Ken's family is my family.

I am trying not to write as much these next couple days. But then I remembered how important sharing can be if done right. Parks sent this page to me just before Ken's funeral. It is the poem that was read in Japanese and English during the placement of his ashes.

We miss Ken.

Posted Mon Jul 1 07:35:47 2019

Visit the above link to learn about patreon and to see my posting on this membership platform. It is not like crowdfunding but allows you to invest in me as a person, artist, and poet. It will be there as long as I want, so don't feel you have to break the bank right now. But if you can help ever, I really would love to know I could live off my own creativity.

Maggie Hess ( is creating Visual Art, Poetry, Haiku, Comical Silhouette Sketches Overview Posts 0 patrons $0 per month

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$0 of $50 per month I am spending the next 2 months without working. Instead I am working on and completing a creative project. It will be complete September 1. It is a series of sketches, paintings, and brief poetry on post it notes. I also hope to frame and back them. You are making this possible, or at least 50 dollars is helping a lot. 1 of 3 I created this page a while back and am just realizing that I should talk about it more. My story is that of a creative, struggling to survive off of a disability income that may likely soon be cut. My art tends to be rough edged sketches with wabi sabi resonance and/or intrinsic humor, such as my silhouette series, which are emotional blobs of color in the form of animals. My poems tend to be brief, often haiku length, but also mental illness memoir, seeded with an empowering strife against serial quitting, surrounded by a rind of natural beauty. My blog, is updated regularly at this current time. I need to pay to keep the blog afloat and am currently owing the blog platform creator for it and my lack of material funds is part of my fight and the wabi sabi element of beauty in my art and writing. If you know me, if you are at all drawn to my story for any reason, one dollar would buy a new pencil, five dollars could really pay for a load of gas. I also have books available on Audible and Kindle.
RECENT POSTS BY MAGGIE HESS (BEAUTYITSELFISPURPOSE.BRANCHABLE.COM) This creator hasn't posted anything yet! When they do, you'll see it here first. TIERS Purpose $5 or more per month * I will try my best to hug you when I see you!

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*The knowledge that you have helped considerably towards my life, writing, and artistic creation.

The Intrinsic $27 or more per month Beauty $70 or more per month Your Generosity is my Bread and Butter!!

Posted Mon Jul 1 14:52:12 2019

Feeling gross. Going to nurse due to oral yeast infection. Yuck.

Posted Mon Jul 1 21:42:34 2019

I do have thrush, but it will be fine. I had misunderstood the nurse on the phone from whom I understood it comes just from taking too much antibiotics or steroids. I am on neither, so I wondered why I have thrush. It turns out that I misunderstood and that thrush is pretty common and not just because of medications I am not on.

In other news, I decided today to go back onto my Depakote as soon as I can with the doctor, which explains wonkiness.

I'd say sorry again but people say it gets old!

Posted Mon Jul 1 23:28:23 2019

Climate change is one of the top 2 existential threats to humanity. The other is nuclear war threat. Both are so close and dangerous in terms of what could possibly happen. It would be interesting for the movement to recognize the connection and act intersectionally inclusively at the 2 issues. The more connected other groups can feel to being included into this issue of climate change, the better. This is an issue of pacifism/war too, as much as it is an issue of black lives matter too, as much as it is an issue of economy. We need this Green New Deal for sure. I appreciate the Sunrise Movement!

Posted Tue Jul 2 09:49:06 2019

self help blog part 3

Sometimes, it is possible to harness connection in a place, a coffee shop or the YMCA, a pier or as you walk along, in a chapel or a labyrinth, reading something written long ago or journaling just for yourself.

Other times the only other person you need to connect with is another branch of your own person, which can be done in writing, reading, movement, artwork, self hygiene, shopping, planting a seed, or shopping.

I am finding in myself there has existed an untamed wilderness that hungered for connection, did not know how to meet my growing needs (for connection), exhausted others and myself in a quest for "help."

It would be a vast overestimate to suppose my needs could be met in any one or two ways exclusively. This would lead to terrible imbalance as in my history it already has because of what I call "oversharing."

I, on this day, feel a vast expanse of wisdom in growth at these conclusions that I draw. I know that still I have a long way to go and also that I am in a high period of new realizations have not yet got legs or even had a single opportunity to be carried out in concrete terms. I guess in a strange little way, I just woke up or was born anew.

After all, I just recognized that need for connection is the main driving force of my oversharing. 10 hours ago with a night of resting in the middle. I have noticed a transformed behavior in the little possible examples life has drawn up for me. I am sure I will mess up again but am kind of looking forward to recognizing it.

It is interesting to wonder how this change will improve my life, and it is hopeful. This is a problem that took pain and discomfort to suss out.

I sit in a coffee shop and listening room in downtown Bristol that seems to institutionally "get" this very human need for connecting. Bloom is a quirk in a city with more pavement than community safe space, and these people behind the counter have a remarkably similar strife for connection and more importantly for people to be themselves and connect to the people in my region. It is an intellectual and humanitarian mission. Indeed, I feel though other aspects of paying money for using this space too much, or my personal conflict in my family are upsetting, I am where I need to be. And no staff here ever would intend to charge a penny more than a person could pay. That responsibility and blame is on me.

Connection is comfort. It can be found by holding a warm mug that is too warm for a spell if you want. It can be found in silence, in story, in the listening or in the sharing. It might be found briefly in an unhealthful soft drink or joyfully in a freeing cartwheel. Connection surrounds us in the shells of our buildings and where we live, it beams down on us from the portrait on the walls and can bring us tears in the flow of a flute. It breaks our heart in a forest funeral call of a thrush. In a poem it calls our name with the purest truth of a long lost love.

So we hear our name in the trees outside and the wind. We smell the flowers when we pass and in them we hear that distant voice, in the wilderness, we touch God's foot. Or Science.

So dance. Dance to your tune and if you ever have heard a new music in your mind or a voice, you can connect with yourself and others by trying for that art! It is a remarkable time to be alive. The world is beautiful and ending. The beauty is fleeting and helpful even when in pain. The beauty, we call it in Japanese "wabi sabi," the beauty of the unconventional, but too, the beauty of personal connection, the beauty that mends the broken pot with gold lace.

And this is too beautiful, I know, to leave unspoken, to die alone in the back notes of some nearly bare day planner. This beauty of breath and reflection deserves to be shared online in a place that can be returned to and if it hits wildfire may it go serve to help the world.

You may ask me why I write. This is why I write.

Posted Tue Jul 2 12:56:48 2019

Maybe in giving others ample space, quiet, listening, and dropping the conversations I seek with Someone, will heal the Need for connection in Us.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:15:53 2019

Finally I commit my mantra to memory. Commitment.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:16:58 2019

My new spirit


is the wood thrush,

sometimes too much.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:37:51 2019

Funeral Visitor (about a wood thrush)

I find your heart in your chest where you left it,

a drum that beats a hundred for one of mine,

I find in your throat a call, such melody,

that captures dropping water sure.

I find in your wings a windy current

as you stretch wide

and sail to the next branch.

I know you.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:45:27 2019

...but her voice is soooo BeautiFul!

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:48:05 2019

the haunting melody of her words.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:48:24 2019

These are all of the words I do not share with you.

These are all the poems I don't write you.

I have such warmth for you I want to share

but to grow the tree needs space

so I walk away from it.

I don't swing on its branches.

I don't reach out beneath it.

I don't collect all the leaves as they fall.

I don't even look up the species.

I don't water the tree when the rain stops so long.

I just put my faith in her strength and walk away.

Posted Tue Jul 2 13:49:16 2019

the thrush



Posted Tue Jul 2 13:59:41 2019

I know there will be ONE final glance towards the abyss. Maybe you have fought making the wrong decision too. I am going to study like hell for this one, where it comes, when it comes, how it comes, I will be ready. I know it might be just beyond that corner. I know it might hit me like a bus.

Posted Tue Jul 2 14:40:30 2019

Peace Corps

Federal government office



Maggie Hess

3 minutes ago

Changed my life

through a mutual friend

who worked in Turkey

before his

giant life

ended naturally

but nearly broke

the hearts of a village

on the Tennessee/Virginia line.

Ken Marion


We miss you daily.


Who ever imagined one mailman could make such a difference?

Posted Tue Jul 2 16:26:11 2019

Counseling went well. I learned the reason schizoaffective people often have trouble expressing and listening in general. When I wrote the thing about "the abyss" my honest intent was to express to people that I no longer will have a suicidal thought because I am prioritizing making sure it does not happen ever again, I surely do hope. I am deeply sorry I cause drama for you. I am still learning. It is so important to me that you care, but I don't act to get the reaction just to see others caring. In fact it really upsets me to upset others by accidental miswording.

In Light, Maggie Hess

Posted Tue Jul 2 19:20:33 2019

My therapist Jill, at the Bristol Regional Counseling Center, in Bristol is a genius practitioner specifically in understanding my illness, and what exactly it means. I have many times asked doctors, nurses, and therapists what it means that I am schizoaffective, but they never seemed to have the kind of insight on the illness as she.

When people look at me, neither party really knows what is going on in the mind of the other. People can know me well and be good guessers. I sometimes can make super psychic seeming remarks. But other people never know what the other is thinking. This truth manifests in paradox in the schizoaffective mentally ill person. I never knew before that this was anything that made us unique, or that it even was really true that others never can read my thoughts or I know for sure what someone else is thinking. I often have believed I knew what someone thought and felt as if we were sharing the same experience and air. With this truth that I just learned, comes much awareness. With it also has always caused and solicited in me and in others a terrible degree of hurt, to the point that I believed I would never be forgiven. In my purist way, I conceived that my not being understood, meant I might be wrong in some way. I am judgmental to a fault and self critical and randomly and harshly critical of others and it always has been something that caused me to have hurt emotions and to lose friends like flies, and to exhaust and deplete my reserve of people who love me no matter what I do, think, say, or feel.

The thing that I learned today is that no one will ever really understand me, including quite possibly me, and in learning that, I learned more about myself than I could ever express. One thing that comforts me about that and that might sooth others with schizoaffective disorder experience a similar reality in terms of our abilities to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. In fact, I learned today that is one main element to what makes us have this diagnosis.

I am going to abbreviate my thoughts here because I have a concern that others might be reading every word I write with concern to watch for bad dangerous thoughts. I don't want others to have to watch my thoughts like that. And I don't have bad and dangerous thoughts anymore. And I am pretty sure I have gotten out of the bad part of this and am now just flying up in my cognitive understandings of things, merrily clarifying and improving myself.

