Ben Sen's Blog

Politics, Culture and Religion Without Projections

Ben Sen

Ben Sen
New York, N.Y.,
December 31
I'd rather be judged on the basis of my posts than anything written in my bio. It's put down and gathered as a record of my experience and a response to what I see as the important issues in the world today. I don't pretend it's anything other than subjective. The purpose is to analyze, interpret, express opinions, challenge the status quo, open a few doors, and entertain. I heartily welcome ratings, comments and dialogue. That's what makes this media unique and valuable. It also keeps me honest and encouraged since I'm not getting paid. Take a risk and say something; it feels better. A "conversation" is essential for the growth of the individual and the collective. I have faith it extends beyond the confines of what is said here. "For it is necessary for awake people to be awake, or a breaking line may discourge us back to sleep, the signals we give--yes, no or maybe--should be clear: the darkness around us is deep." From A RITUAL TO READ TO EACH OTHER by William Stafford


Ben Sen's Links

New list
No links in this category.
No links in this category.
MARCH 10, 2015 11:28AM

Howard and Me

    Uncle Howard was the first person I knew who died.  He was my mother's older full brother.  She had three other half-brothers--all but one of whom she despised.

     Howard was a complete departure from all my other uncles, or any men I'd ever come in conta… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 3, 2015 10:15AM


1)  Why did the spammers target OS and not Salon?

2)  Who were they?

3)  Are any steps being taken to re-open the site?

4)  Why not make this into a news story?

5)  Will you inform providers of closing? Read full post »

JANUARY 28, 2015 4:31PM

The Last Hippie

     Every few years for the last 25, I've headed to the soft, rolling, golden hills above the vineyards of Napa in Northern California to visit a spa that I'm not going to name.  I call it the last hippie stronghold, but it's now slowly transforming into something else.

&nbs… Read full post »

     I started blogging during the run-up to the presidential election in'08. I don't exactly remember how I stumbled onto SALON but once there I was hooked.

     During this time, my wife of 38 years came down with mesothelioma and wasn't expected to live much long… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2014 3:21PM

On Ratings and Open Salon


     I have to admit.  It really bothers me when someone comes to my blog, leaves a marvelous message, and then doesn't rate the post.  I know in some instances it's a technical problem, but its reached the point where I know who failed to do so.

    I… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2014 10:20PM

A Few Lessons She Taught Me

     My father died about three months before my mother retired.  It was sudden.  She left him puttering in the crawl space underneath their house, called the Barnhouse, in Northwest Michigan to go shopping.  When she returned he was lying dead on the bathroom… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 3:05PM

Obama Takes It to Them

     At last, he's strapped on a pair.

     His executive order to provide legal protections to five million immigrants was a long time coming.  As usual, he gave his opposition plenty of opportunities to come up with something, anything, that would p… Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2014 1:34PM

Thinking About Inner Work

     I can't remember any more when I first ran across the term "inner work" to describe the human potential, or self-actualization movement.

    It can also describe therapy, recovery programs, journaling, dream analysis, support groups, or dozens of other pat… Read full post »

OCTOBER 1, 2014 11:59AM

An Inquiry: What is Fanaticism?

     When I was a boy, I was sent to church five times a week and twice on Sunday.  There were stain glass windows with images of a figure we called "God," someone we were told was his son, and his whole family--not to mention the angels and the saints.  We… Read full post »

Of the 67 Israelis, only three were non-combatants. 

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs said over the weekend (when the toll was 1,525 Palestinians) "at least 1,033 are civilians of whom 329 are children and 187 are women."  The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports 9,370 P… Read full post »

There's little way to really know how accurate these numbers are, especially of the Palestinians.  No doubt, the Israelis keep records, but I doubt if the Palestinians even have a morgue to keep count.  They take the bodies straight to the cemetary and dump them in.

