Big tech can’t take down Tulsi Gabbard
For a while after the debate last night, Tulsi tweets were going crazy, but Tulsi Gabbard wasn’t even trending on social media. BBC boldly declared Joe Biden the victor of the debates despite his near-comatose performance. The New York Times was certain that Cory Booker somehow won, placing Tulsi in fifth place. After the first Democratic debate in June, Google suspended Tulsi’s ad account, costing her and her fundraising efforts both revenue and attention. She’s currently suing the platform.
There are those in the field who are presumed by media to be capable of winning the nomination, but if there’s anything we learned from the last election, it’s that there is no heir apparent. This race does not have to be about special interests and obvious choices. The media needs to stop assuming that the safe choice will own the day, because politics just doesn’t work like that anymore (despite the fact that the money still flows that way).
Tulsi Gabbard is the most fascinating candidate in the field. A long shot, sure, but so is basically everyone on the democratic platform who hasn’t been prepackaged by big interests. Because there are so many candidates, the ones who stand out are the ones who aren’t playing it safe, but are actually speaking their mind. Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang are actually appealing to people by speaking directly to them. Tulsi, however, is the only one with any legislative chops, having served Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.
Megan McCain aptly pointed out that Gabbard wasn’t pandering to the crowd, or saying what they wanted to hear:
Tulsi jabbed Kamala on her disingenuous record of locking up nonviolent marijuana offenders and then bragging about her own dalliances with the substance. Then she knocked her out with this vicious left hook: “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep a cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”
Predictably, Tulsi was smeared post-debate by the Harris campaign for being a Russian stooge.
In fact, Harris’ record speaks for itself.
The rules of the American democratic political landscape are to level insults at whoever looks like they’re out in front of you. While Warren and Sanders speak of unity on the left, everyone else slings mud, because it’s only the old guard that can benefit from a unified approach. Everyone else has to step outside the lines or risk obscurity. That’s why Tulsi, after her fact-based elucidations of Kamala’s record, got slammed so hard.
While the big kids on the playground played dodge ball, the kid with something to prove proved it.
The level that big tech is meddling with democracy is beyond insane. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are non-objective distribution platforms. Back when network TV came with rabbit ear antennas and a viewing schedule, the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, leased the airwaves to the networks. The networks paid a nominal feel for the privilege, and in return, the FCC got to tell the networks that they had to give equal time to each candidate. But now, there is barely any oversight at all. The FCC has nothing to do with how big tech companies allow access to their platforms. Although there have been rumblings in Congress that this might change.
The result is that these unchecked, monopolistic platforms are meddling in elections to the extent that would make Russia blush. Campaign finance equity isn’t as important as access to advertising and distribution platforms. If big tech companies are in a position to effectively determine which candidates are seen and which are not, they are in control of the electoral process. Twitter, Google, and Facebook are all falling over themselves to not offend, to pull or limit content that may make people feel uncomfortable or “unsafe.”
Unsafe content is not that which disrupts ideologies, but that which alters reality in favour of a perception of how these tech companies wish it to be. And they don’t even know how they wish it to be, they are simply reacting in real time, and they lean toward exclusion.
Americans with progressive politics who abhor war are traditionally drawn to the Democratic Party. But it’s increasingly clear that the Democrats and the big money that enables them are not fans of Tulsi specifically because she is so vehemently anti-war.
One thing is certain. The American people have had their interest piqued by Tulsi Gabbard. Google may try to diminish her chances, but she has broken through. Even Google can’t completely conceal that:
Tulsi is for real. We’re sure big tech will keep trying to suppress her voice, and in the end, they might even succeed. But for now, despite their best efforts, the American people hear Tulsi loud and clear.
Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole has mocked Trudeau, saying that an empty building in Calgary should be renamed the “Trudeau Tower.”
On Sunday, Teck Resources announced it was withdrawing their oilsands mine application after years of political delay from a disinterested Trudeau government. Although Teck Resources diplomatically blamed “political turmoil,” it remains unclear whether the Liberal cabinet would have offered the final approval.
“Teck’s decision to withdraw the Frontier mine application is more devastating news for Albertans, Indigenous people and all Canadians,” said Conservative leadership frontrunner and former Harper minister Peter MacKay to the bad news for economic development.
Thanks, in large part, to the government’s pipeline inaction, the Albertan economy has suffered. In January, for instance, data revealed that Alberta’s economic activity was at its lowest since the 2015-16 recession. As well as this, the province lost more than 18,000 jobs in January, despite the rest of the country adding over 34,000.
“The fact that Teck Resources has publicly announced that it is pulling its application for a $20 billion Frontier oil sands project is further proof that Trudeau cannot or will not fight for Canada and Canadian jobs,” said Conservative MP and leadership candidate Marilyn Gladu, who used to work in the oil and gas industry for years.
Erin O’Toole has been vocal about the damage Trudeau has done to the province. After Teck Resources pulled their application for the oilsands mine in Alberta, O’Toole said “We’re watching our economy crumble as the government stands by.”
“Thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of investment and billions more of government revenue just disappeared because of Trudeau’s failure to uphold the rule of law. ”
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam has said that the coronavirus will be nearly impossible to contain if the virus were to continue spreading internationally at the rate that it is.
Tam also said that Canadian businesses and individuals should prepare for an outbreak on near-pandemic levels, should that be the case.
