the process by which writers, journalists, authors, and simply, people, who expressing an opinion that was deemed threatening went "poof!". They became the Deseparecido. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, sang, "And they said, 'It couldn't happen here..." Not to the same extreme degree, obviously, but to an alarming degree, nonetheless.
With deference to hyperbole, how is it that, Common Dreams, who apparently, and quite correctly, opposes disappearing people, practices the policy of disappearing comments and commentators if CD deems them to be critical? Post a comment implicating that Common Dreams is a front group for the Democratic Party, and "poof!", you are, Deseparecido.
Common Dreams is the "progressive" website that urges people to, "Join the movement. For the greater good", while expunging posts and posters from its comments section. I know. It has happened to me seven times in total, three times in a twenty-four hour period. I was disappeared as: vtjozef, binban (as in been banned), binban2x, binban3x, binban4x, binban5x, and, benban6x. I am stubborn, and so is Common Dreams, apparently, as after all those bannings, they still managed to send each banned e-mail address a solicitation for money. Amazing. Someone earns a salary to ban all those annoying comments from in-your-face Nader supporters, those who expose Obama for being more of the same, and the exposers of the ruse that attempts to pass as progressivism, while asking them for support and donation bucks.
Most readers are unaware of the Common Dreams disappearing act perpetrated on people posting "unacceptable" opinions on their website. Common Dreams has even blocked the IP address of posters who dare to violate their "progressive" sensitivities. They have also placed poster's user IDs and passwords in a "blocked" setting preventing further reading of the website, although this tactic seems to have stopped. Further blocking of comments from the secretly banned, however, continues.
The Common Dreams white screen of TCP/IP death states, "Sorry XXX.XX.XXX.XXX (TCP/IP address) has been banned." Anyone, with a modicum of Internet savvy, however, can have their DSL or Cable router force their ISP to change their IP address and then re-register with a different name and email acquired through any of the free email services such as Yahoo.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com, etc. One can play this happy game of horse pucky until such time as one becomes enlightened that Common Dreams is as much the problem with what is wrong with the USA than George W. Bush was, and Obama is. And therein lies the rub. Do not diss Common Dreams, liberals, Obama, or the Democratic Party. Else, Deseparecido!
Imagine the staff at Common Dreams scrupulously scouring their comments section at the end of each of the many articles they post. It takes a good amount of time and energy to conduct such surveillance. Perhaps, Common Dreams has learned from the Bush government's spying programs and paradigms? "If you're not with us, you're agin' us". Comments are examined for the established orthodoxy. Comments that do not match the orthodoxy are expunged as are any comments by others referencing or responding to them. Poof! The comments are gone. Never to have been written in the first place. Poof! The people who made the comments never existed. And all this with the power of mouse button. Click. Poof! What power! Deseparecido complete! Feels a bit like Dick Cheney, doesn't it?
Straight out of George Orwell's, 1984, Common Dreams has defined just what progressive censorship looks like. George Orwell in, 1984, wrote that the,
There is no warning nor any explanation given to those banned on Common Dreams. The offending comments and the miscreants forming them fall into George Orwell's "memory hole." In the novel, 1984, Winston Smith, while working at the Ministry of Truth, falsifies and rewrites history. The Ministry of Truth writes people off and out of history by placing them "down the memory hole" never having existed in the first place, just like Common Dreams does. If this is what it means to be progressive, then I am not a progressive. If this is what it means to be a liberal, then liberals be damned. Shame on you, Common Dreams. You have become what you purportedly despise.
Touché, Common Dreams. You are, indeed, but a dream, and a common scary one at that. Perhaps, Common Nightmare, is a more apropos name.
Jozef Hand-Boniakowski is co-editor and co-publisher of Metaphoria along with his life partner and wife, JeanneE. He is 30-year veteran retired teacher and a member of Veterans For Peace. His writings have appeared in Metaphoria, Dissident Voice, After Downing Street, Buzzflash, Counterpunch, Thomas Paine's Corner, Omni Center, Rutland Herald, Times Argus, and others.