In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard.

The election of 2020 is approaching us fast, and the primary season will be here before we know it. Already, the 2020 democratic field has a few challengers. The darling of the establishment, Elizabeth Warren, has announced. From the insurgency ranks, outside of the establishment, is Hawaii congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard.

Tulsi Gabbard, on nearly all sensible and progressive policies gets a perfect score. She supports the reinstitution of the Glass Steagall act.[1] She supports raising the minimum wage.[2] She also has vocally opposed and taken part in protests against the monstrosity called the Keystone Pipeline. She has continuously called for Climate change to be taken seriously and for America to embark on a pragmatic shift away from fossil fuels to efficient alternative energy.[3] She has supported civil rights for all individual Americans, including our Latino, LGBT, African-American, disabled and Muslim citizens.[4] So therefore, it appears she should be an ideal candidate for all left-leaning individuals, mainly those who supported Sanders in the 2016 primary. She also was one of the few Democrat Party officials to endorse Bernie Sanders during his presidential race in 2016, with considerable risk to her political career. She freely resigned from her high ranking post as vice chair of the DNC in order to follow her conscience and endorse Sanders, much to the chagrin of the DNC’s operators.

Most importantly, and speaking from the personal perspective as a PHD candidate in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, she has a spotless foreign policy. Hers is the kind needed for a successful and functional American relationship with not only the Middle East, but the rest of the world as well. She has rightly condemned the illegal war of aggression against Syria.[5] At great risk to her person, and her own political career, she undertook a fact-finding mission in the war-torn nation of Syria. She has since taken it upon herself, much to the ire of the Democratic Party establishment, to tell Americans the truth about where their tax-dollars are going. They are being funneled at the behest of the Military Industry Complex, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to aid the wrong side of a conflict that is of no interest to the United States. Mainly, the American government is actively using American money to assist those who have killed Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.[6] She also repeatedly called for the suspension of aid and weapon sales to the atrocious and genocidal regime in Saudi Arabia, which has been in the process of starving the Yemeni population to death.[7] She also condemned Obama’s illegal war of aggression against Libya, which our former commander in chief admitted was a tragic mistake.[8]

Also, just like many new congresspersons, she has courageously opposed actions of the Israeli government, much to the chagrin of the Israeli lobby in the United States. Far-right media Zionists call her an “enemy to Israel” for condemning Israel’s butchering of 58 Palestinians in the May of 2018. In our present day and age, with the embedded tyranny of the Israeli lobby, by far the most powerful lobby in the United States government, one who would threaten to break their power and influence should be considered an ideal candidate.[9]

As with the case of Bernie Sanders in the election of 2016, she has attracted her fair share of criticism from both the radical far left, with pieces of respected left-leaning organizations such as Rolling Stone[10], Jacobin Magazine[11], and the Socialist Worker[12]denouncing her. She has also predictably received her fair share of criticism from the right and from the establishment democrats. The criticisms far outshine anything which was leveled against Sanders during the 2016 election campaign. Among these allegations, is that she is a Hindu Nationalist, Islamophobe a homophobe, and a Bashar al-Assad apologist. Well, if we can examine the claims against her, one can see they are all as fictitious as the claims that Obama was born in Kenya, or that Jill Stein opposes vaccinations.

So what are the major criticisms of Mrs. Gabbard? One of the most pervasive ones is that she is an alleged “Hindu nationalist” and has ties to the controversial right-wing Indian party, the BJP, or as it is translated into English, the “Indian Peoples Party.” The BJP is often considered to be the equivalent of the religious right in Indian politics. They are often described as a Hindu supremacist and anti-Muslim organization. In particular, she has attracted considerable criticism for her advocacy of a visa for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Well, what are the facts behind this allegation? She has the support of a large section of the Indian-American community, many of whom are BJP supporters because they come from middle-upper class Indian backgrounds. Does this honestly surprise anyone? As the first Hindu in congressperson in the United States, it should come as no surprise that Hindu Americans would flock to her as someone who would represent their interests, or that she would lobby on the behalf of her religious community. Keith Ellison, when he was in congress, was largely seen as the spokesperson for the Muslim American community, and spoke at organizations like the Islamic Society of North America and the Council of American-Islamic Relations. Nobody of any serious consideration gives Jewish elected officials a hard time for representing the interests of the Jewish community in the United States, or Israel for that matter. A lot of folks are giving her trouble for being an alleged "apologist" for the controversial Indian Prime Minister Modi. All she has been doing, and rightly so, is trying to improve India-U S relations by criticizing the hypocritical visa denial of Narendra Modi. If Benjamin Netanyahu is allowed to come and go as he pleases; so should any other world leader. She also voted against a House bill, https://www.congress.gov/…/113th-congr…/house-resolution/417which, at the end of the day, was essentially nothing more than an attempt to drive a wedge between India and the United States.

It should be self-evident that the last thing the United States needs is to enter a cold war with India, a nuclear armed country with one of the largest armies in the world, and also a vital trading partner with the United States. So Gabbard should be applauded and not condemned for working towards a more ideal and peaceful world.

In a recent interview Gabbard clarifies she supports working with the Indian government as a whole, and does not favor the BJP over their opponents, the Indian Congress Party. She clearly states, that as a member of congress, she wishes to cultivate closer ties between the United States and India as a whole. She will not give preference to any particular Indian party, just as she is willing to reach across party lines within the United States and work with Republicans and Democrats alike to achieve better outcomes.[13]

Also, it is worth mentioning, that the reason those on the left are raising the alarm about Prime Minister Modi is because of his alleged involvement in some tragic massacres in 2002 in the Indian province of Gujarat. However, Modi has never been convicted in a court of law for any complicity in the Gujarat riots. The Supreme Court of India has upheld Modi’s innocence.[14] Modi has yet to be convicted, within India, or anywhere in the international community, such as the United Nations or the International Court of Justice for complicity in the crime. How can Gabbard be criticized for seeking to maintain positive relations with a legitimate head of state? Especially when so many friends of the United States have so much verifiable blood on their hands?

Another popular and monotonous canard against the congressperson is allegations that she is a “homophobe.” The evidence for this is that during her time as Hawaii state representative, at the young age of 22, she opposed the legalization of gay marriage. She also defended her father who is a staunch opponent of LGBT rights.

However, her time in the military, coupled with the natural progress of age and wisdom has led to her evolving on the issue. She has staunchly repudiated and apologized for her early opposition to LGBT rights.[15] One can clearly see from her voting record that she has voted in favor of every pro-LGBT piece of legislation, one of which prohibited federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as a bill that prohibits federal funding to law enforcement agencies that engage in demographic profiling in violation of the DOJ guidance. She voted against a bill that would have had the VAWA remove protections for LGBT individuals.[16] She also signed a letter to president Trump, asking him to reverse the ban of transgendered individuals serving the military.[17]

Will such apologies satisfy her critics? Apparently not, as they haven’t stopped talking about it, some having commented that the fact she had even once in her life held views such as those, should permanently disqualify her. Is this a fair assessment? As the great Heraclitus said, one cannot step in the same river twice. We are the sum of our experiences, and know only the information that we are exposed to, our upbringing and society shaping the way in which our plastic brains perceive the world in front of us. The famous Malcolm X for many years pronounced his opposition to the civil rights movement, and integration. However, after his pilgrimage to Mecca, he had a change of views and later broke ranks with his former organization, the Nation of Islam, which resulted in his ultimate demise.[18] George Wallace, Alabama governor and presidential candidate in the election of 1968 who famously said “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” later recanted his segregationist views. In his later years, Wallace made it a point to apologize to the leaders of Civil Rights movement.[19]

Another popular claim that is making rounds is that Mrs. Gabbard is bigoted against Muslims. Indeed, the Socialist Worker newsletter named their hit-piece “an Islamaphobic Progressive.” What is the evidence for this claim? It’s simply that she uses that term “Islamic terrorism” and criticized Obama for not considering the theological and spiritual motivations for organizations such as ISIS.

Speaking personally, as both a Muslim, and a PHD student in the field of Islamic studies, I can safely say that claims that criticism of Islamic extremism and fundamentalism account for Islamophobia is as bankrupt as the claim that criticism of Israel equates with antisemitism. Extremist Islam, while not representing the real heart of Islam, or the belief of most Muslims worldwide, is a very real thing. While economic reasons, such as destabilization brought on by regime change, the kind which Gabbard opposes whereas her colleagues in the democrat party support, is the major cause for recruitment, it is not the only thing.

To call her an Islamophobe is to call countless Muslims who have condemned Islamic extremism also Islamophobic. For example, distinguished journalist and Muslim himself, Stephen Sulayman Schwartz, who runs the Center for Islamic Pluralism, has written multiple books and articles about the unique danger posed by the Wahabi sect of Islam,[20] which for years has been funded and promoted by Saudi Arabia at the behest of the United States. With the power of Saudi Lobby in the United States, it will only take someone like Tulsi Gabbard to stand up to the power of the Saudi Arabian lobby. Donald Trump spoke against Hillary Clinton and her cozy relationship with the Saudi Arabian lobby, only to betray our nation like his predecessors by authorizing a generous arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Gabbard has explicitly praised distinguished Muslims who have been killed by the followers of Salafism, such as the prominent Pakistani Sufi Muslim Amjad Sabri, who was killed by fundamentalists in Pakistan in 2016. For this, she has been lauded by the Muslim-American group “Interfaith Unity for Tolerance.” The group was founded by Pakistani-American Muslims specifically to raise awareness and combat the spread of extremist interpretations of Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly those from the fundamentalist Salafi and Deobandi sects.[21]

If one watches the media interviews in question, the ones which the progressives have lambasted her for, and for which she allegedly was made a hero to the American right, she rightly so criticized president Obama for selling weapons to the same nations who are arming ISIS, al-Queda, and other Salafi terrorist organizations. Specifically, she singles out the nations of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. She also acknowledges that the terrorist threat extends well beyond ISIS. A number of other groups, including those affiliated with the so-called “moderate opposition” in Syria, that is to say, the Free Syrian army are equally as heinous as ISIS. Radical Muslims succeeded in establishing parts of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya as a base to serve broader ambitions which have deadly consequences, for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The bases of operation arose as a direct consequence of American and European interventions, interventions which Gabbard has rightfully opposed.[22]

Furthermore, what refutes the notion that she is Islamophobic is the simple fact that she has proven herself an ally to the Muslim community on multiple occasions. Namely, she endorsed Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in congress, for chair of the DNC. She also spoke out against Trump’s travel ban from Muslim majority countries. She has spoken to several Muslim-American communities, including Muslims United for Peace, where she reaffirmed her commitment to civil liberty for all Americans, including Muslims. She also made it clear that she does not, in anyway shape or form, believe that most Muslims are terrorists, or terrorist sympathizers. She makes it clear that there is a night and day difference between the small minority of Islamic extremists, and the religion of over a billion people on the face of this planet. Also interestingly enough, she sees the Prophet Muhammad as a recipient of divine revelation, as a member of her branch of Hinduism which takes a universalist approach to religion.[23] Specifically, she says, “Let me be clear, the political ideology of Islamism is not the same as Islam, the religion. The vast majority of Muslims who embrace Islam do not adhere to the political ideology of Islamism.”[24]

Then of course, there is her trip to Syria, where she met with President Assad. Howard Dean and many others who run the upper ranks and inner political machine of the Democrat Party denounced her vigorously. She won the label of an “Assad apologist” for meeting with the president of Syria. Some outlets have gone so far as to call her a traitor, for meeting with America’s so-called “enemy.”