Nor is their proof what… Read full post »

That's the latest according to Reuters.  Think about it.  172 to O.  They're not done yet, and nobody is going to stop them--not within the nation or without.  There is still, after all these years, and all the suffering, no critical mass.

In addition: 1,000 Palestinians inju… Read full post »

MARCH 28, 2014 10:13AM

Defending the 12 Steps

   Dr. Lance Dodes and Zachary Dodes published the article above on March 23, 2014 in Salon.  It's a section of their book: The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12 Step Programs and the Rehab Industry.

&nb… Read full post »

MARCH 17, 2014 11:31AM

16,000 Views But Who's Counting?

     Somehow, through some process I do not understand, I've now received over 10,000 views of the first two chapters of my novel DEATH AT THE ZENDO, published on Open Salon on October 24th.  That's an average of almost 500 a week.  What makes it most puzzling is there's no… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 18, 2014 7:44PM

No More Israel Right or Wrong Policy

    Writing as a guest columnist in the New York Observer Feb. 17, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach asks National Security Advisor Susan Rice "Who the hell does she think she is?" and "Does Susan Rice believe in Freedom of Speech?"  Might we not ask the same question of the Rabbi?

 … Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2014 12:07PM

Seeking Philip With Carl's Help

 What we are unconscious of shows up as our fate.  C.G. J.

     Carl Gustav Jung had a theory.  Carl thought for every part of ourselves we choose to be "us" and forms our ego, there is another part, its opposite that goes into our unconscious "shadow" and stay… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 4, 2014 2:00PM

OPEN SALON: On a Sinking Ship

That Open Salon hasn't accepted new subscribers in months (how many I will leave to those who kn0w)  that it is no longer being edited, and that the base of those remaining is growing smaller and smaller, makes me wonder how much longer it's going to last.

The shame is for many… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2014 11:55AM

Twelve Political Discussion Points

1)    Fox News leads the ratings because the average reading level in the US is the fifth grade.

2)    The Tea Party is Hillary Clinton's greatest ally.

3)    Nobody was more aware of the impending backlash that followed the passing of the Affordable Care… Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2013 12:18PM


     New York is a city full of "wanna be's" as most folks know.  Unlike LA, where the vast majority are actors in NYC they constitute an army of artists of every sort: dancers, commedians, opera singers, writers, designers, pole dancers, movie makers, musicians of every… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2013 6:20PM

Movie Review: NEBRASKA

     There's a transcendent moment in Alexander Payne's new movie Nebraska, where the script, direction, and acting come together in a way that's a really nifty feat.  While I've read a number of reviews, I haven't seen anybody point it out yet.

    Every… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 1:11PM

Writing "Death at the Zendo"

     Between the ages of 22 and 33, I wrote a collection of short stories, three novels, two books of non-fiction, and more proposals than I can remember under the tutelage of Hayes Jacobs, the renowned chairman of the Writing Department at the New School of Social Research in NYC… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2013 12:35PM

Chapter One and Two: Death at the Zendo



A Mystery Novel 


     I was feeling a bit ragged after Katie, my wife, left.  After all, she started it with what's his name.  What was I supposed to do?  Sit home and jerk off?

     No, she… Read full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2013 10:41AM

Republicans I've Known

          I grew up in about as "Democratic" a home as one might imagine. (Big D)  My grandfather helped found a labor union in Detroit in the 1920's, held office, and my grandmother was just as active helping to form the party in that state.&nbs… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 1:04PM

Four Zen Aphorisms


The sun rising

at my back,

consciousness caws

with the crow,

When bereft mind

and imagination compensate,

darkness retreats,

something is ahead, emerging,



Awaken me!

Let none of it matter,

No objects,

No soiled sheets,

No tantrums,

No polemics,

No defects,

No loans.


I… Read full post »

(Dedicated to my friend and teacher,
Joseph Ellin, professor of philosopher.
 One of the greatest minds it was ever my pleasure to know.)
    Ideological separatism is an idea I've been developing for seven years as a result of blogging.  Finall… Read full post »