“We are coming to similar conclusions,” said Dr. Vera Etches to the Ottawa Citizen Monday. “It looks like it is going to be more and more difficult to contain this virus and it may well evolve into a pandemic. That would change the efforts to contain every last case and contact.”
Etches, who serves as Ottawa’s top health officer, gave some basic steps that concerned citizens should follow—such as stockpiling non-perishable goods and needed prescriptions.
“Imagine if someone was ill for a week. What would you need?”
Dr. Tam went on to say that the risk of the virus becoming uncontainable has increased sharply since rapidly spreading in countries outside of China. “The window for containment is closing. These signs are worrisome.”
Within the country, both Ontario and British Columbia have confirmed that the virus has spread once again, with Ontario having briefly been coronavirus free after the first three cases were considered clear. In total, there are 11 cases of the novel virus in Canada.
Health officials are most recently tracking a woman in her 20s in Toronto who recently travelled to China, along with a Vancouver woman who recently travelled to Iran by way of Montreal. A man close to the woman also contracted the virus.
Iran is the latest country to endure a coronavirus induced panic. The Middle Eastern country now has 13 confirmed deaths, according to government figures.
In Europe, Italy is also in the midst of an outbreak, as 12 communities have been put on lockdown and a popular Venice carnival has been cancelled following six deaths from the disease.
Canada has so far been successful in the virus’s overall containment, being able to quickly identify and isolate those who’ve contracted the virus.
Dr. Tam believes getting out of winter, a high season for the spread of disease would be a big help for the country.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected nearly 80,000 people, with over 77,000 of the cases in China. Of the 2,618 deaths, only 23 have been outside of China, in 30 countries.
With the release of Justin Bieber’s most recent album—Changes—the 25-year-old has now had seven Billboard No. 1 albums in a row making him the youngest solo artist to do so, according to CBC News.
Bieber broke a 60-year record that was previously held by Elvis Presley. Presley obtained the record with the release of Blue Hawaii in 1961. The album was a soundtrack for a film that Elvis released with the same title.
Elvis was 26 when he released Blue Hawaii. On March 1, Bieber will turn 26.
A similar record is held by The Beatles, as a group. The four Beatles were all below 26 when Rubber Soul was released in 1966—becoming their seventh No. 1 album in a row. They eventually went on to release 19 No. 1 albums.
Ringo Starr was 25 at the time and was the oldest member of the group while the youngest member—George—was just 22.
Bieber’s new album marks his ninth to climb to the top 10. The debut was on Feb. 14 and was able to move 231,000 units in the first week. Changes is Bieber’s first album in over four years and it was released at the same time as a documentary series on YouTube. The album follows his 2015 album, Purpose.
The success of the album has come with controversy as Bieber was in the headlines for telling fans to help his Yummy single climb streaming charts in January. Bieber asked fans to play the song on repeat and buy it multiple times in an Instagram post which was later deleted.
During the Super Bowl, Bieber also used the song to promote Chipotle, the restaurant chain, on TikTok. Critics thought that this was not aligned with TikTok’s primary focus.
Yummy however, peaked at No. 3, and was unable to reach No. 1.
Tyler Tasson of Endemic Marketing in Toronto, said that Bieber’s tactics are possibly a warning sign of how music marketing may be manipulated in the future.
“On the one hand, reaching out to your fans and engaging them to do things like streaming the album and buying singles is great, but then getting them to try to manipulate the system is a whole other thing,” said Tasson.
The Billboard’s chart used to be decided by sales alone but now relies on streaming data as well. The musicians can use this to their advantage if they already have a large following.
“One could argue that the reason Elvis got that big was also good marketing, but there was also really amazing talent there,” said Tasson.
“Now, it’s all about how you can manipulate the game in a way to get to that number on the charts.”
The deputy health minister of Iran announced that he has been infected with coronavirus and isolated himself after experiencing a fever. Iraj Harirchi posted the news via a video on his social media. This announcement comes shortly after Harirchi spoke at a press conference in which he downplayed the spread of the virus in Iran and said that mass quarantines were unnecessary.
Surrounding nations such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman recently reported their first new coronavirus cases. All the people who were infected were returning from Iran, according to The Guardian.
A flight departing from Tehran to Istanbul on Tuesday had a total of 17 passengers aboard who were reported to have higher than average temperatures, forcing Turkey to reroute the plane to its capital, Ankara.
This news confirms the wide-spread fears in Iran that coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout parts of the country.
“I wanted to tell you that I got corona,” said Harirchi. “I had a fever yesterday. The tests came back positive last night. I isolated myself. Just a few moments ago, I was told that the final test came. I’ll start taking medicine. Generally, I feel fine. I just felt a bit tired, I had a fever, and it will drop.
“Be sure with the effort of the medical staff and ministry of health headed by the [health minister] and with your support and the state and military within the coming weeks, we’ll be victorious against this virus.
“We’ll defeat corona. Be assured. I’m saying this deep from my heart. This virus is democratic, and it doesn’t distinguish between poor and rich or statesman and an ordinary citizen.
“Many might get infected, but we have enough effective medicine, take care of yourselves. Take care of the nurses and doctors who work heroically.”
The country announced four new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Iran has been forced to shut down many of their schools and universites in certain major cities while other nations in the Middle East have closed their borders from Iran and shut down pilgramage routes to and from.
Meanwhile, Turkey diverted a plane from Tehran, which had been destined for Istanbul, to its capital Ankara, after 17 passengers were reported to have higher than average temperatures.