To make one thing clear is that yes, Assad is a Tyrant who lots of blood on his hands; this is something which Gabbard has freely acknowledged. However, it has yet to be established if he has been guilty of the crimes associated with him. Namely, allegations of both the Trump and the Obama administration that Assad used chemical weapons have yet to be verified. More importantly, Assad is welcomed and supported by Syria’s religious minorities, namely the Christians, Shiites, and Druze population.[25] Despite the fact that the media loves to tell us of the Syrian civil war being an alleged “sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites” a large percentage of Syrian Sunnis support Bashar al Assad.[26] Despite the fact that pro-government Shiite forces, as well as the primarily Shiite group Hezbollah has been accused of sectarian killings, there is no credible evidence of any authorized genocide of the Sunni population.[27] Quite the contrary, Syrian Rebels have been committing systematic ethnic cleansing of religious and ethnic minorities. This includes the YPG, the main Syrian Kurdish group based in Northeastern Syria, who have been accused by Amnesty International of war crimes against the Arab and Turkmen populations.[28]

How can Assad be considered an “enemy” of the United States, when congress has yet to declare war against the Syrian state, something which Gabbard pointed out on more than one occasion? During the Vietnam war plenty of American journalists travelled to North Vietnam to meet with the leaders of the NVA in order to properly study the situation. Former congresspersons Cynthia Mckinney[29] and Walter Fauntroy[30] undertook a fact-finding tour in the nation of Libya during US’s unconstitutional intervention. Mckinney and Fauntroy both came back to the states and provided detailed accounts of what they witnessed, as well as exposing the lies and media distortions which were perpetuated by the media giants.

Furthermore, the idea that Syria can even be qualified, at this point, as a “Civil War” is dubious at best, for a large percentage of Syria’s revolutionary forces are in fact foreign volunteers who are seeking to turn Syria into a base of operations.[31] Many of these foreign volunteers are veterans with American blood on their hands from extremist insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, as well as terrorist who are under United Nations sanction for terrorist against Russia and China. Also many of the Syrian members of the FSA have already defected back to the forces of the government.[32] This includes former top ranking FSA general, Munqez Al-Dali.[33]

By all accounts, The Syrian government has won the war. There is only one stronghold of resistance to Assad left.[34] The Kurdish population of Syria has already entered into an alliance with Assad and Moscow, to protect themselves from any actions which the Turkish army may take.[35] Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, representing the Arab league, visited Syria and met with Bashar al Assad only a few weeks ago.[36] Arab League countries Kuwait and Bahrain have reopened their embassies with the Syrian government.[37] Any attempt to remove Bashar al Assad would result in the genocide of Syria’s minorities, and a long, drawn out, unnecessary US occupation which would have disastrous consequences with the same effects which the world has already seen in the like of Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. War begets war; interventions never result in their desired outcomes.

Of course, this is not the only criticism of Congresswoman Gabbard. There is the claim that she “unelectable” because of her alleged radicalism, her Hindu faith, and her gender. However, many in the media didn’t believe that Barack Hussein Obama would become president. The consensus in 2016 seemed to be the guaranteed election of Mrs. Clinton. The only thing for certain, is that the perceived “inelectability” of a candidate is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, with these considerations, do not hesitate to support Tulsi Gabbard for president.

.

[1] https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-lawmaker...

[2] https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-senator-...

[3] https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25010

[4] https://gabbard.house.gov/civil-rights-equality

[5] https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25114

[6] https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terr...

[7] https://gabbard.house.gov/nationalsecurity

[8] https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/opinions/libya-chaos-civilian-deaths-berg...

[9] https://www.timesofisrael.com/democrat-gabbard-who-slammed-israel-for-li...

[10] https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/tulsi-gabbards-2020-...

[11] https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/tulsi-gabbard-president-sanders-democ...

[12] https://socialistworker.org/2016/12/08/an-islamophobic-progressive

[13] https://medium.com/@Harihar/rep-tulsi-gabbard-on-islam-vs-islamism-c87b1...

[14] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SIT-clears-Narendra-Modi-of-wi...

[15] https://www.tulsigabbard.org/tulsi-gabbard-on-lgbt?fbclid=IwAR3bXV9sYiQy...

[16] http://politicsthatwork.com/voting-record/Tulsi-Gabbard-412532

[17] https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1197627/letter-to-donald-j-trump-...

[18] https://www.nytimes.com/1964/05/08/archives/malcolm-x-pleased-by-whites-...

[19] https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1995-03-11-1995070104-story.html

[20] https://www.islamicpluralism.org/

[21] http://ifut.net/3569-2/?fbclid=IwAR3zoATYaNTeCEmLrsf6BVlAiA6piiaSFCB7CMy...

[22] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKfNTIhNt0U

[23] https://medium.com/@na_rup/exposing-lies-in-zaid-jilanis-article-on-tulsi-gabbard-cdb0e1589e6c?fbclid=IwAR2SepH7-d-k5evUOeXm2lfMPPMpltlQLWbOjZ_HMstsV6gwgWSkLeKrk9c

[24] https://medium.com/@Harihar/rep-tulsi-gabbard-on-islam-vs-islamism-c87b1...

[25] https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/assad-victory-...

[26] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/01/syria-sunnis-assad/...

[27] https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/05/assads-sunni-foot-soldiers-syria/

[28] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/18/syrian-kurds-accused-of-ethn...

[29] https://citizentruth.org/congresswoman-cynthia-mckinneys-trip-libya/

[30] https://apnews.com/c3f3b011daa1449fb654a44431610a43

[31] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/23/syria-foreign-fighters-joi...

[32] https://www.rt.com/news/syria-fsa-defected-officers-081/

[33] https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/high-ranking-fsa-commander-abandons...

[34] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/01/civilians-in-syrias-last-r...

[35] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/world/middleeast/syria-kurds-turkey-m...

[36] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/omar-al-bashir-visi...

[37] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kuwait/kuwait-ex...

Share
up
41 users have voted.

Comments

Centaurea's picture

I'm still reading your essay and may have further comments. I did want to go ahead and point out that she's not "Mrs. Gabbard".

Her father is Mike Gabbard. She's married to Abraham Williams. So, Ms. Gabbard, Miss Gabbard, Ms. Williams, Mrs. Williams, Rep. Gabbard, or Major Gabbard (her current military rank). I suspect she might prefer to be called simply "Tulsi".

Of course, some wouldn't mind seeing her referred to as "President Gabbard", or "Vice president Gabbard" in a Sanders administration.

up
23 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Big Al's picture

I'll leave with this.

up
15 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Big Al @Big Al
Obama promoted himself in a speech with a bio he wrote himself.

The essay is a research about Tulsi Gabbard. That is no self promotion, unless AlexShepard is Tulsi Gabbard herself. A well researched collection of articles and quotes about Tulsi Gabbard is no sin. How many people have followed her so far? So, what's the problem?

Even if AlexShepard was hired by the Gabbard campaign folks or herself to do the research, that is fair play. How else should we know what Gabbard is about?

Did JtC got paid for posting this 'commercial'? I don't think so, unless JtC would come out and say here: "Yes, Big Al, that AlexShepard guy/girl gave me some sweet bribing money to post this essay/research on Gabbard on the holy grounds of C99p." (ok, I don't like what i am doing here, but somehow I was disappointed about the comparison you hinted at, Big Al).

Sigh, what can I say? Calm down a little.

up
18 users have voted.

@mimi peace, it was only one sentence that is all. I guess video is worth a thousand words now, it's my preference to that pasta wall of essay text.Makes my eyes bleed that way but I'm slogging through it.

I was disappointed about the comparison you hinted at, Big Al

There, you said it.

Speaking of videos, I watched her "apology" to the LGBTQ community yesterday. ~shrug~ okay. Also watched the interview with Joe Rogan, meh. If she had not rushed to join up to an illegal war, bombing the poorest countries on earth, that would have been good. She is a D with a good story, marvelous veneer. She talks a good peace talk, very particular about who she wants with her in a fox hole. good luck

Action talks bullshit walks, especially the b.s. sponsored by cosmetic and sports corporations. D-GiveMeMoneyNow Now now now! Squeeze 99% for some campaign war chest dollars why not.
cosmetic meh

The election of 2020 is approaching us fast, and the primary season will be here before we know it

Only political consultants say that kinda stuff. Normal people don't give a shit right now, outside my window, inside my head. There are so many old people ruining the country right now, they could be dead in a year for all I know. Next March is when I get to "decide", not before. aloha

good kabuki
have a cookie
free focus group

up
16 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@eyo

"Normal people don't give a shit right now, outside my window, inside my head."

But we who can, need to give a shit, especially for those outside your window that are struggling just to survive.

Aloha

up
13 users have voted.

@janis b thanks, I just think it would be more effective if people gave money directly to the poor, not politicians, because the system is so broken and corrupt. Clearly some people here are "outer path" people who think money will buy them a good politician next time around. To me that is crazy talk, but go on. Every one needs a path, that much I understand. Nothing personal, I am just flapping my own jaws on the topic, like a rebuttal, I hope. anti-duopoly

D-Sonoma County just got another $12M from HUD to not shelter our 3000 homeless citizens. It took me twenty years to figure out that D-Programs are not really for the people, but the politicians and corporations that run all the "programs". duh UniParty does practically no good, just enough to get by. Last time I checked Hawaii still had a permanent homeless population too. ftg

peace

up
16 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@eyo

I don’t think there are people here who support Ds with money or even a whole lot of respect, or expect any kind of seismic change from them. Not until the amount of money spent on campaigning/advertising is regulated reasonably will anything change. Until then, what choice do we have but to support those that have a public forum to speak for change?

A peace offering …

https://kincavelkorner.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/carrot-and-lentil-soup-w...

I’d substitute the red lentils with green or brown, add more garlic and delete the ham hock ; ).

up
15 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@eyo

just to clarify, I liked the essay specifically because it was not a video, and not produced by a video editor and narrator/journalist/producer. I liked it because it was a dry list of links, written like a research paper. I actually like that. May be they will make an "under the skin going video" out of this one day. I am sure they will come, but this one wasn't yet 'that kind of product'.