Thank you for this blog, bro.

PS Sometimes, I need peace, so I plug my own ears. :)

Posted Tue Jul 2 19:36:08 2019

Plain Jane and Charlie Brown

were looking at the ground

but since Jane did a cartwheel

the thing was upside down.


Posted Tue Jul 2 20:25:37 2019




Menu VISION 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood Share Tweet Pin It 146

Search VISION 2020 JUNE 11, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood Which may help explain why she’s out of place in today’s Democratic Party. And her long-shot 2020 candidacy. By Kerry Howley

Photo: Jeff Brown The Poet It was 1970-something, and Sina was not yet teaching at the University of Hawaii — a Samoan poet who had not yet become the first Samoan full professor in the States, and who had not yet written

of our oceans

the watery skin

of earth

pulled back to expose

a webbing of coral

rough & prickly

She was back in Samoa at a traditional Sunday feast with her mother, her brother Mike, her American sister-in-law, Carol, and three little boys so strikingly beautiful one would model professionally as a teen. They hadn’t yet sat down to eat, Sina remembers, when Mike announced that his wife and boys would not be able to eat most of what his mother had cooked, as they were now vegetarian. Also, everyone needed to stop calling the children by their birth names. Their new names were Bhakti, Jai, and Naryana. They were now devotees of a man named Chris Butler, whom they called Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa.

When Sina next visited Mike and Carol’s house, there was nothing on the walls but pictures of the immediate family and portraits of Chris Butler, a 30-something, tan, sandy-haired Caucasian, an aging beach boy in leis and white linen. Altars to him had sprung up in every room. The children’s lives were filed with ecstatic chanting, prayer, and beach gatherings exclusive to Butler devotees. Sina, who studied Eastern religions and spirituality and taught from the Bhagavad Gita, tried to be open-minded about the fact that they were, in her words, “bowing and prostrating to this white surfer guy — it was bizarre.” It was her Buddhist training to which she appealed in order to remain calm about her nephews attending Butler-focused schools and associating only with children whose parents were in the group, members of what she would come to see as the “alt-right of the Hare Krishna movement.” She said little about it outside the family until 2019, when one of her nieces, the most retiring and introverted of all the siblings, decided to run for president.

The Politician Get unlimited access to Intelligencer and everything else New York. LEARN MORE » It is strange but true that I first meet Tulsi Gabbard in a town run by an entirely different group of Caucasians taken by the ritualistic trappings of India. Fairfield, Iowa’s most politically liberal enclave, is centered on a university devoted to the teachings of an Indian guru named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. We’re at the convention center in February, a stone’s throw from a pair of snow-covered golden domes where the town attempts to levitate in the service of world peace. “Aloha!” Tulsi says, ascending to the dais in her signature red blazer. A thick gray stripe runs through her voluminous black hair. “Namaste!” a few people shout back.

“We share a deep love,” Tulsi says to a standing-room-only crowd of 200. She talks about love a lot in a way that might have provoked eye rolls pre-Trump but now just sounds appealingly weird. A Hindu veteran and millennial congresswoman of Samoan descent hailing from Hawaii, she brings together disparate constituencies: most noticeably, Bernie Sanders fans who love that she resigned from the Democratic National Committee to endorse him in 2016, but also libertarians who appreciate her noninterventionism, Indian-Americans taken by her professed Hinduism, veterans attracted to her credibility on issues of war and peace, and racists who interpret various statements she has made to be promising indications of Islamophobia. That she is polling at one percent, sandwiched between Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar, suggests that bringing together these constituencies is not nearly enough, but the intensity of emotion she provokes on all sides sets her apart. When FiveThirtyEight asked 60 Democratic Party activists whom they didn’t want to win, Tulsi Gabbard came in first out of 17 candidates, a poll she used to rile up her own intensely motivated supporters, who tend to identify, proudly, as anti-Establishment outsiders. In May, Joe Rogan, whose podcast is listened to millions of times each month by MMA fans, stoner bros, and self-styled freethinkers, chose his candidate. “Tulsi Gabbard’s my girl,” he said. “I’m voting for her. I decided. I like her. I met her in person. Fuck it.”

On the campaign trail, Gabbard talks frequently about the actual, material costs of forever war — trillions of dollars wasted, lives pointlessly lost — which is odd, because this is a campaign for votes and foreign-policy speeches are not what voters want. Though we are 18 years deep in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and currently engaged in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, the crowd in Fairfield is waiting for her to finish yammering about war and get to lines about Medicare for All and climate change, which she does, eventually, at which point they stop politely nodding and rise from their chairs to applaud.

Many have called Tulsi cold and lacking in charisma and “not particularly spontaneous.” She is not cold. She can be spontaneous in the right setting, exude charisma if engaged on the right subject. What she is — take it from someone with the same emotional profile — is remote. In interview after interview, she gives the impression of having anti-Establishment convictions just beyond the reach of articulation, as if she had carried instructions into battle and lost them. Her speeches feel not so much overly prepared as capably delivered from a separate location through her. She operates on the slightest delay, taking in information, scanning it, and delivering a slow response that registers only barely on her face.

A young Tulsi, second from left, with her family in Hawaii in 1984. Photo: COURTESY OF THE TULSI GABBARD CAMPAIGN Tulsi is a self-described introvert, an extremely quiet and obedient child grown into a woman whose job entails constant exhausting engagement. Her sister — Vrindavan to strangers, Davan to the campaign, and Davs to Tulsi — spoke for her back when they were kids, and she continues to do much of the talking for her today. When they were at a store as girls, it was Vrindavan who would interact with the cashier; Tulsi was too nervous. If the phone rang, Tulsi would wait for her sister to answer. If Vrindavan disobeyed their parents, Tulsi would be upset. “Please do your chores or our mother will have to do all of them!” Vrindavan recalls being scolded. “Our poor mother!”

Davan is a federal marshal currently on leave, used to keeping things running, and after the event, she’s behind the wheel of the SUV on the way to Iowa City. She drives carefully — like “an effing grandma,” she says, to which Tulsi, in the back holding hands with her husband, Abraham Williams, says, “Watch your language. PG-rated, please.” In the car is the entire traveling staff, which is to say the candidate, her sister, and her husband, an aspiring cinematographer who, at 30, is eight years her junior and consistently two feet away from her with a camera pointed at her face. Abraham has known Tulsi since childhood, when they both appeared at gatherings presided over by Chris Butler. He proposed five years ago on a surfboard. Also accompanying her to Iowa is a quiet, mustachioed campaign worker named Sunil Khemaney; he gives me his card, which is branded with the campaign’s logo, but where a job title would typically go is empty white space. He runs a business owned by Chris Butler’s wife, and former members of the sect say he is Butler’s right-hand man.

I’m in the front with Davan, and it is she who explains to me how hard it is for Tulsi to compete in the most meaningful popularity contest on earth as someone who doesn’t really like talking to people. “Even when she was running for statehouse,” says Vrindavan, “she had to go door to door, and that’s like … Even if you’re not an introvert? That’s like not fun. You’re bothering people, and what are they gonna say when they open the door or whatever. As a younger sister, it’s a very big inspiration, knowing how much courage and selflessness it took. It’s not about what you want to do. There could not be a better role model or example for someone who may have grown up a little more … self-centered,” she says, laughing.

Tulsi sits quietly behind us. A long moment passes. “The anxiety she is talking about, I wouldn’t say it got easier,” she says. “There was a turning point when I first ran for Congress, where I had a realization that this anxiety was coming from a selfish place and from thinking about, you know, my own fears and how are people going to respond to me — I don’t want to bother people. That felt like it was coming from an inward-looking place, a selfish place, rather than my seeing them as beautiful opportunities to share my aloha. Once I realized that, that changed everything completely.”

The Blob In the house, to which she was elected in 2012, Tulsi Gabbard does not behave like a representative who wants to remain in Congress; she appears to be building a political platform for another office. Her legislative record amounts to one anodyne bipartisan bill on veterans’ affairs, but she is constantly introducing “messaging bills” — non-committee-specific, hopeless pieces of legislation, often to do with the environment, such as one bill that would eliminate dependence on fossil fuels by 2035, but also one to end the federal marijuana prohibition, one requiring the president to ask Congress before going to war, a Sheldon Adelson–backed one to end internet gambling, and a resolution supporting Trump’s efforts in diplomacy with North Korea. It’s not uncommon to introduce symbolic bills meant to signal something to constituents; it’s just very hard to imagine the anti-gambling, pro-marijuana, pro-Trumpian-diplomacy constituent to which Tulsi appears to be signaling.

When Tulsi announced her intention to run for president in January, the response among journalists and pundits was essentially don’t. “Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend,” read a headline in the socialist publication Jacobin, a statement followed by a laundry list of unrelated reasons not to like her, despite her being a reliable progressive endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the AFL-CIO and particularly beloved by Jacobin fave Bernie Sanders. The Nation has denounced her for “nationalism cloaked in anti-interventionism,” and when I mention her name to an expert paid by a prominent think tank to think publicly about foreign affairs, she sends a two-line email asserting that Tulsi is unqualified to lead and refuses to elaborate. When Joe Rogan mentioned the name to the New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, she looked alarmed and laughed.

“Monstrous ideas,” she said.

“Well, when she was 22, she — ”

“No! She’s an Assad toady.”

“What does that mean?” asked Rogan. “What’s a toady?”

“I think I’m using that word correctly,” Weiss said. “I think it’s like, T-O-A-D-I-E?”

“What does that mean?”

“I think it means,” said Weiss, scratching her head under her headphones, “what I think it means.”

“That’s known about her,” said Weiss, when they had settled on a definition of toady. “I don’t remember the details.”

Here are the details: Bashar al-Assad is a depraved dictator best known for his willingness to murder his own people, including many children, with chemical weapons. Tulsi Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq War, has positioned herself as a noninterventionist liberal, a “peace candidate” who believes in diplomacy with unseemly characters such as Assad. She has taken a similarly conciliatory approach to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu-nationalist strongman, who is complicit in widespread violence against Muslims. She has visited Modi and given him a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, accepted a wedding gift from him, and opposed a House resolution “reaffirming the need to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities” that was a veiled jab at him.

