Author Archives: Ben Tanosborn

Snowden, a citizen of humanity’s hopeful world

Don’t tag Edward Snowden as someone he does not want to be; for he is neither a hero, nor a traitor. He is, or should be, a proud citizen of an evolving hopeful world who has earned such citizenship not by right of birth, ethnic background or bloodlines, or by loyalty oath, but by a selfless personal contribution to the building of a positive, more humane world . . . where privacy and individual freedoms take precedence over the sad spectacle we are becoming in the United States: an electorate-collective of mindless consumerists, a Borg-like serving a warmongering, corporate power-elite. Continue reading

Affluence Economics: Low-inflation and “fool” employment

Numbers don’t lie, the saying goes, but the have-liars are doing their numbers on the gullible have-nots. And although mathematics is an exact science, it can be used as a practical tool by inexact social scientists working for those trying to influence people at the civic or individual level, call it politics or more accurately, persuasive deceit. Continue reading

A world not yet free from divinely-inspired jurisprudence

Whether it is an original curse we inherit, a spiritual instruction in our DNA, or perhaps just a learned acquisition made during our formative years, the malediction “thou shalt not have peace” seems to be encrusted in our being until we cease to exist; until the soul finally escapes the body, in either transformative or symbolic state. Or at least, that appears to be the fate of the religious western man. Not that we are exempting eastern religions from the same malady we have in the west. Continue reading

The gambler: Knowing when to discard aces and kings

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, will become yet another unmemorable day in Spain’s history of great debacles: a latter day demonstration of how things are thought to change while remaining the same. What happened in/to Spain this grim day in politics (monarchical continuation) and sports (football humiliation) defines both a nation (a people) lacking vision, and definitely lacking sociopolitical wisdom and leadership. Continue reading

The exorbitant cost of pseudo-educating America

The next two-trillion dollar bubble

At $1.2 trillion in student debt, we may only be 60 percent along the way, but rest assured that it won’t take but 3 to 5 years before this spectacular bubble bursts . . . and it will do so on the economic backs of the poor, and the ghostly—ghastly might be more apropos—remnants of a fast disappearing middle class. Continue reading

Obama comic strip: Opportunity to be Superman . . . or Sad Sack

Recently, I find myself in a high state of discomfort when by chance or design I’m looking at the POTUS adorning the TV screen addressing issues which should be of concern to all of us here in the United States and, at times, people around the globe. As I focus on his image and listen to Barack Obama, I cannot help but feel pity and disgust as I see before me an inglorious effigy of Sad Sack. Continue reading

US foreign policy on Ukraine: Hubris wrapped in clumsiness

Yes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrev is absolutely right when he states that Americans are running the show in Ukraine. Well, in Kiev anyway! Continue reading

30th meridian: Russia’s Rubicon for NATO-US encroachment

Sooner or later it had to happen; the West’s CIA imperial fingers had been playing with Pandora’s Box carelessly in Ukraine and the lid gave way: the box has been opened and the Un-Evil Empire is left buck naked internationally to face the truth. And the truth is clear, raw and simple no matter what machinated twists and turns of propaganda come out of the hawks’ nests in Washington to keep Americans brainwashed, ready to accept the warmongering ways of the nation’s powerful elite. Continue reading

To Russia with Sadness

Luck of the Irish, you say? The unfortunate disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (Boeing 777) three weeks ago could not have been more timely to the American media, as it virtually replaced what could have been an embarrassing 24–7 coverage of the Crimean event, and the little publicized US-EU involvement in the geopolitical affairs of Russia and its former Soviet sister republic, Ukraine. Putin’s “misdeeds” against our sacrosanct ways in the West became just occasional “breaking news,” but not the focus, of the monotonous repetitive statements by panels of both aviation and terrorism experts, often with questionable or misapplied credentials, inundating the studios of CNN, Fox News, and other mainstream press . . . in most cases as “paid experts.” Continue reading

