Author Archives: Ben Tanosborn

Hillary’s inconsequential emails . . . and telltale speeches

Indications are that the federal probe investigating the possible mishandling of classified materials on Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she served as secretary of state is winding down. And so far, neither the FBI nor the prosecutorial staff at the Justice Department has come up with information that point to Hillary or her aides knowingly, or negligently, discussing classified secrets over her non-secure email system . . . contrary to the hopes and “political prayers” of every soul in the Republican Party. Continue reading

Ave Trump! Those about to die (politically) salute you

After the symbolic early-bird primaries/caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, where approximately 5 percent of either party’s nominating delegates were offered to the presidential candidates, the winds of March came early on this 2016 Super Tuesday directly propelled by that extra leap day, February 29. Approximately a quarter of the delegate count were at stake for each party this March 1, and the results have provided some political enlightenment, as well as minutiae, to keep the politicians concerned, the TV pundits employed and the politicophile public entertained. Continue reading

Iraq war: Not a mistake, but a holocaustic crime

Either our minds have softened in the United States, or our hearts have hardened way beyond the callous stage. Or, likely both! Continue reading

2016 presidential election: Hillary’s progressive Halloween costume

“Everybody wants to get inta da act! Inka dinka doo, a dinka dee, a dinka doo.” Our parents, our grandparents, remembering the ‘40s or ‘50s are likely to smile if reminded of that entertainer, Jimmy Durante, who traversed from vaudeville to the early days of television with his antics. Continue reading

Tossing the Democratic coin: Hillary’s evolution or Bernie’s revolution

We cannot help but smile at the shrill and jingoish display of fervid patriotism that the lady from the heartland of the north, Sarah Palin, brings to American politics. A faux conservatism which is made up mostly of geriatric memories celebrating America’s past glories as center of power and influence in a unipolar world. Continue reading

Presidentialism not serving American politics well

Here we are heralding the entrance of a new year with myriad problems confronting us; some problems appearing as daily spoken realities—those principally dealing with the economy, war and terrorism; others, subliminally present, silenced by national choice—such as bigotry, an ever-expanding income-wealth inequality and the prospect of a world without US economic and military hegemony. The subliminal topics appearing as taboo, where neither government nor most of us dare go or openly discuss. Continue reading

Trump’s identifiable ‘supernova’ constituency

It won’t be long before Donald Trump is forced into a lifetime decision; one far more reaching than anything he has faced before. He will either have to accept the logic of exiting politics in a graceful, or even narcissistic, Trump manner . . . or seriously bet all his chips—money and brand—in the founding of an American populist movement, perhaps a stars-and-stripes’ version of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National [in France]. Continue reading

Social injustice breeds terrorism and radicalization

When it comes to crime in general—and homicidal crime in particular—America seems intent in proving to the world that we are a nation apart. And if the crime sub-specialty is one of mass shootings, such as the event which recently transpired in San Bernardino (California), we purposely shrug off a topic we prefer to keep hushed; a topic which brings out the inglorious fact that the rate of mass shootings in the United States is six times that on the rest of the planet based on population. Not double, not triple, but six times as high! Continue reading

Capitalism, democratic socialism and the Democratic debate

If I had my druthers, I would prefer Hillary Clinton not be the first woman president of the U S of A. Not that I underestimate her intelligence or capability to occupy this high office, but I feel very strongly that her marriage to “Scoundrel” Bill has both molded and tainted her against being credible to lead this nation . . . much less to be a leader most of the world would trust. Continue reading

A new option to terrorism, quagmire in Middle East?

Vladimir Putin should not be pegged as a master strategist nor as a superb tactician; not when he is proving to be both. But perhaps the most miraculous thing: his success is being carved while presiding over a nation still not fully evolved into a market economy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union; and, still for now, a country export-dependent of its energy resources. Continue reading

A lay doctrine for man’s survival: Acceptance of compromise

Humble Francisco appears to have chosen, from the time he accepted his papal tasks, a narrow path with overgrown thorny brambles; also a major role as arbiter in the West between two ideologies which view very differently both the exercise of power and the distribution of wealth. Continue reading

Kaleidoscoping the migrant problem—opportunity dilemma

Pictures of migrant-exiles from the Middle East and South-Central Asia, not just Syrians but Iraqis and Afghanis as well, are currently being transmitted by CNN, Aljazeera English and other news giants to homes all over the world in customary repetition which most of us would agree exceeds the canons of proper news reporting. Continue reading