The most obvious obstacle between any noninterventionist candidate and mainstream success is D.C.’s foreign-policy Establishment — the think-tankers and politicians and media personalities and intelligence professionals and defense-company contractors and, very often, intelligence professionals turned defense-company contractors who determine the bounds of acceptable thinking on war and peace. In parts of D.C., this Establishment is called “the Blob,” and to stray beyond its edges is to risk being deemed “unserious,” which as a woman candidate one must be very careful not to be. The Blob may in 2019 acknowledge that past American wars of regime change for which it enthusiastically advocated have been disastrous, but it somehow maintains faith in the tantalizing possibilities presented by new ones. The Blob loves to “stand for” things, especially “leadership” and “democracy.” The Blob loves to assign moral blame, loves signaling virtue while failing to follow up on civilian deaths, and definitely needs you to be clear on “who the enemy is” — a kind of obsessive deontological approach in which naming things is more important than cataloguing the effects of any particular policy.

The cult of war, however, cannot entirely explain the opposition to a candidate who constantly picks low-stakes, politically inopportune fights within her own party. During Barack Obama’s tenure, Tulsi repeatedly criticized him for failing to use the words Islamic extremism and described her concern about a “radical Islamic extremist agenda,” a move that earned her no love among members of her party, which had once considered her its future. She voted, with Republicans, to make it virtually impossible for Syrian refugees to come into the country. She has been strangely absent for votes relating to Russia and NATO and has racked up unwelcome support from Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and David Duke. Her divergence from party orthodoxy on many issues is striking, against her self-interest, and lacking in any apparent narrative line. There is no cohesive ideology that explains the idiosyncratic political positioning, no single point of reference from which it all makes sense, and so the relevant question regarding Tulsi Gabbard is reducible to: What is she doing?

Over a series of months of reporting, I heard any number of hypotheses on this question. There was, for instance, the idea that she is so desperately attention-seeking that she seeks out bad press. There was the idea that she simply holds, with extreme tenacity, a number of unrelated, deeply unpopular beliefs in tension with any ambition she might have to be president, and there was the idea that she seeks favor with Modi in order to gain mainstream-Hindu legitimacy for Chris Butler’s otherwise obscure religious sect. There was the theory that she is a toady of Assad, though often she was said to be under the control of Modi, or Putin, and I began to wonder, when we try to expose her motives, whose subjectivity we are really exploring.

The Guru When Tulsi talks about her girlhood, it is with a profound vagueness, a visible discomfort. In Iowa, there is awkward silence when I ask about her three brothers (“They’re kind of separate,” her sister eventually says) and silence when I ask about being homeschooled (“The schools in Hawaii weren’t very good,” Davan offers). Tulsi calls herself Hindu, the first Hindu member of Congress, in fact, though the group in which she appears to have grown up does not identify as Hindu. She says she was raised by “an eccentric Catholic father.”

Chris Butler in the 1970s. Photo: Youtube In 1970, the Honolulu Advertiser published a piece called “One Man Rules Haiku Krishnaites,” with the subhead “Absolute power of devotees.” In the photo beside the piece, Butler is seated shirtless and smoking, hair skimming his shoulders and a sarong around his waist, staring alluringly into the distance, a mischievous smile on his face. It is the expression of less a guru than a playboy, and this is how Advertiser reporter Janice Wolf depicts him, a handsome dictator with the ability to hypnotize the two dozen 18-to-22-year-olds who live with him in his Quonset hut. One of the girls, an 18-year-old who also happened to have the Sanskrit name Tulsi, says he arranged her marriage to another member of the group. She and another girl, who say they would kill for him, describe his teachings. Among them: “Flowers scream when they’re picked. So do trees when they’re trimmed.” (“Tulsi and Boni were sitting on the lawn chewing blades of grass when they said this,” notes Wolf.)

Butler taught vegetarianism, sexual conservatism, mind-body dualism, and disinterest in the material world. He taught a virulent homophobia, skepticism of science, and the dangers of public schools. He had been associated with Hare Krishna, and in fact claimed to have been given his Sanskrit name, Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, by the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, but by the time he encountered the Gabbards, he’d started his own group. His teachings revolved around worship of Krishna but differed from those of Hare Krishna, in that he instructed his followers to learn from only a single guru — himself — and did not require them to shave their heads or wear robes. The lack of formal dress allowed the group an anonymity he encouraged. He forbade them from visiting India, which is not typical of Hare Krishna, and, also against Hare Krishna practice, married. His wife was one of his followers, Wai Lana, a popular yoga instructor who later had a long-running instructional yoga series on public television. (Abraham, Tulsi’s husband, has helped with filming Wai Lana’s videos; his mother also works for her.) Whenever Butler traveled, he’d have the homes he stayed in lined with tinfoil, to protect against electromagnetic radiation.

The children of those teenagers in the Quonset hut were born into the sect, as Tulsi was. Another, Greg Martin, wasn’t allowed to play with neighborhood children as a boy, so he looked forward to Sundays, when he’d spend all day on the beach in Kailua with all the families who worshipped as his did; when they’d wait for hours in the sun for Butler to arrive, and Tulsi’s father, Mike, would strum his guitar while leading a hundred devotees in hours of joyful chanting. “You just knew Mike was a dick,” says Greg. “He carried himself with dickishness.”

It was the 1980s. Greg says he and Tulsi attended these gatherings together, and years later, when Abraham was born, he’d see him too. (Tulsi says that she did not attend gatherings like these.) Waiting four or five or six hours for Siddhaswarupananda’s entrance built a kind of thrilling pressure, and Greg remembers Sundays as “incredibly theatrical.” Devotees with radios would place themselves at various high points along the beach, operating as a security force. “You’re waiting hours and hours for this dude to show up, and then when he does, people go absolutely wild — it’s all your family and all your friends singing and dancing and chanting, you’re so excited,” says Greg. The guru would then address the crowd. He was good with the pregnant pause. He had the kind of easy confidence you’d expect from Krishna’s representative on Earth. He was also vulgar and vindictive. “He would start excoriating people for fucking up. Sound systems not working, cups of water not being cleaned, people dressed funny, driving poorly. He would publicly mock people. And when he would do that — that’s a form of Krishna’s mercy.” Everyone I spoke to who was raised in the group described, as children, hearing Butler call men “faggots” and women “cunts.” One time in Malibu, Greg recalls, Butler had passed a man on the beach in a thong on his way to the gathering; Butler then described in graphic detail what that man allegedly wanted his “boyfriend” to do to him. “That’s vivid as a kid,” says Greg, whose name is not really Greg; he does not want to be cut off from his family.

Back in the ’70s, Butler went by the name “Sai Young,” a name he possibly picked because he was a gifted baseball player who had hoped to go pro. In their boyhood, according to his estranged brother Kurt, Chris was the handsome, popular one. Their father, a family physician named Willis Butler, took them, their mother, and their siblings to protest Vietnam well before it was socially acceptable to do so. Kurt remembers the whole family standing along a sidewalk on the edge of the University of Hawaii campus, holding signs that read stop the war and stop the bombing. From their cars, people threw garbage at the family. They yelled things: “Losers,” “Love it or leave it,” “Fucking commies.”

Their father was, in fact, a communist. The Butler patriarch loved the Soviet Union, thought North Korea a workers’ paradise. When Kurt brought home a geography book from school that mentioned political repression in the USSR, his father called it “lying propaganda.” When, as an adolescent, Chris pointed out that the Viet Cong had committed atrocities, his father wouldn’t hear it. Chris sought refuge in psychedelics, Kurt wrote in an email to me, then in meditation. He began writing poetry. He began giving meditation classes. “The classes,” says Kurt, “gradually evolved into a full-fledged cult.”

Butler’s group, called Science of Identity, has had political ambitions at least since 1976, when its members formed a political party called Independents for Godly Government and ran a number of candidates in local races. They kept their association with Butler under wraps until, in 1977, the Honolulu Advertiser published a three-part series headlined “The Secret Spiritual Base of a New Political Force.” A party chair, Bill Penaroza, is the father of Tulsi Gabbard’s current chief of staff, Kainoa Penaroza. Kainoa had no political experience prior to being hired by Tulsi at age 30. He was managing one of the group’s health-food stores. Former members of the Science of Identity say that Butler has always craved legitimacy for his group among mainstream Hindus, and that he has come closest to achieving this through Tulsi Gabbard’s relationship to Narendra Modi.

We regarded him as God’s representative on Earth. In the videos made available to the public by the Science of Identity Foundation, Butler has cut his hair and donned a collared shirt under a V-neck sweater, and watching him lecture is a bit like imagining Mister Rogers if Mister Rogers were very stoned. In a typical lecture on the ephemeral nature of the body, he says, softly, “You can ask yourself the question, Am I my hand?” and holds out his hand. “And then you can ask yourself that if your hand was sitting on the other side of the room because it got — ya know — cut off by a sword or it fell off on your way to work or something, would you be where the hand is or would you be where you are looking at the hand?” He pauses. Cocks his head. “Actually,” he says, smiling, “try to imagine a person freaking out. It happens! Quite often; people lose their hands or they lose their arms, they lose their legs, or they lose their fingers, they lose an ear, or a tongue, whatever, and here they are — and some people lose their genitals! … You’re not any one part of your body.”

Ian Koviak is a Portland, Oregon–based book designer who has made covers for Sherman Alexie, James Patterson, and many other writers. He was 10 years old and living in Brooklyn, when his single mother found Butler’s group through a friend. They began to attend “gatherings,” in which families would listen to tapes of Butler’s teachings on philosophy and mythology, and also Butler’s curse-laden excoriations of group members who had disappointed him in some way. “Basically, what one disciple did,” Koviak said, “was thwarting us from making spiritual progress.” Butler was a hypochondriac afraid of contamination, and this disciple might have washed his sheets with the wrong detergent, or set up his air filter incorrectly, or failed to cover their mouths with masks in his presence. Ian feared being a target of these lectures. “We regarded him as God’s representative on Earth,” he says, “It was an intense feeling that you’re displeasing someone that’s your only connection to a spiritual path and life.”

A year later, when he was 11, Koviak and his mother moved to Malibu, where Butler was then living, so she could be closer to him. A year after that, Koviak was sent to a boarding school in Baguio City, in the Philippines, run by Butler devotees, including a man named Toby Tamayo, the uncle of Tulsi’s first husband. They began the day at 4:30 with a cold bucket shower, followed by hours of chanting in the dark. They watched a video of “homosexual biker types in Folsom Street Fairs doing each other in the middle of the street. That would pan off to a guy in a wheelchair who has AIDS. Then at the end of the video the guy dies.” There was, Koviak says with equanimity, “light sexual abuse, the kind of thing that happens when you put 30 boys in a bunch of rooms. People groping you at night.” Koviak stayed at this boarding school for four years, from age 12 to 16, during which he saw his mother only once.