I have watched a lot of video editors with the correspondent/narrator/journalist at their side, who compose the narration and image sequence out of raw film material.

Give three different correspondents with three different video editors and you get three different videos each showing the intent of what they want to cross over to their audience, which all can be seductive and present three different pov's. There are lots of videos made and they use the audience emotions skillfully to manipulate them to their own views expressed through their editing skills and word expressions. Many of them are in your face and imo a little too shallow.

Calling the essay a commercial is imo a little off, because a commercial uses the power of a video editor, who knows what to cut out and what images to use, in what kind of sequence to manipulate the viewers emotions.

Sorry, if that was not clear. I don't know what audience the author was trying to reach. I felt not manipulated, because it was quite transparently headlined as a defense of the accusations against Gabbard that apparently was seen by the American audience in MSM media (?).

Outside of the US, we don't watch MSM media of the US and few would specifically search at this time for detailed information about Tulsi Gabbard on the intertubes. So, I was appreciative of the "research style" essay without the additional images of a video.

And of course I want peace !!!

up
16 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@mimi

Do you know it’s all the Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the truth? Many links go to MSM ‘news’ articles, which prove.... ?

This essay reads like spin and propaganda to me. A mountain of text with footnotes! Ooooo, it must all be true then! Right.

Big Al had been here at c99% since the beginning. This essay is from someone who has never written a single word here before. Not so much as a comment. And not responding or participating in a discussion about it.

I’m genuinely surprised at anyone taking this all as facts. But swiping at a long time member for posting his honest response to this wall of spin? I’m don’t get that at all.

up
13 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@CS in AZ
nevertheless, he never hid the fact that his-her article was to defend Tulsi from accusations put forward against her. So, there is no hidden agenda. The author has all the right to do that, as long as he gives his sources. I compare this to folks who sit in front of a camera, talk fast and the listener is left to go through sometimes 45 minutes of "talk".

And nowhere did I say that just because he posted all his source material, that I consider the sources as the "truth and nothing but the truth". That's a pretty 'funny' interpretation. And of course I haven't checked all the sources. I just appreciate that I CAN check the sources, if I want to versus not being able to check on sources, because it is just less work to talk than to write.

I said nothing more that I don't consider the piece a "commercial".

up
17 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@mimi

I said nothing more that I don't consider the piece a "commercial".

Which you know, obviously. But let’s leave that aside and focus on the real issue.

Since you’re so impressed by miles of text and footnotes, and said this essay is “like a research paper” that implies you assume it’s valid. If you didn’t actually check those sources for validity or even relevant content, that seems like a shallow read.

I’ve been checking some of those copious links. One goes to a NYT article from the 1960s that has less than nothing to do with the subject of this post. Another “source” is to a YouTube video of CNN talking heads, from years ago when Obama was getting raked by the media for not saying the words “Islamic terrorists” — it was a 10 minute video of CNN.

I’m actually not going to invest more time on this.

To me it also it reads like a commercial for gabbard, starting with sentences like this:

Tulsi Gabbard, on nearly all sensible and progressive policies gets a perfect score.

And it says her foreign policy is “spotless” — (never mind her stance on continuing the endless global war of terror, and her saying that using torture might be ok sometimes).

That this is not recognized as spin (i.e., a produced, carefully presented “commercial”) designed to look “serious” with all its footnotes — which no one will take the effort to review — is frankly a little disturbing.

up
11 users have voted.

@CS in AZ the youtube video links were all to interviews or congressional sessions with Gabbard herself. Specifically explaining what she means when she talks about a fight against Islamist extremism, and her critiques of the past two administrations policy towards the Syrian government.

up
10 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@AlexShepard

One of your videos is this one:

It’s 10 minutes - from around three years ago. I’ve watched about half and skimmed the rest.

If gabbard appears in it, can you tell me the time stamp please? Listening to any more CNN blather is giving me a headache. Literally.

up
4 users have voted.

@CS in AZ Admittedly, that must have been a mistake on my end, don't know how that happened, I was meaning to link to an interview with Gabbard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21T7x5om4_o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG5EjsVP09o

up
3 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@AlexShepard

The headline under the second link here under the video is great at summarizing the point without listening to a Fox News video either. Whew.

Gabbard: Current policy not hard enough on Islamic extremism

This is one of the big reasons I object to calling her “antiwar” as some do, and I don’t think this is a “spotless” foreign policy. Unless you want more aggressive wars under the banner of being tough on terrorists. I’m having flashbacks to GWB for some reason.

up
5 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@CS in AZ

The essay was not a "commercial" as it is defined in a broadcasting sense. But I think perhaps the word "commercial" is being taken too literal. I understood Big Al's meaning just as you did. There was language throughout the essay that indicated this was the "beginning of the election year" spin that political sites like ours can expect in the next 2 years.

designed to look “serious” with all its footnotes — which no one will take the effort to review — is frankly a little disturbing.

Good catch. That's a feature, not a bug. Because most people, as Mimi demonstrated, will not look up all the links but rather attribute their inclusion as evidence of a gravitas the argument may not actually possess.

up
11 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

CS in AZ's picture

@Anja Geitz

Technically not a “commercial” because it’s written rather than broadcast. True. But otoh, what is now called on many sites “sponsored content” — meaning the writer or their company paid the publisher for it to appear there — is a fairly newish marketing tactic. Commercials designed to look like news articles. So I think the dictionary definition of commercial as a noun will eventually evolve to include written marketing content as well as tv/radio ads.

Please no misunderstanding here: I am NOT suggesting or implying or even remotely thinking that this essay is that. I am well aware that JtC would never, ever, ever, allow that on here.

Just some random thoughts on the technical definition of “commercial” as a noun, in today’s media environment.

But the point really is the larger meaning of it that Al was pointing out — something designed to sell and/or persuade. Not to be factual or fairly informative (like a research paper), but designed specifically to sell.

This post clearly is that. Big Al was right. Imo.

PS: yes I know and understand that PR for political candidates is allowed here. Not saying otherwise. But I am saying that critical thinking about what we read is essential. Especially in a tolerant environment where people can post anything, pretty much. That’s good, but also a double edged sword, so looking past the surface is always recommended. Again, IMO.

up
8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@CS in AZ

This felt more to me like election season spin. So in that regard, yes, it was designed to persuade.

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@CS in AZ
that isn't a random list of links at the bottom of the essay, it's a list of citations, referenced from the text. as mimi states, the essay is written using the formalisms of a research paper.

thus, your assertion:

One goes to a NYT article from the 1960s that has less than nothing to do with the subject of this post.

is, well ... wrong at worst, off-point at best. Here is the text from the essay that cites the reference in question, as well as the reference itself (with incomplete/broken copy-pasted URL):

The famous Malcolm X for many years pronounced his opposition to the civil rights movement, and integration. However, after his pilgrimage to Mecca, he had a change of views and later broke ranks with his former organization, the Nation of Islam, which resulted in his ultimate demise.[18]
...
[18] https://www.nytimes.com/1964/05/08/archives/malcolm-x-pleased-by-whites-...

Do you indeed have objections to an essay that is properly sourced, not just in its current particulars, but in all of its statements of fact? In heavens name, why? I mean, I get that generally nobody in the blogosphere can be bothered -- which results in an awful lot of BS getting passed around as if it were either revealed knowledge, or universally accepted fact -- but I've never felt that was a good thing. Nobody is obliged to follow all of the citations, but if anybody wanted to either quote this essay, or dispute one of the factual assertions, they'd have a starting point for either confirming what they're quoting, or building a sensible argument that goes beyond, "Yes it is! No it isn't!"

up
16 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

CS in AZ's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Which are different than mine. I think I’ve already stated the points i wanted to say, in various comments on this thread, and I don’t see value in spending time arguing about it further.

As of now, close to 30 recommends for the essay, and a pile-on for the sniping at Big Al for giving his own honest impression.

Obviously I realize many find this essay delightful and perfectly honest, and I’m pretty sure none will re-evaluate. So be it.

up
4 users have voted.

@CS in AZ
is cited as a reference for the author's assertions about Malcolm X's evolving thoughts on the civil rights movement -- a matter that is, contrary to your claim, entirely within the compass of the essay.
A. The essay is a collection of rebuttals to criticisms of Tulsi Gabbard
B. One criticism that has been leveled at TG is that in her late teens and early twenties she held and expressed certain opinions (regarding LGBTQ persons) that are not considered acceptable on the left of the American political spectrum (or even on the near-right of the current American political spectrum) -- opinions that TG has since renounced.
C. The author offers a rebuttal to B by giving an example of Malcolm X, whose thinking on an issue evolved from a similarly unacceptable position (opposition to integration), and (implied, though not sourced) whose evolution has been accepted as sincere and valid by posterity.
D. The author cites a reference in support of the author's factual assertion about Malcolm X's evolution on the question of integration. The referred article does indeed describe an epiphanic change in Malcolm X's thinking about race relations, envisioning a future in which whites and blacks can live together.
E. You stated flatly that the reference in question was unrelated to the essay's theme.

In summary, you asserted as TRVTH something that is demonstrably and unequivocally false. You are free to act as if this were not the case, and deflect my refutation by saying that our opinions differ, and you've said all you have to say, but that deflection doesn't render your opinion valid. Your stated opinion was wrong -- it was in direct contradiction with easily and irrefutably discernible facts.

Q to the E to the D in the hizzy.

up
10 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

SnappleBC's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Providing supporting sources is what GOOD writers do. If some readers cannot be bothered to actually avail themselves of the supporting information that can only be the reader's responsibility. The only other option is to accept "authoritative sources" -- talking heads.

up
7 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

@mimi and they seem, more or less, to fairly support the points AlexShepard is making. I have also, separately, looked at the sources linked to at some of the left anti-Tulsi articles and as AlexShepard indicates they mainly detail the support she gets from Hindu Americans. Since she is the only Hindu in Congress, I am not surprised that Hindu Americans support her. I am not a fan of Modi, by any means, but I am willing to keep an open mind. So far her support for Modi, as far as I know, has been to support his right to enter the US and to welcome him warmly when he visited the US. I am not completely comfortable with that, but my reservations in that area are more than offset by her voting record and her courage in opposing the consensus US policy in the Middle East. Full disclosure, I have contributed to her campaigns since she resigned from the DNC for their mistreatment of Bernie Sanders. One odd thing I have noticed, is that she seems to be quoting the bible in some of her emails recently. This is somewhat odd, but the quotes are pro-peace and a welcome counterpoint to the right wing selective quoting of the bible.

up
17 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Roy Blakeley
to make up my mind about a lot of things I read.
I am just confused, why my comment was so unacceptable.