Finding pearls of wisdom in The Donald’s trumperbolic campaign

I’ve just received an interesting query from Mingo, a long-standing European journalist friend and expert on all-things-Afghan . . . someone whose acquaintanceship dates back to the early days of America’s involvement in Afghanistan. Someone, I might add, who did prove to have in 2004 a clearer vision of what was to happen in that country than most, if not all, military experts, media gurus and politicians in the US. My writings at that time can attest to that. Continue reading

Lessig: A voice of hope and reason in US politics

When the jar holding sustenance civic-water is broken, fragmented in countless small pieces, it seems foolish to waste time seeking superglue to put it back together. We would be wiser instead to acknowledge and accept the loss and, without delay or commiserating on all possible reasons for our misfortune, revisit our pottery skills and create a vessel to keep us from political dehydration . . . before it’s too late. Continue reading

Can Bernie’s soft-evolution replace an American second revolution?

Wishful thinking can come in many shapes and sizes, but history and present reality do readily tell us that Bernie Sanders is more likely to walk among us during the early stage of the presidential campaign as a prophet than as a messiah. And that is not such a bad thing, for martyrdom always seems to take place as precursor to major change; and this resolute honest New Yorker representing Vermont appears poised to bring inspirational change in the much-needed political transformation of American society. Continue reading

Trumping political success through an irate silent majority

Four years ago Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga rebirthed the musical-cicada of the 1937 song, “The Lady Is a Tramp” . . . which makes me think that maybe we could be facing in 2016 a reenactment of the 1968 presidential election, this time Donald Trump taking the role of George Wallace; a political musical that could appropriately be given the lyrical title, “The Politician Is a Trump.” Continue reading

Regime change: US’s failing weapon of international deception

For years, Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried,” has served as Americans’ last word in any political discussion which requires validation of the US government, no matter how corrupt or flawed in its behavior, as the best in the planet, comparatively or by default. Never mind the meaning that Mr. Churchill had intended back in 1947, or how the international political panorama has changed during the past seven decades. Continue reading

After six years in office, Obama believes to have seen ‘the great light’

On his way from Jerusalem to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus (Christianity’s Saint Paul), the Jewish-Roman persecutor of Jesus’ early disciples, saw a “great light” which blinded him and threw him off his horse. A light which transfigured his life, and made him perhaps the most important personage in the Apostolic Age (First Century); a fundamental figure in Old Christianity. Continue reading

Phoenix rose from the ashes; Novorossiya will rise from Western sanctions

When we say Novorossiya we are not referring to that territory Russia annexed over two centuries ago from the Ottoman Empire; nor do we mean the less than one year old confederation proclaimed in East Ukraine by the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. What we have in mind is a new Russia: an emerging, much stronger nation, or federation, callused by the pain inflicted from the United States and its EU-NATO toy-dog through economic sanctions; a wiser Russia . . . a deflowered maiden which resulted from Gorbachev’s well-meaning, but naïve, détente-glasnost days of promise by America’s deceiving Novus-Imperium. Continue reading

Barack Obama’s popularity and his annual stage of disunion

America’s states, fifty stars orderly represented over a background of blue in our flag, may be said to be united . . . but the folks who populate them certainly are not. We may claim to be the United States of America, but rest assured that we are definitely not the United People of America; never have been, and likely never will be, no matter what the pledge of allegiance might deceitfully say, or the colorful fantasy-pens we utilize in writing our history . . . or the misinformation in which we, fat-dumb-and-happy, live. Continue reading

Why is the West intent on making Vladimir Putin its villain?