The Fall When Tulsi was 14, her father founded a nonprofit called Stop Promoting Homosexuality America and began hosting a radio show called “Let’s Talk Straight Hawaii.” Her parents owned an organic deli, located inside a larger natural-foods store owned by Butler’s followers. On his show, Gabbard declared he would always hire a straight person rather than someone of nontraditional sexual orientation, at which point the deli was picketed and quickly went out of business. The station pulled the program, but Gabbard was energized; he led the fight against gay marriage in the state. Tulsi began political life in her teens, knocking on doors with her father, who went on to be elected to the city council, and eventually the state senate, where, socially conservative and pro environmental regulation, he remains.

At 21, Tulsi was Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, having married a man involved with Butler’s group, and like many people at that age, she had yet to outgrow the views with which she was raised. But unlike most 20-somethings grappling with the ideological legacies of their parents, Tulsi was elected to Hawaii’s house of representatives at 21, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to a state legislature. Her early opposition to abortion and gay marriage would be a part of her political record. After a single term, she joined the military, later saying she’d been motivated by 9/11, and deployed in Iraq and Kuwait. Critics might draw a line from her deployment at a time of American Islamophobia through her later sympathies for Assad and Modi. But that story may be too neat. Her tours were her first time as an adult out of Hawaii, away from her family and the religious sect in which they were enmeshed.

In Iraq, Tulsi was in a medical unit on a base 40 miles north of Baghdad, an area sometimes known as “Mortaritaville,” where shells exploded and sirens wailed as she took cover in a concrete bunker. She worked 12-hour shifts out of a mobile trailer with a small window; during storms, she watched “an orange wave of sand” envelop everything and shook with the wind. Every day at 9 a.m. she scrolled through an Excel spreadsheet of casualties. These were American troops for whom she was supposed to organize treatment. “That daily task — it left an indelible impression on me,” she says, “understanding behind every one of these names is a soldier, sailor, seeing the volume of people paying the price for war. It caused me to think about those who made a decision to start this war. I wondered if they ever thought about these people, their families.”

When she returned, her positions on social issues eventually fell a bit more in line with the party; she said that living in a theocracy had changed her, and she no longer believed the state should dictate the romantic or reproductive lives of its citizens. She divorced Tamayo, won a seat on the city council, and ran for Congress against the Democratic Establishment candidate, a pro-life, anti-gay-marriage former mayor of Honolulu 27 years her senior. A Democratic National Committee in need of speakers for the party’s national convention turned to a young, attractive multicultural woman veteran and Congressperson who voted left but sounded credible on national security.

“I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned your name and said, ‘This is the one to look out for,’ ” Suzanne Malveaux said to her on CNN. “Tell us why. I mean, people see you as a rising star.” She was called a rising star on ABC and she was called a rising star in the Washington Post and she won her election easily, at which point she became no longer the youngest woman in a state legislature but the youngest woman in Congress. A rapturous Vogue profile praised her for her “fit physique,” soldier’s stamina, and a “smile so warm that it’s no surprise Web sites have offered polls rating her ‘hotness,’ ” a truly curious reading of hotness polls.

The fall from rising star to party pariah began with a gift from the Establishment. As a 31-year-old freshman representative, she was chosen for a DNC vice-chairmanship, an easy way for a new face to achieve visibility. During the Democratic primary season, Tulsi began arguing with DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, demanding that there be more than six debates in the Democratic primary (a move that would theoretically benefit Sanders); Wasserman Schultz, according to Tulsi, suggested that she not come to the next one. When Tulsi later endorsed Bernie Sanders over a woman who supported campaigns in Iraq and Libya, it was after Sanders had suffered a devastating loss to Clinton in South Carolina; once again, this was not a move that could be explained by political calculation.

Syria doesn’t get much airtime on American television news — it’s a horrifying, complicated proxy war involving Iran and Saudi Arabia and Russia to which Americans have neither answers nor the will to meaningfully intervene. It is not good content. But when Tulsi Gabbard appears on any given news program, a Blob-driven game ensues: corner Tulsi into insulting Assad.

“Do you think Assad is our enemy?” asked Kasie Hunt on a February episode of Morning Joe.

“Assad is not the enemy of the United States, because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States,” said Tulsi in her slow monotone.

Joe Scarborough broke in: “Is he an adversary?”

“We have to look to who poses a threat to the United States — ”

“Is he an adversary?” Scarborough asked again.

“What would you say he is?” asked Mika Brzezinski. “If you cannot say he is an adversary or an enemy, what is Assad to the United States? What is the word?”

At this Tulsi finally smiles, incredulous — a look of condescending skepticism. “You can describe it however you want to describe it. My point is — ”

“I want to know how you describe it!” said Brzezinski. “Adversary,” she says to herself, very quietly. “It’s not hard.”

The Silence For many years in Kailua, the Gabbards’ known involvement with the Science of Identity went largely unremarked upon. It took an outsider, a 45-year-old special-education teacher and independent journalist Christine Gralow, who moved to the island just three years ago, to get curious enough to start asking questions. She mapped a web of relationships among devotees. “I had no idea,” she told me, “that this was going to lead me to Tulsi Gabbard.”

Soon after, she attended a town hall run by Tulsi. It was alarming for her to recognize so many faces from her research, and the whole production felt oddly staged. Gralow asked some questions about Syria, to boos from the crowd, and held up a protest sign. She interviewed anyone in the community who would talk and published it all on her website,, which is when the DDOS attacks started. She says, undaunted, that she has seen members of the group waiting outside her home, taking pictures. “I’m a special-ed teacher,” she says, “and special-ed teachers don’t like bullies.”

Tulsi Gabbard’s response to questions about the Science of Identity frequently begin with accusations of religious bigotry and “Hinduphobia.” Her campaign website once mentioned her years in the Philippines, but that reference has been removed. When The New Yorker asked her if she had a spiritual teacher, she said she had had “many different spiritual teachers,” that none was more important than the others, and that she has never heard Chris Butler say an unkind thing. (“I don’t even know what to say about that,” says Ian Koviak.) The campaign’s position is that any serious inquiry into Tulsi’s religious background constitutes a Hinduphobic line of attack to which other candidates would not be subject, though again, Butler’s group does not identify as Hindu.

I knew nearly nothing of Tulsi’s backstory when I found myself in her car back in February, and so in April, when she returned to Iowa City, I arranged for a follow-up conversation at a vegan restaurant. On the day before the interview, a staffer texted me to ask about the gist of my questions. The morning of, I was told that the interview was canceled. I then reached out to another staffer, who eventually said Tulsi would take questions on religious matters via email, at which point I sent a series of questions regarding Chris Butler, the Science of Identity, the beach gatherings to which Greg Martin had referred, her time in the Philippines, and when, precisely, Tulsi began to identify as Hindu. Tulsi replied with an email that declined to mention Hinduism, Butler, the Science of Identity, the gatherings, or the Philippines. “My ‘religion,’ ” she wrote, “is my loving relationship with God, and the motivation that springs from that relationship to try my best to use my life in the service of humanity and the planet.”

But as late as 2015, in a video still up on YouTube, Tulsi publicly acknowledged her guru-dev to be Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, Chris Butler.

No one I spoke to with personal experience of the group, including Tulsi’s aunt, thought it possible that Tulsi Gabbard had somehow left Chris Butler’s sphere of influence, that her thirst for world peace and her persistent concerns about Islam were positions held independent of his counsel. “I don’t think that she is a bad person or in any way malicious,” says Koviak. “Butler’s agenda from way back in the ’70s has always been to have a political hold in some way. Now he has realized his dream through Tulsi Gabbard.” Says Rama Ranson, who maintains the blog, “Her success is Butler’s success.”

The Storm The analysis is like, ‘Oh, she just loves dictators,’ ” says Vrindavan.

“She loves dictators,” says Abraham, “and is also an opportunist who wants to advance politically.”

The snow is coming down harder now as we make our way to Iowa City. Flights are canceled. Cars have been abandoned on the side of the road. They consider canceling the stump speech, but here we are in Iowa and no one has anywhere else to be.

“Looks like this may be a very intimate event!” jokes Vrindavan.

Tulsi looks slightly concerned but holds it all in. For once, Abraham is not filming. He’s watching surf videos on his phone. Tulsi leans forward, suddenly spontaneous.

“Do you know who Kelly Slater is?” she asks. She’s telling me about a surfing competition featuring men and women, where the women slayed. She leans forward to show me. “This is Kelly Slater’s wave pool. This is the first time in a sanctioned competition hosted by the world surf league where men and women have competed in the exact same wave conditions, size and everything! That finals day that we were there? I think seven of eight men did not even complete their first wave!”

Vrindavan is cracking up. “That should not make me happy!” she says. Abraham hands me his phone so I can watch a GoPro video of Tulsi surfing.

“Every time she goes home, she’s on the water,” says Vrindavan. “Every morning”

“The best spot to go is [redacted],” says Abraham.

“You can’t publish that name!” says Vrindavan.

“We walk to the beach,” says Tulsi.

“It’s a two-minute walk,” says Abraham.

“It’s not two minutes,” says Tulsi.

“Like five.”

“It might take two minutes to skate there,” says Tulsi.

“Oh yeah,” says Vrindavan. “They skateboard.”

The Last Straw Over the few months I was reporting this piece, Tulsi’s transient aunt called me from a plane; from an apartment in Portland, Oregon; from her home in Hawaii; and finally, unexpectedly, from a new home in Samoa, deep in Oceania, “as far as you can get from anywhere else.” It was a surprise even to her, but she had had a charged email correspondence with the island’s high ranking official and on a whim decided to return in retirement. “It was not my plan at all, not at all,” she says. “I’m here in the ancient world now. I’m operating in a framework of unbroken antiquity. It’s a riot of joy. I’m sprouting into a rain forest.”

Tulsi’s candidacy was not the first time that Sina felt compelled to speak to the press. When, in the early ’90s, her brother became the poster boy for homophobia in Hawaii, she very much wanted to say something, but in the thick of personal and medical challenge, she was advised by her therapist to say nothing much and left journalists’ calls unreturned.

Years later, when Trump emerged victorious on Election Night 2016, she was inert for two days, and it wasn’t until she heard a rousing statement about resistance out of the mouth of Elizabeth Warren that she “literally got off the couch.” She thought about her only vector to power. She texted Tulsi, Sina says, and while she waited for a response, Tulsi met with Donald Trump, declined to join her colleagues in denouncing Steve Bannon, and met with Assad. When the family invited her to Thanksgiving dinner, Sina did not go. Tulsi never called back.

