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


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DECEMBER 21, 2010 12:47PM

Ten Political Rules You Won't See Elsewhere

Rate: 9 Flag

1)  The Dems have little notion of loyalty.  I'm speaking as much of the constituency as the pols.  It's the anarchistic streak in them.  They mistake it for independence, not understanding the nature of progressive legislation is incrementalism, not ideological purity.  If the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," doesn't prove it--what does? 

2) The equivalent on the Repug's side is rapaciousness.  The nation is about to receive a lesson in it.  They're used to ruling.  They see no need to compromise; it's a sign of weakness.  It also alienates the minority who have consciences and think of the national interest rather than their own, but it takes awhile.  When they lose, it's because their arrogance has alienated those who like to play fair.

3)  So-called laissez-faire school vs. so-called socialism.  It has nothing to do with the needs of the middle-class any longer.  Ideology has taken precedence over common sense.  It's time for the 60's style anti-political mentality to be put to rest.  It isn't evil to be a politician, the assessment is naive and conceeds power to the right.

4)  Since a fifth-grade reading level is the norm that's how we get the government we deserve no matter what, and the motto: never underestimate the intelligence or taste of the general public.  Don't complicate the issue.  Keep it so simple even a child can understand. The effects are as undeniable as racism and not considered any more a part of the conversation.

5)   A press that serves either/or but not Americans whose head ain't up their ass.  I watch BBC news now, doesn't everybody?  A people that are ignorant and misinformed serves reaction not progression.  That's a universal proposition and shouldn't only be used to judge this country. 

How did Bush get re-elected if the press in this country hasn't rendered itself inept?  The man was a dimwit, but it didn't matter, the Dems as usual were disloyal and the fundies took over Washington--the same folks who are now crying out against "big government."  Gimme a break... 

6)  One in ten are exclusively gay, one in ten are "black", one in six don't have health insurance, but it's not a voting block that can be relied upon.  See number four.  American's don't vote in their own best interests, if they did, we wouldn't be at war in Iraq at least and health insurance would not be about to go back on the block.  If the ideological blinders were removed, and/or more saw through them, the current impass would not be happening.

7)  Bomb, bomb, bomb, guess which party believes in it?  War is the easiest way to keep a nation from focusing on their real problems.  Our "allies" have benefited from it enormously since WWII and it is America's tax payer who has suffered for our being the world's cop. 

8)   Keynesian economics vs. the "trickle down" theory.  You've got to be kiddin'.  The two per cent have done it again.  This is Obama's greatest abrogation of his promise and responsibilty to the middle class, but it's not inexplicable.  Watch what happens when the "new Congress" begins.  See #2.

9)   Americans are by nature scared and frightened.  It goes with being the most aggressive consumerist nation and not having known anywhere near the scarcity of other nations.  A paradox to be sure.  Just say "Armegaddon" in some language the masses can understand and you'll find millions of followers and the big bucks--ask Rush or Glen.

10)  Ever since Viet Nam, when war doesn't work the only explanation is in how the war is being carried out, not why the nation is in the war in the first place.  It is a militarist's perspective not diplomatic.  It will take a paradigm shift to change it.  

     This country is conservative by nature and spoiled by definition. The per cent who vote is miniscule and though there are one-third more registered Democrats than Republicans they dominate the national agenda.  That's why the Obama's and Clinton's are an anomaly, and the odds are against re-election no matter what they accomplish--including balancing the budget.  One even wonders how many of the unemployed bothered to vote in the midterms.  Hence, how did the party who would extinguish their benefits win?

10A)  If for a minute you don't think the mid-term backlash wasn't in part a racial response, think again.  They never thought he'd be elected. They've figured out enough to conceal it, and no self-respecting mainstream media outlet dares insinuate it, but take a look at who's filling those seats, and appearing at those rallies--and if you know any of them you know their story.  The dark ages are not over.   It is both Obama's strength and his weakness.


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Keynesian economics is trickle-UP economics. This is why the Republican Party as embraced Keynesian economics in practice despite protestations to the contrary.

Want to screw the rich? Run a budget surplus. Want to save the environment? Stop stimulating the economy. Throw the circular flow diagram down the toilet where it belongs. The conspiracy minded Austrian economists are to the left of you and you don't even realize it.
I agree with many of your statements...But I think that there will a surprising degree of bipartisanship in the remaining two years, just as there has been during the lame duck session. Obama is for bipartisanship. I am too. The American people are too. The politicians are beginning to get it. Americans tend not to be extremists. You will see a growing antipathy to the right wing, that has become so incvredibly extreme. People on the left who are inflexible will find themselves isolated too. That's my view...Patrick, increasingly moderate politically.

I'd love to believe you, but don't. This new crop is riding a pale horse and there's enough of them to cause plenty of trouble. I think it's why Obama has been acting fast, making the deals he has. He knows it if nobody else does.
These last two weeks Obama has looked more presidential and either has a rabbits foot in his pocket or is very lucky because he has passed some major legislation. I just heard the START agreement will be voted on and will pass. Along with the DADT and the budget bill he's had a good week. I don't know what will happen when they come back, but he's looking good and probably feeling pretty good also!

He keeps doing it, doesn't he? I think it's partly because the old line Repubs are more scared than he is by the crazies coming to town. It takes one to really know one. I wonder when the smoke clears how these two years will stack up against the past. (Might be a good post.)
Excellent treatment of the big themes as usual Ben. Sorry it took me so long to get here. Happy New Year :)