Hillary Rodham Clinton, America’s Perpetual Lady of Infliction

Quickly, take cover! America’s former top diplomat decided to become a talking-mime now that she’s two months away from her office in the State Department! Continue reading

Looking in the global mirror: Destabilizers R’Us . . . not Russia

No, this is not a good time to be a critic of American foreign policy, of finding fault with ourselves, our econo-political system, or the bellicose components which hold together the Empire. For some insane predatory reason, the American elite is not just content with having “capitalistically” sunk the Soviet Union three decades ago . . . but want to make sure core-Russia remains down and out. Continue reading

Sochi Olympiad: Outing of Americans’ political envy

Vic Wild, paying homage to his adoptive Red-White-and-Blue, gave two gold medals to Russia which if given to the United States, would have tied Russia’s final tally in gold (Russia, however, would have won the final total medal count by one instead of five). Continue reading

Good night, Pete Seeger

Doesn’t everyone have at least a song with special significance . . . a telltale from some event or happening in the past? The song “Goodnight, Irene” has that significance for me; more specifically the version sang by The Weavers in the ‘50s, my unannounced introduction to Pete Seeger, the folk singer, as a Weaver. It would be a decade later, however, that I would learn about this later-to-be iconic singer-songwriter and, more importantly for me, his sociopolitical activist persona. Continue reading

America in denial: Width and breadth of today’s poverty

Last week, I read Daniel Weeks’ article, “Poverty vs. Democracy in America,” which appears in The Atlantic’s January 2014 issue. As much as I respect Weeks’ advocacy for trying to clean American politics with the clear baptismal waters of democracy, and the many valid points he brings forth in this article, I feel very strongly that we, Americans, are time and again totally missing the point. Mr. Weeks included! Continue reading

Israelimandering of Palestine

It’s been two centuries since the US, barely three decades into nationhood, was already breeding crooked politicians more concerned with self-interests (or those of their political parties) than in democracy or an incorrupt body politic. Continue reading

Embargoes, military exercises and other acts of war

It’s been almost two decades since the “Kitty Hawk incident” (1994) and the display of American naval power in the Yellow Sea. Since then, no US aircraft carrier has had a presence north of the East China Sea. But that will come to an end shortly as the U.S.S. George Washington is on its way there, not just to show military muscle to the North Korean regime but to “collaterally” test the patience of the Chinese. Continue reading

Amerithology, the Middle East and becoming number two

Did anyone expect any positive peace-hopeful results from President Obama’s trip to Israel and his obligatory stops at the West Bank and Jordan? Perhaps some were, but only if demented, credulous simpletons, or trusting souls believing that there are people in Washington, elected or selected, with statesmanship and vision willing to risk their careers by promoting neutrality, rather than affection and solidarity for our congenital sister, Israel. Continue reading

Argo: Hollywood’s anti-Iranian argot

I’ve always been convinced that all great conspiracies, at least those which might be regarded as successful, have one thing in common: no identifiable conspirators. We may identify them, but will dare not accuse them for either lack of perceptible proof or the probable dire consequences we would face as disadvantaged accuser(s). In these United States, two such grand conspiracies come to mind in the modus operandi of the two most visible and powerful professions: the AMA (American Medical Association) and the ABA (American Bar Association). Continue reading

American victims of transgressive taxation

It’s been over four decades since I’ve used the adjective transgressive in the context of economics. It was in graduate school, and my professor proved to be not very receptive to my coining of a new word, or meaning in this case, for “any taxation exceeding the boundaries of social acceptability.” In those days, long before the viral expansion of for-profit schooling -–questionably called education—deference, and not just discretion, was the better part of valor. Continue reading

Collateral damage and collateral reparations

Two events and a book in the past two weeks have brought me a deeper understanding of the subject of collateral damage, and the unmentioned reverse of the coin: collateral reparations. The events: the Presidential Inauguration in the US, and the Confession-sans-Contrition of cyclist-no-longer-hero, Lance Armstrong. The book, just published: Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett. Continue reading

Recalling the start of America’s fiscal eclipse

As 2012 was coming to an end, Americans became concerned with what was referred to as the “fiscal cliff” . . . while the unrecognized problem all along has been what might be more appropriately called the “fiscal eclipse.” Continue reading

Gun control: An incomplete answer for a desensitized society

It takes a horrific event, one close to home and which affect people we identify with, to give us a momentary shock capable of re-sensitizing us; taking us, at least in the short term, from a state of indifference to one of genuine concern. This December 14, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was such an event. Continue reading

Will the US vision of the Middle East change on the road to Damascus?