It was, finally, the failure to sign the letter denouncing Bannon that pushed Sina over the edge of reticence. “An alarming pattern of Tulsi’s priorities is becoming increasingly clear and problematic,” Sina wrote on Facebook. “Having been a citizen twice as long as I’ve been Tulsi’s aunt, I hold my responsibilities for both roles as equally significant.”

She is still in frequent contact with the family despite everything. She and her brother share responsibility for an intellectually disabled relative, and so Sina and Tulsi’s mother confer about her care. “I used to think lifelines are what you toss to someone who falls overboard,” she writes in her book Alchemies of Distance. “But my sailor friend says, ‘No, lifelines are the ones that help keep you inside the boat.’ ”

The End How far does our commitment to religious diversity extend? Is it weirder to follow the dictates of a surfer guru who believes the moon landing was a hoax than to claim, as does Evangelical Mike Pence, that the establishment of Israel represents biblical prophecy? Georgia representative Jody Hice believes you can predict major political events through a succession of “blood moons.” A recent member of Congress claims pregnancy by “legitimate rape” is impossible. Because he believes bee pollen cured his allergies, former Iowa senator Tom Harkin has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars failing to prove the legitimacy of various alternative medicines, pollen among them.

In February, Tulsi Gabbard introduced a draft bill intended to keep Trump from pulling out of a nuclear-arms treaty; the move was supported by representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. (Abraham shot a Facebook Live video of a press conference for the bill, during which an expert on nuclear war spoke of Armageddon while red hearts floated past his face.) Three months later, she said she’d pardon Edward Snowden and drop charges against Julian Assange. The Democratic front-runner in every poll was a man who both signed the Authorization of Military Force, which has since been used to justify interventions in 14 countries, and hailed its signing as an inspiring act of democratic legitimacy. And when it appeared possible that the United States was gearing up for a military intervention in Venezuela under the guise of humanitarian aid, only one presidential candidate was willing to condemn the idea. As Bernie Sanders has moved toward a compromise position on military intervention abroad, Gabbard has chosen not to accept “this worldview, this regime-change-war addiction,” and has not backed down from the statement about “people whose whole careers have been built around support for these wars.”

Maybe Tulsi Gabbard is a toady, or naïve, or negative-attention seeking, or maybe a boy who grew up watching his father ridiculed decided to build a world in which he never would be, and in the world he built appeared a girl capable of holding firm to brazen ideas the world disdains. There are good actors and bad ones, but you don’t get to know what is in a candidate’s heart. If you think you do, you’ve been fooled. There is only the story they tell and the one you choose to believe. There are the votes they show up for and the forces they resist — the strength of the lifeline and into what strange waters they steer the boat.

*This article appears in the June 10, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!


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NEWS: Bernie Sanders raised $18 million in the second quarter, his campaign manager, @fshakir, says. —@thomaskaplan 10:19 A.M.

MEMES Unwanted Ivanka Memes Put Ivanka Trump on the Front Lines of History By MADISON MALONE KIRCHER Ivanka Trump’s presence at the annual G20 summit sparked some memes. 9:42 A.M. The deconstruction of the administration state is chugging along, at least in some places

From monitoring clinical trials and approving medicines and vaccines, to ensuring the safety of blood transfusions, medical devices, groceries, and more, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one of the nation’s most vital watchdogs. By several measures, however, FDA’s compliance and enforcement actions have plummeted since President Donald Trump took office, Science has found.

The agency’s “warning letters”—a key tool for keeping dangerous or ineffective drugs and devices and tainted foods off the market—have fallen by one-third, for example. Such letters typically demand swift corrections to protect public health and safety. FDA records from Trump’s inauguration through 22 May show the agency issued 1033 warning letters, compared with 1532 for the most recent equivalent period under former President Barack Obama. Compared with the start of the Obama presidency, Trump-era letters dropped by nearly half.

Warnings from the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, which helps ensure the safety and quality of medical devices, and from some of the agency’s district offices—including Philadelphia, Florida, and New York—have dropped even more steeply, by more than two-thirds. Two district offices have not issued a warning in more than 2 years. The numbers don’t just reflect a new administration’s slow start. FDA sent significantly fewer warning letters in the second year of Trump’s presidency than in his first.

Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump —Science Mag 8:52 A.M. Booker out with major immigration proposal

Cory Booker has rolled out an immigration agenda composed of changes he could make without relying on Congress, including a shift away from criminal prosecution of border crossings and a new mandate for migrant detention facilities to meet minimum standards.

Booker’s immigration plan, unveiled Tuesday, is one of the most detailed among Democratic White House hopefuls. His proposal sets a different tone from former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s immigration agenda by focusing entirely on executive orders that a future president could pursue without relying on a legislative deal that has proved elusive in recent years.

For instance, if elected, Booker would use his presidential powers to orient the Department of Homeland Security away from raids that target migrants at locations such as schools or churches while adding courthouses to that list, according to a summary released by the New Jersey senator’s campaign. Booker also vows to end President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by residents of certain majority-Muslim nations, the Trump administration’s use of quotas in immigration courts and multiple other policy changes that Trump has used to reshape the nation’s immigration policy.

Booker unveils immigration plan relying on executive orders —AP 8:52 A.M.

POLITICS There’s New Evidence That Raising the Minimum Wage Won’t Cost Jobs By SARAH JONES Conservatives said that raising the minimum wage would lead to ruin. It hasn’t. 8:30 A.M.

VISION 2020 The Democrats Aren’t a Left-Wing Party — They Just Play One on TV By ERIC LEVITZ Progressives call the shots on debate stages. But in Congress, moderates still have the wheel. 8:18 A.M. Unlike last time around, Trump probably won’t be at a financial disadvantage going into the general election

Trump campaign & RNC announce a massive $105 million haul at the end of the 2nd quarter. $54 million to Trump campaign & committees $51 million to RNC

—> $100 million total cash on hand —@JDiamond1 7:28 A.M. For the second day in a row, Trump is tweeting angrily about being targeted by the New York AG

People are fleeing New York like never before. If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee. And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved…..

…Texas will defend them & indemnify them against political harassment by New York State and Governor Cuomo. So many people are leaving New York for Texas and Florida that it is totally under siege. First New York taxes you too high, then they sue you, just to complete the job

—@realDonaldTrump 7:16 A.M. Tucker Carlson may not be the only Fox News personality influencing Trump on Iran

As President Donald Trump wrestled on the evening of June 20 with how to respond to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, Jack Keane was making his second appearance of the day on the Fox News Channel.

Keane, a retired four-star Army general, said that Trump, who had speculated earlier in the day that the Iranian action might have been a fluke rather than a deliberate provocation, had a point. Mistakes happen.

“Our viewers may have forgotten, but during the tanker war in the late ‘80s when Reagan did take some action, we actually made a mistake,” Keane said, referring to President Ronald Reagan. “We had a USS warship shoot down an Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace. Two-hundred ninety people killed. Sixty-six of them were children. And we took that for a Tomahawk F-14. That was clearly a mistake by the ship’s crew in doing that. And we acknowledged that we made a horrific mistake.”

Keane’s reference to the United States’ accidental downing of an Iranian commercial airliner in 1988 made a profound impact on the president, who was “spooked” when he learned of the incident, according to two sources briefed on his reaction. The president made repeated comments about the tragedy on the evening of the 20th, leading aides to believe that Keane’s brief history lesson exacerbated Trump’s pre-existing doubts about carrying out the strike.


Posted Tue Jul 2 22:46:14 2019

Tulsi Gabbard is what Amy Goodman would call a Winter Soldier, a former soldier who now decides to strive for Peace unless personally attacked at home.

My sister, Anna, is also the same kind of silent leader. It is something this nation has never seen before. A girl with a strong introvert personality who saw something wrong and mustered enough courage, against her usual reserve, to raise a loud voice for what will bring justice.

If I had to put my success or safety in one person's hands, I know I have always been able to count on my own sister in a similar way.

I vote for Tulsi for what she stands for.

I vote for Tulsi for the trust I know in her kind.

Posted Tue Jul 2 23:05:14 2019

the article I shared is mixed. I share it for the introversion lens.

Posted Tue Jul 2 23:13:54 2019

This is a copy paste of the following blog:

Seems Tulsi needs to get ahead of this smear campaign.

The Dubious Source Behind the Tulsi Cult Smear (updated 12 JUN 2019) 30APR19 | Uncategorized How I accidentally discovered the dubious source of the smear campaign that frames Tulsi as a culty homophobe. This article does not attempt to deny that Tulsi Gabbard has a history of anti-gay activism, but it does refute allegations that she belongs to a dangerous homophobic cult.

Tulsi Gabbard has ties to Chris Butler and his Science of Identity Foundation… So what? Tulsi does not deny her connections to Chris Butler or the Science of Identity Foundation (SIF) in any of the interviews she has given. She has even stated that he is the lineage holder of her Sadhanas (ancient mantras), which would explain why she refers to him as her Guru Dev. But this does not make him her Master, as those who know little about Eastern religions would suggest.

In her interview with the New Yorker, she stated that she does not have a primary guru. She has had many gurus throughout her life, and in her interview for Hawaii Yoga Magazine, Butler is actually listed separately from those who she has actually learned from — she does not adhere to his teachings.

She has denied that she was ever a member of SIF, and there is no evidence to the contrary. The yoga tradition she practices is actually quite different than what Butler teaches. SIF practices Vaishnava Hinduism. She practices Karma Yoga. She has also lived her life in ways that are contrary to SIF precepts (such as being twice married and serving in the US military).

Even though she is not a member of SIF, certain people have chosen to smear the organization in an effort to hurt her political career. People really should stop circulating that nasty cult story, and not just because it is pure propaganda. The narrative was spawned out of revenge, and bears all the hallmarks of an emerging hate movement.

How I accidentally discovered who is behind the vicious smear that has haunted Tulsi Gabbard’s entire political career.

Screen capture (w/ added propaganda warning) taken from Christine Gralow’s website. Previously, I had a Twitter confrontation with a guy who claimed he’s lived near the Gabbard family since the 80’s, and that he was persecuted by their culty homophobia. Since Hawaii is only thee most liberal state, and has always been gay-friendly (as most Polynesian cultures are), I started asking around to see if this guy was for real. I asked my cousins who live on East Oahu, and none were familiar with the name he used. But recently, I started showing his picture…

The reason I did, was because I noticed he had scrubbed his Twitter profile of personal images after I asked, “How come none of my cousins know who you are if you live there?”