As JtC's short diary doesn't give us the option to comment on it, I at least wanted to say to him directly, that I apologize for the mess I caused. Please don't close down the site. If needed be, I really leave here. I always only react to what I read and don't add content and meaningful links on my own. In addition I read German news outlets and it is beyond my capacities to check out every link that is posted.

I am so sorry for all of it.

up
5 users have voted.

@mimi I don't consider your comment to be inappropriate. More generally, I think honest disagreement among well-intentioned people is a good thing and I hope no one will question your intentions.

up
5 users have voted.

@CS in AZ

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. No one has to choose. If and when they do, they will do it for them, not you.

up
9 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

@mimi
And I suspected it was a campaign posting. My only problem with that is - if it was, it should have been labeled as such.
But I took it at face value - an essay by an enthused follower not part of the campaign.
If someone proves otherwise than that is a black mark on the campaign - lack of honesty.
Like the stock broker promoting a mutual fund and not revealing he gets a commission or other incentive.

I very rarely watch video. It's a snoozer to watch someone reciting a script or reading a teleprompter. Sometimes, especially on scientific subjects, video can be illuminating. But not in politics.

up
5 users have voted.

@eyo @eyo

There is no transcript, and I too have little patience with videos unless I am listening on my phone as I fall asleep. To summarize and paraphrase this gay man, accurately I hope, he says Tulsi's position on gays is like some people on abortion. They do not approve, but they do not think it is any of government's business. He goes into detail to support this contention.

It is early, but the season is afoot whether we are ready or not. Smears and errors are everywhere on candidates. I appreciate the research and reporting on candidates by reputable sources so I don't have to do it. If left to my own resources, I think I would fall back on the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If by being informed, we can ascertain the "facts" and insulate ourselves and nip falsehoods, I think we should.

If Bernie runs, I will support him. If he doesn't, I will support Liz or Tulsi. Perhaps which candidate I prefer will end up a moot point and boil down to who do I have to pick from.

I support elections because it is the only weapon we have. Without elections, Obama would still be President, Hillary would be President, one of the Koch brothers would be President instead of just owning one. Vote or don't vote, contribute or not, it is all participation that comes out in the wash. Hillary can attest to that.

up
11 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

mimi's picture

@dkmich
patiently and to the end. I can follow what the HR Mike Figueredo guy says.

I am just suspicious why he believes that he understands the intricacies of Modi's political views with regards to so-called Hindu vs. Islamic tensions/bigotry/supremacy/extremism issues. Or why he needs to be assured what Tulsi "REALLY PERSONALLY" thinks about trans women or lgbt folks or why she was against same sex marriages as a young woman. There are lots of issues people never are honest about, neither to themselves nor to the outside. So, what Figueredo wants to know, he will never be able to know, imo. He can ask as much as he wants and Tulsi can answer whatever she can, but nobody will know, where is the truth. People make a judgment out of their guts to believe an answer of Tulsi being honest or not.

May be that's why I feel one could take oneself back a little bit and be less judgmental about people of other religions and cultures.

To me it would be enough that she votes correctly to protect trans and lgbt a gay folks human and civil rights. I think he is right to be disturbed about her answer with regards to torture though.

But the question was never to me if we should or would prefer her over Sanders. That question was not raised in the essay.

In any case, you make me feel ashamed to "apologize to me" for a video. I feel like a squirrel who has eaten too many nuts and says to her friends, you guys are heavy nuts. (Can't find the image to that)

Peace.

up
8 users have voted.

@dkmich
It's not for me to approve or disapprove. I don't want to participate, nor do I wish to participate in group sex. But I don't really care what consenting adults (both words required!) do.

Now, marriage equality is another thing. It's not about approving or disapproving. When we talk about same sex marriage or group marriage (Old Mormons), I think we need to re-examine why the state recognizes marriage at all and does that apply to non-traditional marriage. Maybe so, I'm not pre-judging.
BTW, does Italy recognize the re-marriage of divorced persons or do they follow the dictates of the Catholic Church.

up
6 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@dkmich and while I understand Mike's position as a gay man wanting to know what is really in Tulsi's heart about GLTBQ community, I find that the better way to judge a politician is on their voting record. For that reason, what ever Tulsi may feel personally is not nearly as relevant to me as her voting record.

The two things that give me pause about Tulsi is her stance on the war on terror and the use of torture. The use of torture is particularly unsettling in that it is not only immoral to torture another human being but it is also against international law.

Each of us has a personal litmus test for a candidate, especially a candidate for President. My personal litmus test is tied directly to the war on terror and war in general. Until we cease making war on the rest of the world, we will never be able to accomplish anything that benefits our own citizens here in the US.

I am not sure who I will vote for in 2020 (if anyone), but among the Democratic challengers, the only two I would even consider will be Bernie or Tulsi. I would support Jill Stein should she run again. I will not even consider supporting anyone else including Elizabeth Warren or any one of the entire myriad of Democrats.

up
21 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

@gulfgal98

voting records are concrete. I have no opinion of what Tulsi is all about. It is why I appreciate essays on candidates pro and con except Biden, Harris, Booket, et al. I know perfectly well what they stand for, and it isn't me.

up
5 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo

debunkings presented in the essay, but as you imply, none of them is really the point. I mean, yes, of course, the media is going to smear anybody who is in any way to the left of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Obama. And yes, of course, 99% (heh) of those smears are going to be lies, distortions, or idiocy.

I'm just not sure why any of that matters, since we've already been informed in the clearest terms possible that we only have a say in which candidate is chosen if the party leadership want to let us have that say. It's their private club; they don't have to listen to us. That's what they've said in court.

There are, of course, other indications that the elections are not going to be fair or reflect the will of the people: the multiple instances of election fraud that remain unprosecuted and unpunished, the abolition of caucuses after Bernie Sanders did well in caucuses, the placement of our elections infrastructure under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. There doesn't seem to be much evidence that "elections" are going to work in the way we have all been taught that they do, nor much evidence that our participation in these "elections" is going to do anything except lend credibility to a farce.

That said--

I would guess that most people on C99 who intend to vote for a Democrat in this year's "primary" will likely support Gabbard; I doubt that most will support Biden or Kamala Harris or Hillary (if she runs) or Beto, though I guess some might prefer Beto to Gabbard. But seriously, if you're doing a menu-style politics (what's on offer that I might like? Hmm, here's the list of entrees...well the Gabbard sounds good), there's not much argument that Gabbard is the most preferable.

So I guess the point of this essay is to let the Gabbard folks on C99 know in what ways the mainstream press is smearing their candidate.

up
9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Big Al's picture

@mimi So I guess we agree on that.

up
14 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Big Al
I did not expect that to be taken as an insult or offense. Apparently I still have difficulties to understand in how far my mileage may vary, when I express myself in ways which in my cultural environment is pretty normal. If I get agitated about something I often would get the advice to calm down. To me that is not a big deal. If it was to this audience, I apologize, though don't even know how to apologize for it. May be you read my last comment, in which I try to explain, why I like a dry research paper style essay more than a well cut video.

Ok, then, I will do what you asked me to do in your private message. Very sad.

up
10 users have voted.

@mimi Big Al has always consistently banged the drum to not vote. I dont think he will ever endorse a left wing candidate. IIRC when he dem exited he didnt vote Green Party, he said he was voting Trump.
I dont pretend to understand why he constantly puts down every left wing candidate, from Bernie to Tulsi and promotes boycotting the vote, but it is a consistent pattern of behaviour so I doubt he needs to calm down or chill out.

up
3 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain as nicely and unsarcastically as possible (oops, fucked up again). I have consistently called for not voting for the duopoly, the two corrupt oligarchy political parties, and/or not voting for the office of the president. I have advocated for direct democracy and the voting for referendums, initiatives and other direct democracy ballot items.

Also, I've NEVER been a democrat so I never demexited. The reason? I believe the democratic party, along with the republican party, i.e., the duopoly, is the problem, the opponent, the enemy and we must destroy this duopoly system for proper progress to occur. So collaborating with the enemy isn't in my revolution playbook. I've explained that MANY times on this blog. You might not agree with it, but just so you do understand where I'm coming from. What I think is some people, even when they hear my explanation, it doesn't compute so they still can't figure out why I am against left wing democratic party politicians like Gabbard or Sanders. I would probably have voted for Bernie if he went third party in 2016.

And finally, no I never said I would vote for Trump and certainly did not. I'm not sure where you got that from. Here's what I wrote before the election.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/big-al-wonders-how-should-i-vote-pre...

up
6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain
pretty consistently and his calls to not vote for either party and his wish to fight the duopoly he has been mentioned a lot. I am not critical of that at all. What I do believe though is that people, if they have no option to vote for something like a party with a set program, they get confused and turn away, seeing the votes on referendum an addition to voting for parties, but not a replacement. Voting in a direct democracy via referendums on initiatives may work, but I don't believe that would be enough of a structure and organizational tool and most people wouldn't be convinced, even if they contentwise would approve of it. It seems to be impractical in reality. The issues are too many, too complex and one would have so many referendum votes that people would lose their minds over it.

up
2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

are "banging the drum" any more than the people who agree with you are "banging the drum." Just as Al is insistent on the point that voting doesn't work, your side is insistent on finding the leftmost person on offer from the Democrats and giving them money, time, unpaid labor, and a spirited defense of their characters, actions, and chances for success. If I've ever heard a drum banged, it must be the insistence that what hasn't worked for the last thirty-five years could work this time, and we should all put our all into making it work, otherwise it's our fault if it doesn't.

up
4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

If I've ever heard a drum banged, it must be the insistence that what hasn't worked for the last thirty-five years could work this time, and we should all put our all into making it work, otherwise it's our fault if it doesn't.

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Centaurea's picture

@Big Al but I don't see the DNC giving Tulsi Gabbard the keynote spot at the 2020 national convention.

Obama gave the keynote speech in 2004. In retrospect, I can see that should have been a major clue for us about Obama. The Dem establishment approved of him and was positioning him. (Boy, Hillary must've been spitting nails. No wonder she got all her ducks in a row after 2008. And then Bernie happened, goshdarnit.)

up
23 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea
Having made a good keynote speech? It's how the Establishment tries out new pawns.

up
14 users have voted.

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness Julian Castro was the chosen one in 2016, IIRC. I thought that meant he'd be Hilary's running mate. I was wrong.

Hill chose the practically invisible Tim Kaine to insure her loss.

up
16 users have voted.

NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

I thought she wanted to add a little more "diversity" to her ticket, to shore up her credibility, but apparently that wasn't necessary; people believed it was a blow against racism to vote for Hillary with no bonafides whatsoever.

up
3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Big Al than a comparison to candidate Barack Obama. If he had governed the way he campaigned, he would have made a decent to great president. Unfortunately, he sold his soul to Citibank (and other corporate interests), leaving us with Trumplestiltzkin.

up
15 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I wished we were allowed to know who you are, AlexShepard.

up
9 users have voted.