American corporate press has firmly established its second identity in the Internet: its twin, or its alias, one might say. It does apply, although perhaps not as vividly, in much of Western Europe, this time to the beating of war drums . . . where the only common sound in the cacophony is the current displeasure for that daring devil: Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

Deeds, not claims, say who we are

During the past three weeks we have been living in the United States, a wakeup call to reality that heralds Americans might not be quite the people we claim to be; not in the way we treat people within and beyond our borders. Torture and racial discrimination, different issues with similar amoral results, are intermittently resurfacing; creating great distress for the pharisaic promoters of Pax Americana . . . the self-proclaimed patriots convinced that America, given its predestined godly nature, can do no wrong. Continue reading

Barack Obama: Progressive Americans’ pyrite-politician

Much of conservative America, led by the business community and Wall Street as its parakletos, has from day one after Obama’s election to the presidency granted him a series of political pejoratives that only America’s puritan-capitalism can assign with a straight face, and total ignorance: calling him a socialist, or a communist, or many of the other anti-capitalist denominations in between. Continue reading

Self-governance: Only basis for dignified communal identity

This Monday, November 24, the spark ignited by a 12-person grand jury’s decision in a Missouri community where black people predominate (67 percent in 2010 census) will have most white Americans confounded why blacks behave as they do, shaking their heads in disbelief. Yet, many of us, our skin color and socio-economic condition aside, see this new notch of extreme discontent and protestation by African-Americans, at the white policeman not being indicted, as another loud cry for change; a desperate clinging to primal that dignity by those who feel oppressed. Continue reading

World survival requires European uprising

Don’t count on the United States to be politically prudent in dealing with other nations of the world at any level. Maintaining hegemony, the American ruling-elite feels, is accomplished best not through overly cautious or moderating discussion, but through a strong, unrelenting campaign of discrete belligerence: showing your teeth but holding your bite. Continue reading

Sanctions: Diplomatic weapons of mass criminality

Mid-term elections are over, and the anticipated trouncing of Democrats in Congress took place without a hitch, even if the media selfishly played the uncertainty card. Continue reading

Two millstones drowning America into premature oblivion

It was over four decades ago that I first heard the expression “premature oblivion.” It came from a fellow graduate student at UCLA, Stefan, a magisterial peer to many of us, not so much because of his then-soon-to-be ABD status, but rather his Zorba the Greek likeability in his contrarian demeanor. Beyond obstinacy perhaps, most of us close to him would agree, but with an undeniable air of prophetic clairvoyance. And if we took his assertions as Stefan-lite dictums; as the years have gone by, some of us started to realize our misdiagnosed pig-headedness in him was no more than unbending firmness resulting from clear vision, historical knowledge and logical perspective. Continue reading

Towards one quadrillion US dollars in derivatives

A quadrillion figure seems far-fetched, one to be used only when referring to distances in the confines of intergalactic travel, and not the world of international finance. After all, Mars is just a measly 34 million miles away (at perihelion—when at its closest point to the sun); and the edge of our solar system barely reaches 9 or 10 billion miles. So, when talking about a quadrillion dollars, we need to reset our financial minds from the microscopic minimum wage to the mach-speed technology of the Enterprise; and leave behind the Good Ship Lollypop, where most of us uninitiated, financially-duped, yokels travel these days. Continue reading

America squandered chance to help create a just world order

All of us, Americans and non-Americans alike, should welcome BRICS’ siding with Russia to restore some semblance of power-balance in all three aspects which depict cohesion or fragmentation in the world: socially, ideologically and militarily. Not wishing for any nation to exercise undue power or influence over the rest, but precisely in order to curb any such nation from misusing that influence and power, we must cling to the hope America’s attempt for world hegemony will soon come to an end. Continue reading

Like it or not, the present is always rooted in the past

Monday, August 25, 2014, we found ourselves waking up in an America which is neither in peace with much of the world and, most definitely, far from being in peace with itself. A predicament that philosopher George Santayana warned us about a century ago in a much-quoted, but seldom-heeded warning: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And condemned we are in America . . . for being blind, deaf and mute in acknowledging our past! Continue reading

Common sense likely to silence the drums of war

Empire-hawks have had the upper hand in American politics for several decades and, given the shifting economic power taking place in the world, they are now seemingly suicidal, ready to lead us into nuclear holocaust. Just like Jim Jones did with his followers 36 years ago in Jonestown. This time, however, the Kool-Aid is being dispensed by the US mainstream media laced with a different poison: raw propaganda against the Russian Federation and its malefic leader, Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

BRICS’ time to act to counter US’s destabilization efforts

It had to happen! The blame game on that horrendous airline incident, Malaysian Flight MH17, has reached the expected loud monotone of pointing fault, lock, stock and barrel at Russia . . . and, more specifically, to that villain ex-KGB Slav, Vladimir Putin. Continue reading