The Bad Neighbor My cousins thought that the pic looked a lot like someone who actually lives in Kailua — an extremely wealthy man known as Nick BREDIMUS. Everyone who has lived on that side of the island for a while knows who BREDIMUS is… ever since the Gabbards exposed him to their neighbors as a pedophile and child pornographer, convicted of molesting boys as young as 11 years old.

Criminal & Sexually Offensive Acts of Nicholas Bredimus on Kids Here are the full details of Nicholas (Nick) Bredimus or FlashlightonRoaches journey and sexual abuse of children in Thailand along with how he was caught and jailed : taken from the Dallas Observe…

(archived link)

Search engines led me to a website (above) that detailed his crimes, and associated BREDIMUS with FlashlightOnRoaches… which happens to be a website that many journalists have used as a source for their hit-pieces against Tulsi. It featured a blog that portrayed the Science of Identity Foundation as a cult, and claimed that Tulsi Gabbard was a secret member.

In November 2016, Paste Magazine published that FlashlightOnRoaches was the only source they could find connecting Tulsi with the “Butler Cult” — alleging that the Gabbards somehow managed to “scrub” the internet.

FlashlightOnRoaches also led discussions in the message forum referenced in this Civil Beat article, where journalists were/are getting their “Butler Cult” info from… a forum where many posts were transferred from FlashlightOnRoaches. In 2012, when Tulsi first ran for congress, the forum evolved into being less about SIF, and more about how SIF could be used against Tulsi — with great encouragement from FlashlightOnRoaches (BREDIMUS).

Building the Culty-Tulsi Myth Most forum members who posted about the Gabbards admitted they were never members of “the cult” — they were there to find, or to help dig for Tulsi dirt. They were quite active in “research” and “doxing” of everything and everyone remotely associated with the Gabbards, shared he-said-she-said rumors, and collaborated on shaping narratives that they hoped would destroy Tulsi’s career.

The Civil Beat investigated claims made on the forum about SIF, Butler, and the Gabbards. None of what they were able to verify included anything salacious or nefarious. They found that the rest could be dismissed as baseless “rumors and innuendo — even patently false”.

One poster, confessing no knowledge of Tulsi’s religious beliefs, suggested it wouldn’t be a surprise if SIF were anti-gay, since Hare Krishnas forbade sex except for pro-creation. Another poster announced ditching a project to portray Tulsi as a lesbian. Someone else commented about how she was “too hot” to be gay. Others kicked around ideas for framing Tulsi’s brother as gay, and “sent away” to Australia to spare the family of shame… a story that was ditched when a profile of the young man was discovered, which made the narrative impossible. Some posters carried on about how Tulsi’s religion was Satanic, and about how she and all who practiced such idolatry would burn in hell. They were particularly bothered by the use of the Gita to swear her into office, and referred to all Hindus involved in Hawaii politics as “groomed” for office by “the cult”. Death Meditations In one post, BREDIMUS presented forum members with a long list of talking points titled, Death Meditations. As a whole, these Death Meditations formulate an extremist doctrine of Anti-Tulsi hate that not only scapegoats her for the “persecution” of gays, but as well demands that she answers for it. Primarily, these talking points focus on:

Associating everything about Mike Gabbard with the “homophobic cult”, so people would forget (or never realize) that he’s actually a devout Christian and that his former advocacy for DOMA was motivated by his Catholic beliefs. Using Hindu-phobic tropes to liken “the cult” experience to mind-controlled slavery… in the service of Butler’s power and profit. Explaining away the lack of evidence that would actually prove that SIF is a cult, and that would actually tie Tulsi to cultish activities, as being the result of “secret” worship… and using negative proof fallacies in confrontations. Butler’s feet and toenails, sprinkled throughout, as an added ick-factor. Radicalizing Minions of Hate In one post, BREDIMUS writes about “examples of courage in the battle to expose Tulsi Gabbard”. These “examples” of behavior, combined with the forum’s list of Death Meditations, have already led to radicalizing at least one person into committing violence against Tulsi.

He praised a YouTube vlogger, who he called one of “our own”… for producing “powerful videos” which spread “the truth” about “the cult” being a danger to society… the same forum member mentioned above who had been playing around with the lesbian smear.

A forum visitor described as a political activist with “a deep hatred” for the Gabbards was also named by BREDIMUS in his list of “courageous heroes”. He was praised for his activism and publications which kept people focused on ideas of how ingrained cultish homophobic views are, and he was congratulated for ensuring that this sowed distrust in Tulsi’s social “evolution” and “change of heart”.

Another forum visitor who BREDIMUS praised at length for confronting (harassing) Tulsi in person was Aniruddha SHERBOW. A little more than a year after receiving this praise and encouragement, SHERBOW was convicted on felony stalking charges… when he attempted to hunt her down to sever her head from her body.

New York Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Making Threats Against Member of Congress

False Prophets In 2016, BREDIMUS was exposed as a pedophile to the forum, and he ceased his online activities. Soon after his online disappearance, Christine Gralow joined the forum and became the new champion in the group’s effort against Tulsi Gabbard. She came armed with a blog, dedicated to exposing the “Butler Web”.

One named witness in GRALOW’s work recently approached me online to corroborate her story. He showed me his blog, in which he claims “the cult” may be a CIA MK Ultra Op. He didn’t answer when I asked him if he has met or knows Butler.

During our conversation, he repeated Death Meditations… including one about Butler’s toenails.

He admitted that he knew BREDIMUS, and confirmed him as FlashlightOnRoaches. He sent me a document he wrote about BREDIMUS in 2016, in which he described him as “our leader”, and an extremely dangerous man who is obsessed with destroying the Science of Identity Foundation, even though he has never been a member and doesn’t actually know anything about their religious practices. His Twitter feed confirms this timeline.

He confessed that he doesn’t actually know Tulsi, and that he has “never heard anything bad or weird about her or her family”.

I was also approached by GRALOW’s one other named witness, who also intended to corroborate her cult narrative.

[01 June 2019: It was previously published here that the second witness did not know Butler. This was based on a previous statement of his about how “Butler was never around.” The witness now says that he has met Butler, and the statement has thus been retracted.]

He also repeated Death Meditations, until I made it clear that I knew what those were.

Like the first witness, he confessed that he didn’t know Tulsi when he was growing up. He admitted that he knows the first witness, and that they were both part of the “truth-seeking clan” that BREDIMUS once led.

He also admitted that his family had been involved in so many different religious groups that he might be getting things mixed up, and that he doesn’t doubt that it may have been another group that “messed him up”.

Both witnesses told me that they cut ties with BREDIMUS in 2016, when they found out he was a pedophile… yet they continue with their mission to spread their anti-SIF message.

Both witnesses confirmed that they have been interviewed by several journalists as, “cult defectors”.

Campaign of Revenge Fact: Nicholas Bredimus, who was never a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, has been waging a sophisticated smear campaign against SIF and the Gabbards for more than a decade, after they exposed him to the community for being a sicko who went to prison for sexually abusing children.

Fact: Nicholas Bredimus led discussions on an internet forum for the purpose of fabricating and spreading narratives about SIF being a dirty homophobic cult, to tarnish Tulsi Gabbard’s reputation and destroy her career.

Fact: Nicholas Bredimus influenced and encouraged the man who was convicted for plotting an attempt on Tulsi’s life.

Fact: Narratives shaped by said forum are being used by political operatives and journalists in their hit-pieces against Tulsi Gabbard.

Fact: “Witnesses” used by journalists to confirm cult narratives for their hit-pieces were actually part of the group that BREDIMUS orchestrated to create these narratives to begin with.

For anti-propagandists and others who study information war: An analysis of the deceptive, xenophobic rhetorical devices used to spin the cult conspiracy theory used by pundits and political operatives to malign Tulsi Gabbard, and how what they’re doing is fomenting Anti-Hindu sentiments, can be found here.

The Truth Tulsi Gabbard is not responsible for the persecution of gays. Religious bigotry is. The same sort of religious bigotry that she is now the target of.

We live in a free country, in which we all have the right to religious freedom.

None of us have the right to know anything about Tulsi Gabbard’s religious beliefs. Our constitution actually guarantees the religious privacy of our politicians, by abolishing the religious testing of our public officials.

The religious beliefs of our politicians aren’t even anything that we actually need to be concerned about… because our constitution protects our state and federal affairs from religious interference.

Tulsi may not have always fully appreciated these rights… but the experience of war and theocracy in the Middle East has forever changed her.

Tulsi Gabbard’s early advocacy for traditional (anti-gay) marriage, and her regrets:

Naomi Allen 🌺 🐝 🌺 @girlyGRRRL · Jun 10, 2019 Replying to @girlyGRRRL This, by W Examiner, is the most thoughtful piece done on Tulsi's anti-gay past. It holds her father responsible for his own actions, doesn't shame her for what she did as a child, & recognizes that she's always been conflicted about her father's position. …

Mike and Tulsi Gabbard Tulsi Gabbard’s father: 'I never realized how much trauma I put her through' Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s father said the Hawaii congresswoman’s apology for her previous stance on homosexuality broke his heart.

Naomi Allen 🌺 🐝 🌺 @girlyGRRRL The W Examiner piece also doesn't try to demonize SIF as a homophobic cult, and doesn't try to blame it for M Gabbard's activism and belief in "traditional" marriage. So far, @hausofcait is the only MSM journalist I've seen write an honest piece about Tulsi's anti-gay history.

12 2:16 PM - Jun 10, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy See Naomi Allen 🌺 🐝 🌺's other Tweets Promises Kept: Tulsi Gabbard’s fight for LGTB rights and marriage equality. Corrections

(05 JUN 2019): A previous edition of this article stated that Bredimus “ran” the internet forum, causing confusion about the website’s ownership. These statements have been changed to reflect that Bredimus “led discussions” on the forum… Bredimus did not own the website, which hosted several forums.


(12 JUN 2019): Added introductory comments about Tulsi’s religious beliefs, and about our living in a Free Country.

Legal Disclaimer

I have never published, neither in this article, nor on my personal website, that anyone other than Nicholas Bredimus is a pedophile.

I am neither a paid employee, nor a volunteer member of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s staff or her election campaign.

I am not associated with Chris Butler or the Science of Identity Foundation, in any fashion.