@mimi my search query got this reply:

Alex Shephard | Page 1 | The New Republic
Alex Shephard is a staff writer at The New Republic. Here Comes the 2020 Election Interference. It Will Be Worse. Congress and Big Tech are still litigating 2016.

https://twitter.com/alex_shephard
---

Alex Shepard - Branded Entertainment Coordinator ...

lol

PEACE

up
9 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@eyo

up
11 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@janis b Different spelling of the surname, for one thing. Also, the writing voice is different.

up
9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

janis b's picture

@Centaurea

up
7 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@janis b

Although, ironically, at this moment I'm getting ready to go to sleep, since it's 3 AM here. BoredomBiggrin

up
7 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea @janis b sorry that went down like a lead balloon, shoulda added wink. I did not bother to do any research at all about the essayist, was just making sarcastic remarks. When I end with lol, that's a friendly chuckle. LOL is more like hah!, louder but not quite LMAO. cheers

KLF - 3 a m eternal (Complete)
pew pew pew
LOL

up
6 users have voted.

@mimi I am a doctoral student in the field of Near Eastern Studies, with a focus on Shia Islam and Iranian Studies. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-shepard-037b944b/ Admittedly, this is my first blog post on the sight because before yesterday, I didn't know of it's existence. I had originally uploaded this piece to the Dialykos, and a friend of mine recommended this blog as a better forum for my ideas, since DK is a mouthpiece for the corporate DNC.

up
23 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@AlexShepard @AlexShepard
Don't catch the jungle feaver bug. Like any tropical disease that causes feaver it's recurring every so often, but it also disappears given the right medicine. I speak of experience in that regard, literally.

So there is hope that nobody gets really seriously sick about this thread or site. JtC must be taken care of. Nothing works here without him.

There are a lot of knowledgeable writers here. I am not one of them. I try to read as much as I can, but it's always not enough.

Some here said that your essay was written to persuade the readers of your opinions of Tulsi Gabbard, which you tried to put on the basis of "facts" that you seemed to have found in the linked articles, you added to your article.

To that I can only say - in my or your defense - that's usually what a good writer or researcher tries to do. Persuade. Defend your thesis and all that. Imo that's ok.

Oh lordy, have mercy. Sigh. Phew.

It's a nice site here. Really.

up
7 users have voted.

@AlexShepard @AlexShepard

We are not perfect, but we are a ton better than DailyKos. While some members might get too argumentative once in a while, the blog itself is not partisan. It welcomes all povs. It's only official rule is don't be a jerk.

I hope you will return as the silly season progresses and continue to share your views. We all have a lot to share and a lot to learn.

PS - We have a c99 FB site that I crosspost to you. I crossposted this essay there, and it as well received.

c99 FB

up
6 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

@mimi
he posted the same(ish) diary on Saturday at dPOS. his dPOS profile includes the URL to his LinkedIn page:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-shepard-037b944b/

he's previously only ever posted one diary there, on the day he joined in June 2015. that diary was entitled, In Defense of Bernie Sanders. make of that what you will.

he posted several comments in the thread over there. his only dPOS comments ever are in the threads of his own two diaries, so he's not a regular contributor, but maybe he's a lurker and saw a mention of c99p somewhere.

up
11 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

janis b's picture

I caught an interesting interview on National Radio NZ.

A synopsis -

There are many issues that divide people - and you could be forgiven for thinking people are getting more entrenched on either side of certain issues - Trump's wall, the me too movement, trans rights...

Social psychologist Jeremy Frimer from the  University of Winnipeg wanted to know why both liberals and conservatives have become so resistant to one-another's views.

So he conducted an experiment to see what it would take to get people to listen to opposing views, and found the resistance was strong on both sides. 

The study found that 65% of people on both sides, ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’, when offered the possibility of receiving $10 to simply read or listen to 10 opposing viewpoints refused the money and said they’d rather read or listen to someone from their own side rather than read any opposing viewpoints. The study goes on to recognise that people don’t want to read ideas that conflict with their own because it creates a kind of cognitive dissonance which feels unpleasant and undermines our very human need to belong. There’s more to the interview if anyone’s interested in listening.

This essay is obviously written by someone with an intimate and examined understanding that deserves consideration.

up
14 users have voted.

@janis b thanks for sharing.

both liberals and conservatives have become so resistant to one-another's views

That is bubble talk to us in the lower classes. I don't know a single soul who'd not take the $10, so that's how far I've fallen out of the middle.

death by kabuki
nothing is sacred
wah

up
15 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@eyo

I don't doubt that's true, as studies are generally subjective, but I still think there is something to be learned from them.

up
9 users have voted.

@janis b
on evolution, the theory of relativity, whether aliens are angels, or how black people were cursed by God because Ham saw Noah naked, either. Keep your $10.

Willing to hear sane theories of economy, stock market and climate. But not if it includes "Jewish conspiracy"/"aliens"/"Leftist climate conspiracy". i.e. Reich wing nonsense.

up
13 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
I had no idea. I knew there was something about black people and Ham, but I didn't know the back story.

Considering how I drove my Sunday school, and protestant private school teachers bat shit crazy with questions about incest and the whole Adam, Eve, and Cain populating the entire earth thing, they're so lucky I didn't know that seeing Noah naked not only turned a man black, but actually created an entirely new race of people with black skin instead of white! (Everyone else in the bible is white, of course, not like middle easterners today, and especially Jesus, dontcha know?)

This had to be post flood, right?

/snark

up
11 users have voted.

@Deja
Enjoyed your snark. They really have nutty ideas don't they?

up
3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

who was once a Christian, and actually still has some respect for that religion. But those notions are vicious and ridiculous.

Apparently the Mormons have a similar notion about the native people of this continent.

up
4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

They really should consider the DNA analyses.

up
4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

how Russiagate has been proven beyond a doubt and here's the smoking gun, after the last four or five times that the smoking gun turned out to be a stamped-out cigarette butt.The only reason I keep up with that stuff at all is out of a sense of due diligence--it's good to know what the most recent round of propaganda is, given that it's being used to manipulate a large number of people. Even so, I tend to look at that stuff less than I should. I strive to poke my head up once every 10 days or so, but it's difficult sometimes to convince oneself to ingest poison, or to sit down to a heaping plate of garbage.

up
6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@eyo
going to spend listening to those 10 views, and exactly how opposing those views were. I mean, if they're just 10-second soundbites, what's the point, and if they're 3-minute discourses, then you're signing up for a half-hour of irritation.

And it might also depend on your anticipated negative emotional response -- both duration and intensity. How much would you need to be paid to watch a video of someone stomping on puppies?

The thing is ... most people think they already know the other side's opposing views. They're not interested in listening because they're not expecting to hear anything new, and they are expecting to feel anger and other negative emotions.

Anyway, the guy's at the University of Winnipeg, so that's only $7.50 US, and the study subjects already have universal healthcare, so, y'know, they're not as desperate as Americans for every last centivo.

up
13 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo @eyo

A bit farther up the economic ladder, people are so exhausted and have so little time--sometimes barely enough to look after their kids or aged parents, sometimes not enough to do even that--that they feel lucky if they can collapse on the couch with their spouse for an hour of TV before going to bed and getting up and doing it all again. They're constantly working, constantly running. In addition, due to the ubiquitousness of the internet, the 24/7 news cycle, and the preponderance of tvs in every public place, they are likely inundated with contrary opinions every day, many of them expressed in trollish, poisonous, morally exhuasting ways. It's not surprising to me that a lot of people, including many with a lot less money than me, would want more than 10 bucks to voluntarily subject themselves to more of it.

Public discourse has been poisoned, like a town well into which is regularly dumped a nice helping of cyanide. It's not surprising that people don't want to hear people's opinions, even for a price--particularly when their time is constantly under assault.

up
6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@janis b @janis b

The study goes on to recognise that people don’t want to read ideas that conflict with their own because it creates a kind of cognitive dissonance which feels unpleasant and undermines our very human need to belong.

When I'm watching someone on TV -- some overpaid pundit, or worse, someone with actual power, like a cabinet member or a banker or a senator -- and they are telling lies and/or saying really stupid or evil things, the problem is not that it is creating an unpleasant cognitive dissonance and undermining my need to belong, the problem is that it makes me really fucking angry watching some smug well-fed motherfucker in a $3000 suit explain why we need to bomb another wedding party in Iraq to make sure we don't have to fight the terrorists here at home, or tell me that we can't "afford" to have everyone in the country get even routine health care, or tell me that the subprime crisis happened because Jimmy Carter made the banks give loans to black people who couldn't afford them. My difficulty isn't that I feel like an outsider, my difficulty is that these people are doing evil, and promoting evil, and working as hard as they can to create as much suffering as they can for as many humans as they can.

up
26 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

so well.

up
3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@janis b @Big Al

up
2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

She supports the reinstitution of the Glass Steagall act.[1] She supports raising the minimum wage.[2] She also has vocally opposed and taken part in protests against the monstrosity called the Keystone Pipeline. She has continuously called for Climate change to be taken seriously and for America to embark on a pragmatic shift away from fossil fuels to efficient alternative energy.[3] She has supported civil rights for all individual Americans, including our Latino, LGBT, African-American, disabled and Muslim citizens.[4] So therefore, it appears she should be an ideal candidate for all left-leaning individuals, mainly those who supported Sanders in the 2016 primary.

Where is she different? Why her and not another? What has she accomplished? What is unique (and I don't care if her skin is green). This is not anti-Tulsi. it's what should be asked of all candidates.

up
13 users have voted.

@The Voice In the Wilderness or at least most of them, is her willingness to question and criticize US policy in Syria and the Middle East. Among other things, she has met with Assad and has criticized US support for, dare I use the term, Islamic terrorists. This makes her radioactive for the military, industrial, security complex and for the many US supporters of the current Israeli government.

up
16 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness Of course those things should be requisite for any politician calling themselves "Democrat". But they're not.

You asked, how is Tulsi different from the majority of other Dems in Congress? From what I can tell from her record, she's trying to walk the talk. Most of them are not. (Heck, many of the Dems aren't even talking the talk.)

Edited for clarity

up
9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea She invoked the ire of the establishment through meeting with Assad, which she has refused to recant, in spite of staunch opposition. She also defended Trump's good first step in ending the Korean war and opening the door to North Korea.

up
16 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@AlexShepard This is exactly WHY the establishment is trying so hard to smear Gabbard.

up
12 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Centaurea's picture

@AlexShepard

I don't know whether you've seen it yet, but Jane Sanders, in her role as founder of the Sanders Institute, just did an interview with Tulsi Gabbard on foreign policy.

up
8 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

@Centaurea
and if you go to TC 4:15 and onwards, you understand that she has seen wounded soldiers from combat close up due to her role in the medical units. That stuck in my mind and is one of the reasons that I believe she was not "jumping" on a career advancing opportunity as a politican, when she volunteered to serve in the military/national guards deployed to Iraq. I think what she saw in Iraq formed her in a way that I consider important.