It is unlikely that American leaders, from the State Department to the White House to the Pentagon, will seize the Syria-opportunity as a turning point in helping bring calm and stability to the Middle East. Continue reading

Science and sortilege in today’s political economics

We are just a decade-short from a century since Balliol College (Oxford) introduced interdisciplinary studies in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) as a modern alternative to the study of the Classics. Academic programs in much of the world, adopting the granting of degrees which combined the study of these three fields, have been slowly discarding philosophy in the mix, making the three-strand braid just the enmeshment of two fields: politics and economics. After all, that’s the living reality and we are better served acknowledging it. Continue reading

Miligate: Geishas, courtesans and groupies

Congress, particularly that uppity Senate club of multi-millionaires, seems always ready to remind us—the hoi polloi citizenry—that it is much more than the legislative, law-making branch of government. At some historic point, or perhaps at a series of evolving points, this august body became self-appointed guardian of both America’s national security and American morals. Continue reading

This presidential election color me GREEN

Forget about the calming Blue waters of neo-liberalism or the imperial aggressiveness of patriotic Red. This year I have cast my ballot by mail and, for the first time in a dozen presidential elections, I have done so for a candidate with zero as a chance to win. For once in my electoral life I have voted my conscience, and refused to be conned into voting for the lesser evil in either one of the two corrupt parties which control our lives. Finally, one time when I am certain there won’t be any buyer’s remorse. Continue reading

US elections: Three meaningless political debates

Holy debates, Obatman! For all the personal dislike for each other said to exist between these two ordained priests of American capitalism—often misidentified as Free Market Enterprise—Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have shown to be equally adept at dealing with trivia and secondary issues . . . and equally inept at dealing with every substantive issue. Continue reading

Romney champions the rich, Obama champions . . . no one

A model nation for democracy, is that what we claim to be? My guess is that many political scientists would place the US as democracy’s anti-model, not exactly the nation to emulate. Continue reading

Two unlikely patron saints: Seve and Obama

I am well aware that Calvinists consider patron saints a form of idolatry, but for the most part Christians and many non-Christians alike, some out of faith but most out of habit or circumstance, see with favor having an advocate intercede on their behalf in the many problems that beset their lives. Yes, a patron saint! Continue reading

Insignificant significance of the ‘47%’ video

What needless uproar; what absurd battle of wits among clueless pundits lacking the most rudimentary knowledge of both logic and arithmetic; what a sad picture of blatant ignorance of the true makeup of America’s electorate; what an embarrassing moment for anyone who believes in democracy . . . or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Continue reading

The RAP vote: An economic protest song for 2012

Fifty years ago Pete Seeger, the American folk singer of iconic dimensions, gave us a good start in US protest music with “Turn, Turn, Turn” although it would be 2 to 4 years before its recordings by Judy Collins, The Byrds and The Seegers, had us hum it along, thus placing it in the annals of immortality. Continue reading

The RAP Vote: Alternative to TweedleBar’k and TweedleMitt

Well, the second half of the quadrennial political charade is over, Pres. Barack Obama making his case for a second term in office before a friendly audience of militant Democrats at the convention in Charlotte. Tongue-in-arm Joe Biden, likely to be held accountable for his “America’s best days are ahead of us” remark, introduced the POTUS to give his acceptance speech as candidate Barack Obama; a speech no more sincere or crafted in reality than that given by Republican candidate Mitt Romney a week earlier in Tampa. Continue reading