I have never accused Christine Gralow of working for or personally knowing Bredimus. I’ve only asked if she does, since she is carrying on with his work and with the same people, and since she and Bredimus live in the same neighborhood.

Since first publishing this post, there as been an attempt to shut me down. After experiencing an intense online harassment campaign and receiving various threats (which included promises of public humiliation, and harm to my personal businesses)… instead of retracting this article, I’ve expanded it.

To my would-be silencers, I say: Sue me… if you can.

Posted Wed Jul 3 08:12:07 2019

I wrote a presidential candidate joke series that I have been growing since 2016. #PoopSeries

Posted Wed Jul 3 08:35:23 2019

Wish I had a picture of what happened. Yesterday, Brazen chased a mother duck who was skirting away from her scurrying ducklings into a cold, polluted pond, and Brazen had never swum before. I saw her disappear on the other side of the bank, and it took me a minute to run over and try to save her from what I thought might be her not knowing how to swim. It took a minute for me to realize what had happened. But I ran over and there was the duck near her in the water defending and hissing for her life. But Brazen kept kicking towards the duck. I didn't want the ducklings to lose their mother so I screamed and screamed to get Brazen to come back, but she wouldn't listen. Finally Mom, who must have been self conscious about my screeching my head off in public asked Brazen to return, and Brazen reluctantly did. Brazen has never acted out in this way before, but she loved it and when we got home she fell quick to sleep to somehow return to the time and place in her mind. Naughty Brazen! But it was fun to watch her snap into a hunter!


Posted Wed Jul 3 13:29:28 2019

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Search Search THE SCIENCESMINDHEALTH TECHSUSTAINABILITYEDUCATIONVIDEOPODCASTSBLOGSPUBLICATIONS MIND Guest BlogMIND Guest Blog How I Recovered My Social Skills after Schizophrenia Schizophrenia can seriously impair the ability to relate to people, but with effort, a degree of normalcy can be attained. As someone who lives with schizophrenia, this is glaringly obvious to me.

By Michael Hedrick on October 24, 2013 Schizophrenia can seriously impair the ability to relate to people, but with effort, a degree of normalcy can be attained.

As someone who lives with schizophrenia, this is glaringly obvious to me.

When you have schizophrenia, the overarching plot of the experience is the inability to tell whether the things you are thinking are actually taking place in reality.

ADVERTISEMENT For instance, in a normal interaction with anyone from my parents to a friend I’m thinking things like “Was that inflection in your voice a signal that I should be more friendly or more reserved?” or “Was that laughter I heard over my shoulder about me or something totally innocuous?” or “What are you thinking about the way I’ve smiled at you today? Does it indicate that I’m weak or that I’m crazy?”

Simply put, when someone has schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, interacting with the world in a meaningful and socially cognitive way is more than difficult.

There’s a distinct apathy and flatness that result when you lose control of your mind. In essence you’re trying so hard to get a grip on reality that things like social aptitude, interactive conversation and even general hygiene go by the wayside and this apathy is only heightened by the shock of a mental illness diagnosis, delusions and paranoia, and powerful antipsychotic medications.

I’ve lived with schizophrenia coming up on eight years now and though I have been symptomatically stable for years, with a few periods of uncertainty, the desire to adequately relate to others has been a driving force for me. Shortly after I was diagnosed I was essentially dead socially. I couldn’t even go into a grocery store because I was so paranoid what people thought of me. By contrast, I can remember being pretty popular in high school and having friends from every different clique, every group and every grade. The ability to connect with people seemed so effortless then and it’s a goal that I’ve been striving to re-attain for the last eight years.

Part and parcel of my experience interacting with others is the analysis that goes on both during and after any interaction. After every interaction–even those as minor as greeting the pizza delivery guy or the gas station attendant–this analysis goes on for hours or days. Unbeknownst to me, that hyper consciousness and hyper analysis was my own form of social cognitive conditioning which, in addition to my meds and therapy for helping me accept myself, has offered no less than an a reawakening.

ADVERTISEMENT Interestingly, I recently learned of a formal technique that seems to parallel my self-therapy. Called Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET), it is a recovery phase intervention for symptomatically stable persons with severe mental illness, who nonetheless remain socially and vocationally disabled. The Center for Cognition and Recovery says CET works by helping individuals develop and enhance the mental capacities that produce the awareness for self-directed social interactions that are wise, appropriate, and effective using a combination of software training in attention, memory and problem solving along with social cognitive group exercises.

According to a CET Cleveland document called“CET, Cognitive Enhancement Therapy – An Overview of the Evidence-Based Practice”, patients use a process called secondary socialization to improve social cognition. “Socialization is the process of learning from other people (e.g., parents, other caregivers, relatives, peers, etc.) the informal rules of interacting wisely and effectively. After primary socialization in childhood, individuals undergo secondary socialization in adolescence and young-adulthood where they learn how to detect, evaluate, test and finally utilize the unwritten and unspoken rules of social interaction with peers and adults. In other words, individuals learn what is right (acceptable) and wrong (unacceptable or inappropriate) actions in many different social settings with feedback from many different people.”

Essentially, CET recapitulates the process by which individuals learn how to “get it” socially, to get the gist of an interaction without getting hung up on details.

newsletter promo Sign up for Scientific American’s free newsletters.

Sign Up I had not heard of CET until earlier this morning when I was researching schizophrenia and social impairment. However, and unknowingly, in the years since my diagnosis I have been engaging in a project resembling at least some aspects of CET with myself, analyzing my social interactions with a special kind of ferocity.

Such extensive analysis may not be healthy in socialized individuals. But for people with schizophrenia, over-analysis may be an important tool for social cognition. It has been for me. I am in an unending dialogue with myself over social awareness that has led to not only a deep understanding of who I am, but also an acute social consciousness of everyone and everything around me. At times I’m so distracted with the dialogue that I can’t perform accurately in the interaction I am in, and a performance is essentially what social interaction boils down to for me.

ADVERTISEMENT When I do it right, successfully connecting with another human being, I feel giddy. But if something goes wrong and the execution wasn’t perfect, the tinge of regret will stay with me until I focus my mind elsewhere. Occasionally, an interaction feels so horribly catastrophic to me that I’ll be thinking about my mistakes for hours or days and the only thing I want to do is curl up in my bed and flip a bird to the world. But even in those cases, I learn from my mistakes.

Since 2004, the SAMHSA-recognized CET program out of Cleveland has run 138 CET groups. All of them reported an 85 percent graduation rate with significantly improved social cognition. Graduates went from having a flat affect with little or no social reciprocity or ability to converse appropriately (i.e. respond sympathetically, use a proper tone of voice, and so on) to displaying relative social competence. A similar improvement has characterized my own recovery. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Paranoia about what people think of me has been with me since I broke, and I imagine it will continue to be until I’m an old man. Still, it’s provided me with a rich, multi-faceted concept of myself that others would have a hard time even imagining. After eight years of practice in social conditioning, anyone, even schizophrenics, can attain a level of normalcy in their interactions. They can begin to get on the right track forming meaningful relationships and contributing to society.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S) Michael Hedrick Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. His work has appeared in Salon, The Week, Converge, Thought Catalog and various other places across the web. His book 'Schizophrenic Connections' is available here.

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Posted Wed Jul 3 14:20:13 2019

I have been learning a lot about my self and my mental illness. Schizoaffective disorder is much different from bipolar in that we don't really know how to socialize. I feel I might be able to improve since now I now that we all have that in common.

Trying to think about the fact that news sharing on line is socializing too.

Posted Wed Jul 3 14:52:33 2019

I thought I was sure about Tulsi, but it was her strong belief in the right to bear arms that makes me not sure.

I Love Marianne but I don't think she has winning potential, but I Love Marianne.

I might just vote for Bernie or Elizabeth.

Posted Wed Jul 3 21:45:59 2019

These were the ones selected (by Mom) for public consumption out of many more.

Posted Wed Jul 3 23:07:33 2019

I noticed something was happening when I first Tweeted about Marianne Williams. I began having new likes and follows from a new group of people. These people were spiritual teachers, truth seekers, peace activists, and conscious speakers, Earth Advocacy News, and believers of Love. I even got followed eventually by Team Marianne 2020.

Nik Martin @Nikkima65174561 · 7h What a beautiful way to protest fear. Thank you.

Teresa and 12 others liked your Tweet For those who dis #MarianneWilliamson you are neither hurting or helping, but wasting your time. Why not do something worthwhile or beneficial to humanity? Those of us who love her politically and personally will not change because you insult her.

How did this come to happen? I contemplated deeply about my true feelings about who to vote for president and in Twitter, maybe for the first time, I spoke from the deepest part of my Heart.

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 11m This is very true that L wing establishment elitism can drain the energy people need to create change. But it also is true that L wing progressives can be guilty of a similar problem. Not all of the L wing candidates still have the momentum required to harness the Love vote. Quote Tweet

Kelly Perkins @KellyPerkOR · 6h So true @marwilliamson is the answer: L wing establishment elitism is no less dangerous than R wing establishment elitism bc it undermines the energy needed to create real change. The wisdom of the people is the only safe repository for power. Claim it; don’t give it away. (link:…

Antigone and Marty liked your Tweet If you sign up on Marianne Williamson's website, she asks you to email her the following answer, and she says she will read as many as she can!

What is your hearts truth about our nation's problems and how do you want a president to address them?#MarianneWilliamson #Marianne2020

I don't know if we will win. If everyone else in America becomes heart struck, maybe. If your heart is opposed to Marianne, please don't vote for her. But if it is...!

Kelly Perkins @KellyPerkOR · 6h So true @marwilliamson is the answer: L wing establishment elitism is no less dangerous than R wing establishment elitism bc it undermines the energy needed to create real change. The wisdom of the people is the only safe repository for power. Claim it; don’t give it away. Quote Tweet

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 8h

MarianneWilliamson #Marianne2020 has more eclectic, spiritual, deep, unique, intelligent followers on Twitter than any other candidate.

I Have Found My People! :)

Posted Thu Jul 4 10:29:56 2019

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 15m Even more important than the fact my world will change with @marwilliamson I am increasingly convinced that My Own Heart will evolve with #Marianne2020 #Marianne #MarianneWilliamson Change begins In US.

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 45m In #MarianneWilliamson #Marianne2020 's followers, I feel a True sense of Belonging. I would Love to meet in person. I can only Dream of what it would be like for the whole country to decide she was for them! How the World would look then!