Obama had not such experiences, but had others that I also consider important, in a sense that he didn't use them in ways I consider convincing or in ways I would have hoped for. I am not going so far as to blame him for it, when he started out. If you read his first book and know a little bit of the background of his African father and his mid-western grandmother, who raised him, you might be a little less harsh on him. He couldn't have had other experiences. May be that's why the video Big Al used rubbed me a little bit.

So, whereas many people feel cheated or betrayed or disappointed about how Obama 'sold himself', I have yet to understand, in how far Tulsi Gabbard can already be accused of 'jumping on the opportunity to be "brass" and a become a major in the National Guard at this time as a sort of betrayal to possibly come at a later day.

Markos did serve in Germany as far as I remember. He liked it here, because our pastries were tasty ... So much for 'having served in the military' as a sales item for advancing your political stature.

Peace to Big Al, JtC, Joe and all the others who weren't that happy about my words.

up
6 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

"I'll never hit you again, baby!"

I mean, I sure would like some of those gifts she's promising. But isn't it AMAZING how they never occur. And then we're mean, or purity ponies, or it's OUR fault they can't do the agendas we want. We can't trust anybody but THEM, of course. Their sources. Their 6 sources. Anything other than that doesn't understand the special love the MSM has for the American People.

Because they represent us. They're just like us. We have NOWHERE ELSE TO GO. They'll remind us of that, over and over, and over... And really, aren't we sexist for that speech that we just said? Or Racist for not kowtowing properly? Wait, no, we're Deplorable for Our embracing of hatred. See, it IS all our fault. It's OUR fault that these are the only candidates that are on offer.

I have a song for the party.

up
19 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks go go. . . !
Just cheerleading here from the choir.

up
12 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

@detroitmechworks

up
14 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd please stop it your killin' me. heh Seriously, the essay writer has replied zero times so far so.

This is essay numero uno from Alex, I didn't realize it before mouthing off to mimi. Maybe Alex is busy at work and can't discuss further, not everyone has the day off. doubt benefit

And maybe it's just a drive-by essay to collect comments for some databank... LMAO. I don't know.

tin foil hat
peace

up
11 users have voted.

@eyo
it, so i have to assume that the interest and/or purpose isn't casual. if this person doesn't yet work for TG, maybe he'd like to, and maybe he will.

unlike BA, i don't have any objection to something like this being posted -- though if there is a connection between the author and the campaign, or if the work was paid for by a 3rd party, that ought to be disclosed.

something I did do was google for a couple of phrases out of the essay, to see whether this was some sort of political "blog-bomb", which I've seen before. i discovered that the original version of this essay (not quite identical) was posted 2 days ago on dPOS. Shepard has apparently been a member over there since June 5, 2015, when he published his first diary: In Defense of Bernie Sanders. This diary about Gabbard is his second. The only comments he's ever posted over there were in those two threads, but he definitely didn't do a drive-by for this particular diary -- he commented a couple of dozen times. His profile there includes a LinkedIn URL, from which I learned that he's a grad student in Islamic philosophy at the Indiana University.

up
13 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd I can promise that i have not been financially rewarded by the Gabbard campaign or anyone else for this article. I put in the effort because Gabbard is a candidate whom I feel is worth the effort.

up
17 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@AlexShepard For all the folks showing up because the TOP cult chose you for their weekly sacrifice, welcome. If you've been HR'd into Oblivion because of challenging the group think on one tiny subject, welcome. If you think that the Democrats are salvageable, Welcome. If you Don't, welcome.

It takes a while to come down from the self policing, so feel free to take a few deep breaths. You may see ideas here you are not comfortable with. You may see attitudes you are not comfortable with. If you do not like it, feel free to head back to TOP and beg forgiveness.

Some of us will not trust any Democratic or Republican Candidate. This has to do with the fact that we have had decades of hearing the same rhetoric, over and over, about how we must. You're not going to convince us, or convert us to give time and effort to ANY campaign. We'll also be quite rude and sarcastic to those that expect us to do so. Fair Warning.

However, make a good point, speak from your heart, I'll listen. But right now, I take care of me and mine.

up
21 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Now, I've got to say
That it's not like before
And I'm not gonna play
Your games anymore
After what you did
I can't stay on
And I'll probably feel a whole lot better when you're gone

up
2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

up
3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

but who doesn't these days. That she is not immediately being labeled a left wing socialist nut job makes me a little suspicious. After Prince HopeyChangey and HER, picking someone to back kind of makes me distrust just about everyone. Somehow between campaigning and getting elected the winner finds his positions were somewhat uninformed and then embraces large parts of the status quo. As for accomplishments, we are so far down in the hole anything done that would benefit the 99% ends up small change.

up
18 users have voted.

@Snode She's been accused of being all kinds of horrible things by the corporate media and establishment dems.

up
14 users have voted.

@AlexShepard no sarcasm intended.

up
10 users have voted.

fucking screed right here. My inclination is to say 'fuck this shit', but I don't want to be rude(yet).
So the silly season has Begun!
HERE! Look HERE, not over there! This one is a Good One! They'll be on Your side! Doing 'things' For You!
Ignore the shitheads Behind the Curtain! This is one of Yours!
Bullshit is as polite as I can work up right now and if I continue J to the C might have to slap me a little.
I FEEL A RANT COMING ON-coffee and a berner on deck.
Later.

fuck

up
14 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

@Tall Bald and Ugly And since when is Warren considered part of the establishment?

She's been mostly anti-establishment. (note the word 'mostly.')

up
4 users have voted.

dfarrah

arendt's picture

@dfarrah

I met Warren at a fundraiser in 2010. I voted for her. She is a gigantic disappointment. Another talk one way, vote another way, go along to get along corporatist. Others, like Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism have her number (see quote below). As a Congressperson (as opposed to an Executive Branch official, where she did some good), she virtue signals, but pulls her punches. She does not deliver the goods. TPTB leave her out there to demonstrate that some degree of dissension is allowed in the DP, especially if that dissension is toothless.

Its hard to pull a pithy quote out of Stether's line-by-line dissection of a recent Warren speech. This is the best I could do:

workers are passive, acted upon by rules, and those who create them. But Warren contradicts herself: “Lyft and Uber have often resisted efforts of those very same workers.” Here, workers are active. But if workers are active in the second context, they are also active in the first! Where does Warren think change comes from? The generous hearts of Uber managment and its marks investors?...

Warren’s theory of change — which seems to involve people of good will “at the table” — cannot give an account of events like Haymarket or why, in the present day, it’s Uber’s drivers who are also the drivers of change, and not benevolent rulemakers. Warren’s views on the social contract are in great contrast to Sanders’ “Not me, us.”

The Social Contract According to Elizabeth Warren

up
15 users have voted.

@arendt publican. She is a capitalist but would like to take the rough edges off so that it works better and is less harmful. This puts her to the left of the Democratic Party leadership, who are Nixon or Reagan Republicans. Neither she nor Bernie shows a lot of insight or courage with respect to foreign policy as far as I know. On the other hand, criticizing the US military or Israel seems to ensure political death these days. Only a few (e.g. Tulsi, Ro Khanna) have been brave enough to do it unless the msm gave them cover (e.g. babies dying).

up
14 users have voted.

@arendt came upon the national scene, she was among the few dems decrying the connection between Wall Street and the depression, and talked about reigning in the big banks. Plus she talked about medical costs causing bankruptcies, she was behind the establishment of the Consumer Protection Board, and she talked about jobs. At the time, she sounded rather radical.

Now, the CPB has been de-toothed, I think.

But I haven't paid close attention to her since Bernie ran for pres and don't know how she has morphed.

up
4 users have voted.

dfarrah

mimi's picture

@arendt
I learned something. Smile (no snark)

up
3 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@dfarrah

position,

. . . The job, strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, cements her role as the Senate’s most prominent conduit to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Now, Bernie's also holding a similar position,

. . . The Vermont independent will be the chair of “outreach” for Senate Democrats next Congress, Senate Democratic Leader-elect Chuck Schumer of New York announced Wednesday.

Blue Onyx

up
1 user has voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

mhagle's picture

Like mimi, I prefer to read a long detailed referenced article rather than edited video. I enjoy videos, for other reasons. Comedy, music, gardening, spirituality.

up
19 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

As your very lengthy and detailed essay indicates, you certainly seem very dedicated in your support for your candidate. As a ph.d student I can't imagine where you found the time to write and cite this homage to your candidate. Perhaps Ms. Gabbard should know about your efforts and recruit you on her campaign?

Yes, you are right. The election season has begun. It will be interesting to see who drives by next and drops off their views here and then drives off.

Would you like fries with that?

up
13 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

I believe that the essay was written in response to the Daily Kos straw poll which has been cited in several MSM articles as though it's from a "strongly progressive website on the left". The poll shows Bernie languishing in 5th place with only 11% and doesn't rank Tulsi at all. Most of the people at Run Tulsi Run would be happy if Bernie was the candidate as long as Tulsi was his VP. There was a lot of hate directed at Kos and C99% was suggested as an alternative. Many people there had never heard of this site (or Kos).

This essay was first published at Kos with predictable results.

up
18 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@artisan

That context is helpful to know. I don’t read those other sites and rarely look at daily kos anymore.

Written to promote Tulsi, obvious. Why... that is not so obvious to me. But I realize I would not see the appeal, because I’m not charmed by Tulsi in particular, and the dem primary is not on my list of priorities at all. Especially since I live in AZ and my voter registration is independent, or not affiliated of whatever they call it here. Which means I’m excluded from voting in the party primaries for the presidential election. So literally I don’t even have a vote to give to any of them, even if I wanted to.

I didn’t sign up for the party in order to vote in the primary for either Bernie or Obama, both of whom I was gaga about at the time. I’m sure not becoming a democrat now.

Anyhow, I see that I really don’t grok it anymore, being this invested in any political candidate. It all just seems so pointless, all this energy being expended on this. And the money!

The recent midterms cost billions. The GE will cost billions more.

Imagine doing something useful with all that energy and money.

That’s my cynical view of politics nowadays.

up
11 users have voted.