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 I came to a love of Bernie in my heart last time around. Why should I not decide on a political leader from deep in my heart this time around? Quote Tweet

Nik Martin @Nikkima65174561 · 8h What a beautiful way to protest fear. Thank you. (link:… 6:16 AM · Jul 4, 2019 · Twitter Web App

Posted Thu Jul 4 11:25:51 2019

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 8s Could anybody be a president? What is a president? Historical presidents who have been spiritual leaders as well as decision makers, were they better or not as good? Did people vote for Obama for policy or Hope?

Posted Thu Jul 4 11:33:44 2019

Who is "she" in this poem?

"She" is bird, poet, and candidate all.

The voice that overwhelms.

The thrush that wakes us too early, calling from the depths of the forest.

What is the "meadow"?

The meadow is fear itself.

What can a Voice do about Fear?

Truth shrinks Fear.

Love is what this country needs, like when Hope was what was most important.

Will it?

Posted Thu Jul 4 12:12:07 2019

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 2m @marwilliamson Marianne, my Mom says she would consider voting for you if she knew record of your activism. I imagine you have done things. Also she says she'd like to see you on the border soon and Flint Michigan. What have you done?

Maggie Hess @MaggieHess16 · 1m @marwilliamson Secular Humanists and atheists need to know you respect the fact that we ARE NOT ONE NATION "under God"!!!!! (You have my secular humanist vote though.)

Posted Thu Jul 4 12:30:06 2019

Go to the profile of Soul Sista #1 Soul Sista #1 Jul 3

A good politician is someone who is not afraid to make a stand for what is right. They are not concerned about what pandering politicians think of them because they do not exist to please the powers that be. That is who Marianne Williamson is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Bernie and will take Liz if the Dems undermine democracy again. However, as someone who personally knows the power of love to cast out hate and fear, I have nothing but admiration for Marianne Williamson, the truth-telling zero fucks giving Goddess that she is.

On the morning after the second Dem debate, I realized all the people on Twitter who mocked Marianne Williamson have something in common. They have absolutely no idea what love is, but it is not their fault since we live in a society where love is regulated to our closest, most intimate relationships.

Love is seen as something we are lucky to have, not do, and Marianne is right. Only love can heal hate and fear, and America would be wise to listen since it is literally falling apart due to the absence of unity in the name of love.

Everything going wrong with the world is caused by one thing: Not enough love. For what is war, injustice, racism, greed, intolerance, hate, poverty, rape, suicide, animal cruelty, trophy hunting, and dumping our garbage in oceans but irrefutable evidence that the world could do with a lot more love?

Love on a global scale is as rare as rocking horse droppings and only happens after catastrophes, but it can heal the world if we let it. Here are just a few examples of what will happen when more people take love seriously and demand that the people representing them in their governments do the same:

  • Love bans all military weapons; it does not waste money waging endless wars or sell arms to those who do

  • Love provides the poor with decent housing, employment, education, and training; it does not demonize them

  • Love puts psychopaths and the greedy in jail for their crimes against humanity, wildlife, and the planet; it does not give them ‘Get out of Jail Free’ cards

  • Love switches to cleaner, safer renewable sources of energy; it does not send poor people to war to die for oil

  • Love teaches the truth of oneness to cure haters of the illusion of separation; it does not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or any excuse to hate

  • Love locks up pedophiles for life, it does not give them a pass, even when they are priests

  • Love carefully monitors the care and development of youths in care homes; it does not let them fall into the hands of sexual predators

  • Love respects life in all its stages; it does not tolerate the abuse of the elderly in or out of nursing homes

  • Love sends addicts to rehab and trains them in something they enjoy doing, then makes sure they earn a living wage; it does not send people to jail for non-violent ‘crimes’ like prostitution, smoking a weed, or for stealing things like winter coats and food

  • Love preserves and protects the environment for future generations; it does not let greedy people rape Earth so they can hoard more money

  • Love teaches people to police themselves; it does not allow anyone to terrorize others and call it law enforcement

  • Love makes sure workers receive a living wage for the most precious thing they have, their time; it does not make them work an 80-hour week only to require food stamps and Medicaid

  • Love does not tolerate broken systems; it fixes or replaces them

  • Love does not cure diseases for profit, it prevents them

  • Love does not deny a child a hot lunch. Ever.

  • Love knows all forms of life are sacred and treats them accordingly; it does not think one species is more important than another

  • Love sees everyone, regardless of their color, gender, sexuality, or religion as equals; it does not bestow human rights on a select group of individuals.

The above can serve as an outline for a much-needed planetary love manifesto. It belongs to everyone and anyone can contribute. If you have suggestions, amendments or something to add, contact the author and they will be added to this article.

When we finally agree love is the answer we will no longer be content to have it confined to a few holidays a year. Hopefully, one day soon, love will no longer be just about giving roses and chocolates on a certain day, because, Voltaire was right when he said ‘Love is the instrument of our salvation’.

While the other candidates talked about policies, Marianne talked about love, which needs to be the backbone of every policy moving forward if we are to survive the times.

Too many American people think there is something more important than love, so if Marianne does not get the nomination I hope the next admin will create a new position in her honor her: Ambassador of Universal Love. It’s a tough but joyous job, and someones like Marianne Williamson has got to do it.

Marianne WilliamsonLovePresidential DebatesPresidential CandidateDemocrats

Posted Fri Jul 5 11:01:06 2019

When I wrote my long list of things I have quit, I did it for the doctor in a moment that I later realized was pretty high in self actualization. But after I wrote the list, my ego shifted in a way that changed who I was in a kind of serious way. I no longer wanted to try for numerous opportunities I might be currently interested in but that would not work out, and I decided to quit starting so many unrealistic things, or any at all. It really partially was a blow on my ego, because I started seeing myself as someone who really is so disabled that I might never be able to work like a normal person works. I always had maintained so much hope for my vocation before, that I might have had an unrealistic vision of myself.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking of myself as a victim for a long time. But in my therapy and development, I have come to realize that this vision of myself is corroding family relationships and causing me to point untrue blame. I do take responsibility for what I do eventually, but I don't think I have found in myself the opposite of a victim, a success, at least not to the point that I have learned to act with empowerment in these troubled human relationships I have. A big part of my view of myself as a victim has been that I have troubles other people don't have to even worry over, like a disability and a schizoaffective diagnosis.

When I was in high school, my best and closest friend was a sweet and creative young girl who would go on in her life to struggle with this same diagnosis. And in middle school, my best friend also was a young girl who also had schizoaffective disorder later in life. 0.3% of the population have schizoaffective disorder, so it strikes me as amazing that of however many existed in my school at that time, 2 were my best friends and I also had the diagnosis.

How can I think of myself as a success is a harder question than have I ever done anything successful. I am not entirely currently certain why I have insecurities around my own self image and success, just that I would like to work on it. I seem to apply blame on my illness externally sometimes, and it is something I would like to quit. So here is something that would actually be beneficial if I quit.

I don't seem to know answers right now but I'm feeling fine.

Posted Fri Jul 5 15:20:41 2019

Maggie Hess @beautyitselfis · 34s "Girlfriend, you are so on!" is the epitome of what I adore about @marwilliamson , the exclamation of a leader who brazenly wants to improve our world that much, a "queen" of Love, a helper of the Heart of humanity. What we need! New Zealand watch and learn! :)

Posted Sat Jul 6 09:41:49 2019

Ocean, gateway to dark skies, dolphin headwaters, footprint in sand,

when wave washes your indention,

you slip away forever.


My school is wabi sabi.

My teacher says study the pain.

Cast out the fishes that did not need to be caught.

Walk away as moon disappears over horizon.

Posted Sun Jul 7 00:14:03 2019


Very little is known for certain about the genetics of schizoaffective disorder. Studies suggest that variations in many genes, each with a small effect, combine to increase the risk of developing the condition. There may also be genetic variations with larger effects in some affected individuals or families, but these variants are rare in the general population, and it is unclear which particular genes are involved.

The genes that have been studied as possible contributors to schizoaffective disorder have diverse functions in the brain. These genes include some that regulate the body's daily (circadian) rhythms, such as the sleep-wake cycle; others that help control the movement (migration) of nerve cells during brain development; and still others involved in sending and receiving chemical signals in the brain. In particular, several genes that have been associated with the risk of schizoaffective disorder provide instructions for making parts of a receptor for gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), a chemical called a neurotransmitter that sends signals in the brain. GABA's primary role is to prevent the brain from being overloaded with too many signals.

Many of the genetic variations associated with schizoaffective disorder appear also to be involved in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Other variations seem to be specific to schizoaffective disorder. However, it is challenging to study the genetics of schizoaffective disorder because the disorder has such significant overlap with these other mental health conditions. In some studies, people with schizoaffective disorder are analyzed in the same group as those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, so it can be difficult to determine which genetic variations influence each of these specific diagnoses.


Egosyntonic refers to the behaviors, values, and feelings that are in harmony with or acceptable to the needs and goals of the ego, or consistent with one's ideal self-image.

Posted Sun Jul 7 00:20:37 2019

Not in a big mood for blogging, but came back to wanting Bernie Sanders to be president. lol

Posted Mon Jul 8 14:23:32 2019

@BristolIndivis If you live in the Tricities TN/VA area, you can join this group, Bristol Indivisible and their partners, Bristol TN Democratic Party
@EastTNWomenDems . Standing in solidarity for the Children at the Border.

Posted Sat Jul 13 14:26:03 2019

Patreon link:

I have a style which is rustic, expressive, emotional, and wabi sabi. To use the words of Leonard Koren, this style of beauty is becoming extinct. He goes on to compare a tea hut that he comes across to a big white plastic umbrella. That is the world in which we live.

On this historic day of the moon landing, I am conducting a scientific experiment upon myself. I am discontinuing use of computer and phone to live in the world where and when I actually am, forever.

I am quitting using these devices, and pouring my creativity into making Koan Field Guides. Koan Field Guides are my way of teaching what I know to the world. The first one I am currently working on is Back to the Land Field Guide. I happen to have grown up in the Back to the Land movement, a child of two Back to the Land farmers who moved to Washington County, Virginia in pursuit of pacifist farming communities.

Finding only pastures and weeds, they made their own sort of pacifist farms.

So I am currently signing off, and going to make that guide, and the ones to follow: Field Guides to Creativity, Haiku, Wabi Sabi, Neighborhoods, and Porches.

Won't you help my creative efforts?

Patreon link:

Posted Sun Jul 21 15:26:39 2019