N/T

up
11 users have voted.

as you can tell, we give Everybody a hard ass razzen' when certain subjects come up. Not pickin' on You personally(youre just handy now), we insist on background, supporting info, etc. . .Which you seem to have brought! Good arguments, basic civility in debates( cursing allowed, just not At each other) and otherwise Spirited debating is encouraged!
A Lot of us continue to 'wander through the wasteland' that IS our current political landscape. Do Not be discouraged-our proverbial bark is WAAAY worse than any bite.

peace

up
13 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Anja Geitz's picture

My apologies for the sarcasm of my response to your essay. My knee jerk reaction had less to do with your essay and more to do with a flashback of the 2016 election where most of us were members of the Daily Kos and who were psychologically bludgeoned, ridiculed, and punished for supporting Bernie by both the membership there and the paid shills who relentlessly published false diaries there.

C99 has a lot of great people here who, while definitely opinionated, do believe in supporting a political site that tolerates discussions from every side. I don't believe in the electoral process any more, so I'm most likely not your target audience, but that's beside the point. You have a right to post what was a well written and thought out defense of your candidate.

up
11 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

her my #1 choice. Her views on torture still need to evolve but she's a smart lady with a good heart.
AFAIK she and Bernie were the only 2 D's to show up at the pipeline demonstration.
Thanks for a well written piece.

up
15 users have voted.

chuck utzman

TULSI 2020

Deja's picture

@chuckutzman
Someone got arrested that was a big name. Maybe it was Amy Goodman?

up
3 users have voted.

@Deja

but she is not a Democrat.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/09/dakota-access-pipeline-j...

up
3 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

the place down. I put up a short sarcastic comment that seems to have blown into something bigger. I regret that and promise it won't happen again. To be clear, I in no way was inferring that JtC had anything to do with this essay being posted here (as a "commercial"). I was simply implying that it looked like some kind of campaign release from or for a political candidate. I will no longer comment or post about elections or political candidates here so as to help prevent this from happening again.

up
9 users have voted.

@Big Al BA, keep commenting,Please? I might not Always agree with you, but ya make me Think, dammit, and I need All the help I can Get on that one!
That goes for the rest of Youze, too!

up
12 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

@Big Al

up
5 users have voted.

chuck utzman

TULSI 2020

detroitmechworks's picture

@Big Al I'll stick to my own essays and the open threads from here on out.

up
5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Deja's picture

@detroitmechworks
You add valuable content, as does BA, within the comments. If everyone just comments in their own essays, it'll be ridiculously boring. Nothing but essays and the authors talking to themselves.

I don't see how what has been posted on this thread as anywhere near the level it would need to be, to shut her down, but I'm a nobody who loses my mind on the internet at veritable strangers, on occasion, so what do I know? Still, how do you have a political website without discourse? What happened on this essay was self policed. I don't see the earth-shattering incident that would cause JtC to contemplate shutting it down unless he wants no discourse or disagreement, which would put it right back to essay authors posting, then talking to themselves in the comments.

up
10 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@Deja I don't need the drama. Folks have stated that they find my humor inappropriate. I have had far too much experience with Weaponized Boundary Setting these days to play the tiptoe around game.

Far as I'm concerned, I have been asked to stop. I will not risk violating a clearly set boundary even if I feel it is unreasonable. Not stopping the FIRST time you are asked is considered abusive and harassment by some.

up
5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Deja's picture

@detroitmechworks
But I see nothing inappropriate here. Guess I missed when you were asked to stop commenting or making jokes.

I used to frequent a non political site that is downright crude. No rules except no kiddie porn, bestiality or doxing. Then I went to TOP. Had to bite my tongue, not to keep from telling someone to fuck off, because that is actually allowed there unless you tell the wrong person, and they tattle, but when I didn't agree with the herd. Now I'm here, and what used to be fine, is now not, apparently. It's unfortunate too. Not that we can't tell people to fuck off, but because some are having to self censor if they don't go along with the herd or else get a pile on. I think it started with metoo. That too is unfortunate. Is it possible to bring it back?

I don't know the answer, but I just smoked a bowl, so all sorts of answers will be coming in, any minute . . .

up
6 users have voted.

@detroitmechworks for both you and Big Al. We don’t need censorship as long as people subscribe to DBAD. This place suffers with anyone self HRing. If essay comments are reduced to comments that only agree with each other, JtC might as well shut this place down and we can all go back to ToP.

up
9 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter it's just not worth it. It's obviously better just to bite one's tongue when disagreeing with the views on a political candidate supported by most on this site.

I made one smart ass comment in the last five days and it turned into (evidently) a threat to close the place down. So now I feel as I've been chastised for making that comment. I was told to calm down which was rec'd by a good number of people who obviously feel the same way about me and my opinions about democratic party politicians, AND, the owner threatened to close the blog down. Since I don't know how else to respond to a bullshit essay like this that I could easily challenge, it's obviously best I simply don't. I'm not willing to be the bad guy anymore, it fucking sucks. Been THERE, done that.

So ya, with that kind of pressure, it's going to be an echo chamber. But I understand it, the majority have spoken and C99 is all about democracy.

up
2 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@Big Al

It's obviously better just to bite one's tongue when disagreeing with the views on a political candidate supported by most on this site.

Who (besides you) said Tulsi is supported by most on this site?

I made one smart ass comment in the last five days and it turned into (evidently) a threat to close the place down. So now I feel as I've been chastised for making that comment. I was told to calm down which was rec'd by a good number of people who obviously feel the same way about me and my opinions about democratic party politicians, AND, the owner threatened to close the blog down.

It looked to me that people reacted to your sarcastic dismissal of the OP, not that they were some bloc sharing the same opinion about you personally or about any politician but that they responded to your behavior in that moment.

Since I don't know how else to respond to a bullshit essay like this that I could easily challenge, it's obviously best I simply don't. I'm not willing to be the bad guy anymore

Maybe start by not calling an essay bullshit without a reasoned rebuttal. You say you could have rebutted it easily, but you didn't do that, did you? And you close the ensuing discussion of the c99p rules of the road by just labeling the essayist's effort as bullshit, 'cuz somethin'. Feel better? 'Cuz for some personal pout you just lowered the culture of the site still further. The drama, . . . it sucks. You're making it about you again. You could have made it about the content of the original essay and raised the level of discourse here. Why didn't you?

Sorry to extend the meta, everybody, but someone had to respond to this.

up
8 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@dance you monster @dance you monster All right, fuck it.

up
2 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@dance you monster

I was just reading the new “dreaded meta” post where joe asks everyone to be kind to each other so we can all get along and not make other people feel like leaving or going silent. He suggests:

So, in this special season, let's remember to be kind to others, eh?

Maybe kindness means recognizing that people are human beings, with feelings, who have bad days or moments where they fail to be all you’d like, people who make mistakes.

Maybe kindness means realizing that people don’t need to be verbally beaten up on those days.

Personally, I don’t think that kicking someone when they are already down is showing kindness. And I sure don’t think it’s something anyone needs to do.

Just my opinion, of course. I guess that’s a problem with using ‘kindness’ as the guiding light... it’s one of those words that everyone interprets their own way. But to my eyes, this post was unnecessary and unkind. Although I hope Big Al keeps posting here, it’s easy to see why he would think twice, at least.

up
3 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

@CS in AZ

And I hesitated long before responding as I did. I won't be making any friends with my post, will likely lose some.

You mention that BA was down. The problem was he wasn't licking wounds but was doubling down, with another substance-free attack on the original essay, and with unsubstantiated claims against other c99ers' motives. No one had a problem with anyone's disagreeing with his or her views; the problem was with the manner of expression.

The point of meta is to get us to stop doing something we shouldn't be doing. BA evidently had not taken that to heart, and that meant we'd see this kind of behavior pop up again in short order in another thread that doesn't conform to BA's point of view. This is not our first ride on this merry-go-round. I am pleading with him to stop. I want his voice and opinion here, but not the spitballs.

My goal is not to stifle BA. Everyone, I mean everyone, here can, and absolutely should, disagree when he/she wants. But leave the pissiness, the snide, substance-free jab at the top of a thread (remember how we all hated that at TOP?), at home, and get a much more fruitful discussion going.

up
8 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@dance you monster

Again:

Maybe kindness means recognizing that people are human beings, with feelings, who have bad days or moments where they fail to be all you’d like, people who make mistakes.

Your expectations that Big Al must always conform to your boundaries on what he’s allow to say or how, is what I’m thinking about when I say that.

Actually, in my view again, Al’s very first post on this was succinct, and yet spoke volumes to those of us who — like TBU posted about earlier — saw the essay as a piece of fluff propaganda for Tulsi Gabbard. There’s no need to spend hours factuality rebutting it. Al has posted in depth critiques of Gabbard in the past on here, more than once. His short post was his reaction to seeing an essay that is easily identified as candidate-cheering that glosses over serious issues and questions.

Why is he obligated to write yet again on the topic? I don’t see why. Yep he could have just kept silent instead, rather than leaving a short message of frustration. Again, nobody gets it perfect every day.

up
4 users have voted.

@CS in AZ Thanks for putting what I was thinking into words. There’s something about all this that’s really bugging me for some reason, but I think you articulated some of it.

up
4 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@dance you monster
I made this comment in joe sixpack's silly season essay.

Let's accept people for who they are - warts and all. It appears you are not on board with Big Al's warts. Well, we all have warts, so let's be kind about those warts. I have them too. I would appreciate folks being gentle with me - or just walk away from my warts.

A point is NEVER that important to make at the expense of another human. PleasantryDrinks

up
4 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

mimi's picture

@Big Al
my words to calm down were misplaced and uncalled for. It was just that I found it a bit sneaky to compare Gabbard with Obama, as it is known how many people really are deeply offended about Obama's betrayals. Tulsi hasn't done it (yet). That's what triggered me. I just made another additional comment as response to the Jane Sanders interview, she did with Gabbard.

so, now I need you "to stand by us" and I need my "lollipop".

Kiss 3

up
3 users have voted.

@Big Al (may I call you that?) I don't believe 'the site' has spoken For or Against any candidate. I'm pretty sure that's not what this 'site' is about. You Know this. I laughed like Hell at your comment because it encapsulated My first thought on this essay as well. To wit; I kept expecting a gif at the end with Tulsi's face showing up and a banner repeating"I'm Tulsi Gabbard, and I Approve this message!"
That accounts for my first comments dickish-ness, which I recognized and then walked away, and th n walked Back a bit.
So Some of Us didn't respond well to a new poster(raises hand contritely) with their first post Here. Maybe that tripped JtC's trigger, maybe not. I. Don't. Know.
And neither do you, or anybody else.
I Do know this 'Site' is Bigger and Better than the sum of its participants, but that it Needs All its disparate Voices to remain Vocal to function that way.
Stay or go, your decision(obviously).
Somebody put some CLASH in here?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BN1WwnEDWAM

That goes for you too, dmw.

peace

up
5 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Big Al's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

up
1 user has voted.
dance you monster's picture

Alex, thank you for posting here. And for your effort to pull all you posted together.

As you've doubtless noted, and I'll say this for any other newcomers reading this thread, we have a large contingent at this site who believe voting for anyone in a primary of either of the two big parties is a waste of time, or worse. It's a battle -- between the "reformers" of the Democratic Party and the eschewers thereof -- that has been going on for many, many months here. That's the context into which you walked here. It gets testy quickly and frequently, in part because the active participants here are divided almost equally between the two camps. And since so many here honed their blogging skills at the GOS, it gets abrasive more often than is healthy.

I, for one, appreciated your effort. I hope you'll stick around.

up
21 users have voted.

"election" that opened my eyes to the absolute failure of electoral politics but it sure helped. I just can no longer see or believe that any election will change the basic trajectory of this country. While we argue about walls and candidates and should we vote or not the world continues to burn and this country is still heading right down the shitter, IMHO.

And as CZ in AZ stated above, it all seems like a waste of time and money, time we simply do not seem to have as a species and money that could be spent to perhaps delay the inevitable collapse.

A friend asked me today about Gillibrand, and said to me "go ahead and burst my bubble" and to fill her in on what little I even know or care about Gillibrand or any of them. Maybe we need to stop developing "bubbles" that always get burst? I'll not place my faith in ANY candidate of any "party" ever again, I just can't do it. Call it pride, defeatism, negativity, whatever label one wishes to apply but the knowledge that these people herd us into opposing camps and laugh their proverbial asses off while we scream to high heaven at each other sickens me to my core and I can't unsee that now.

up
12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lizzyh7

Spot on, lizzy!

Maybe we need to stop developing "bubbles" that always get burst?

This is what I have done in the past I'll admit. I was never interested in politics that much until Bush became pres.... first because I was so against the Iraq war and then because he was such a doofus. And his policies.. oh yeah I could see where they were leading us.

Thence Obama came along and was going to save the country. Poor naive me believing that he would do what I thought he said he would do. Talk about a bubble popping very fast!

With both of them I let myself get caught up in their actions while not understanding that no matter who gets to play president the little people will never win. But I especially wasted lots of energy in the Bush presidency and I see people doing that again with Trump. Meanwhile backstage the parties are continuing their dance to their master's tunes.

Welcome to the blue blog, Alex. I'm probably the only one who read this when you posted it on DK. I literally LMAO seeing how it went over there. This was after reading a diary where people were saying that Liz was getting the HRC treatment of sexism and misogynism only to see people criticizing Tulsi and not being called those things. Or racist. Stick around. It's all uphill from here...

up
11 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

earthling1's picture

Spirited commentary.
Biting retorts.
Sincere apologies.
Won't find any of this at TOP.
Thanks everyone, especially you Alex.

up
14 users have voted.

Gabbard showed up in Cannonball, North Dakota, to support the water protectors against the DAPL pipeline. That's seriously showing up. To the best of my knowledge, no other Democratic party pol did that.

up
14 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

This is a very extensive and well documented essay and I commend you for that.

Since some of us here have been burned in the past, we sometimes can be wary of a newcomer. I hope you will not take that personally and will continue to write and post here in the future.

While I have some misgivings about all the potential candidates out there including both Bernie and Tulsi, I think it is good for us to learn more about all the potential candidates. Your essay gives us a great overview of Tulsi. As I stated in my comment above, I have some concerns about Tulsi's public comments on the war on terror and torture, but her recent trip to Syria and her comments about the Palestinians in Gaza are reassuring to me that she would not be a hard line war hawk if elected. One of the big things I find extremely refreshing about Tulsi Gabbard is her courage and leadership skills.

Thank you again for joining us and writing this excellent essay. I hope we will see more from you in the future.

up
16 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"Politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

divineorder's picture

Foreign policy any time.

up
12 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Lookout's picture

I've gotten to where I don't often comment in these election based to dos. But I wanted to say I appreciated your research and work to present a best case for Tulsi. Personally I wish she and Bernie would walk away from the dims and help Branna create a peoples party. I wish Bernie had walked out of the DNC and accepted Jill's offer to run as a Green.

Although she is the most anti-war of all the candidates I'm aware of (better than Bernie for example), she still supports droning (which of course creates more terrorists). No one is perfect. Expecting perfection is guaranteed disappointment.

I wish Tulsi the best of luck, and hope you will continue to participate in our conversation.

up
13 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

with that way of thinking. Perhaps it's the way in which it basically equalizes all the different policy points as if they were items on a Christmas list, which is a bit troubling when some of those policies involve assassination and torture. And then again, others of the policies involve destroying the capacity of the planet to support human life, or putting lead in water that's reducing the IQs of kids in Flint. "You can't expect to get everything you want" is a troubling position when you're talking about effects like that.

I'm not sure why we couldn't expect to have a government that, at least, assassinates and tortures people far more rarely than it does now; a government that, rather than claiming publicly that assassination and torture are (practically automatically)justified, feels the need to hide those actions in the shadows, because there is no pretense that assassination or torture could be considered right action; rather, there would be the understanding that assassination and torture would be extreme measures of last resort, only undertaken in the most extreme corner cases and under extreme pressure--if at all.

That was, after all, the government those of us over 40 lived under for most of our lives. And before Al or anybody else gets on my case, I was always one of the people who protested most strenuously against torture and assassinations that our government committed in the shadows; I'm not saying the old government was good. I'm saying that what we have now is far, far worse, and that it's hard to understand why "you can't expect perfection" holds water as a response to these terrible policies, when I was over 30 before any notion that Americans should accept torture and assassination was noised abroad.

The metaphor, or frame, of this kind of political thinking also focuses attention not on policy effects, but on the character of the critics, explaining them away as Veruca Salts of morality: spoiled children, replete with privilege, who don't understand that to be an adult is to accept that things don't always go your way. The fact that the things that aren't going our way involve lots of people dead for no good reason gets lost in the shuffle.

None of this is intended to be an attack on you, Lookout; I'm just trying to work out why I feel so queasy whenever this talking point comes up.

up
4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

about the "purity" accusation.

which is a bit troubling when some of those policies involve assassination and torture. And then again, others of the policies involve destroying the capacity of the planet to support human life, or putting lead in water that's reducing the IQs of kids in Flint. "You can't expect to get everything you want" is a troubling position when you're talking about effects like that.

up
2 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The metaphor, or frame, of this kind of political thinking also focuses attention not on policy effects, but on the character of the critics, explaining them away as Veruca Salts of morality: spoiled children, replete with privilege, who don't understand that to be an adult is to accept that things don't always go your way. The fact that the things that aren't going our way involve lots of people dead for no good reason gets lost in the shuffle.

up
2 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

is guaranteed disappointment. In yourself as well as others.

up
0 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout @Lookout

"not supporting drone strikes" to be some kind of unrealistic Platonic ideal?
In other words, who defines what constitutes an unreachable standard of perfection?

It seems like the current concept of perfection could be used to counter any criticism of any politician or policy. As a matter of fact, the current concept of perfection seems not to have much meaning at all beyond its function of shutting down dissent.

I'll show you what I mean. Let's construct a fictional alternative-history Tulsi Gabbard, Tulsi 2.0. So let's say Tulsi 2.0, in her alternative timeline, supports Medicare for All, getting out of 4 of the 7 wars we're in over in the Middle East, and a 15-dollar minimum wage, but she also believes in Russiagate, the Syria war, and fighting Iran. She has a problem with racist prison conditions in this country, but doesn't have a problem with indefinite detention, drone assassination, and torture.

So people see Tulsi 2.0's various speeches, and some of them say "American politicians shouldn't support extrajudicial executions because that interferes with the rule of law. Currently, unelected people whose names we don't even know can order people anywhere in the world to be murdered, pausing briefly to get a rubber stamp from the President, and we shouldn't accept that. If Tulsi 2.0 is OK with that policy, that's a problem with Tulsi 2.0."

And then other people say "If you expect perfection, you're sure to be disappointed."

What gets lost as a result of that response:

1)The fact that some nameless people within our government are simply killing at will

2)The losses and damage that policy causes worldwide

3)The political situations that arise because of those losses, which we then need to deal with

3)The horrifying political implications of the fact that the people in power are murdering whenever they feel like it, apparently refraining from murdering Americans stateside simply because potential blowback would be inconvenient (there's certainly nothing in our legal structure that would stop them from murdering here as they do elsewhere).

All those considerations go away, and in their place arises a critique of the characters of people who have a problem with drone strikes. Or, possibly, a critique of the characters of people who think they shouldn't give their political allegiance to those who support drone strikes.

And what's great about this talking point is that it can be used to shut down any critique. The only thing necessary is that the politician or organization in question has to make some concession to good policy at least in speeches. So if somebody talks about how Medicare for All and clean energy are good things, they can't be criticized on anything else. And they don't have to actually accomplish anything like achieving Medicare for All or getting us off petroleum; they don't even have to accomplish incremental movement toward those goals. All they have to do is say the right things.

That being said, I suspect Tulsi Gabbard probably really believes what she's been saying about war and climate change; she certainly has reasons, from her own life experience, to believe what she says she does. But the purist/perfectionist talking point basically even makes the best of the politicians into a weapon for shutting down dissent. People get discredited unless they stop criticizing the good politicians for their bad policy positions. It seems to me that it was, under the Republic, our responsibility as citizens to make exactly those sorts of criticisms: that is how we exerted all the force we could to direct our country down the right paths rather than the paths of tyranny, waste, and abuse. Now it seems like we are blamed if we don't give the right kind of unquestioning allegiance to people who tell us they share some of our beliefs, as if we should be so grateful that they advocate for some of our beliefs that we should give them our unequivocal support henceforward.

Also, there seems to be an assumption that if we criticize Tulsi's policies, we're doing something massively bad to Tulsi. There almost seems to be an idea kicking around that if we criticize Tulsi, or refuse to give her our support, she will lose because of us.
When in fact, there seems to be little evidence that our allegiance, or lack thereof, causes politicians to win or lose. Bernie is a great example of that.

up
1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I think my original comment was she looked like the best of the lot...but I'm not pushing any politics nor politician. I'm pushing gardening.

up
2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

SnappleBC's picture

I've been watching Tulsi since she stepped down as vice-chair of the DNC to support Sanders. Many of the arguments you've illustrated I was already aware of but it's great to have the compendium of links you've put together. For the rest, I'd heard the argument proposed on GOS which puts it into the "likely false" category in my head. I'm looking forward to reading the links you've provided on them to get a more solid feel.

Honestly, I see Tulsi a lot like Sanders. They are both in the "best we can hope for" camp for people who are fighting inside the system. Neither of them perceives the larger issues... that capitalism itself has issues and that the particular way we've implemented it is particularly toxic.

I would vote for either one of them. But we need so much more.

up
9 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Amanda Matthews's picture

The rest of the wretched? *Meh*

(Glad I found out early that Beto isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.)

up
5 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa