Articles by: James Rothenberg

Real platitudes from a fake democracy — and a sigh of relief

Real platitudes from a fake democracy — and a sigh of relief

Trump is gone and not a minute too soon. You know he’s treated very unfairly. Horribly. The IRS treats him very unfairly. Everyone’s nasty to him. Just recently Leslie Stahl was very nasty to him. At the same time, the Proud Boys are standing down and standing by. I have to wonder if there aren’t some that cringe and wish[Read More…]

by November 15, 2020 World
The other side of American Exceptionalism

The other side of American Exceptionalism

Dyed-in-the-wool patriots know that the United States of America is God’s gift to the world. Policymakers have risen the story to doctrinal status. It’s referred to as American Exceptionalism, and it basically means if we say it or do it, it’s ok. It’s a nice thing to be backed up with this doctrine when you have ambitious plans for the[Read More…]

by August 16, 2020 World
Perplexing Times

Perplexing Times

We’re confronted with competing theories about the origin of this novel coronavirus and competing strategies for dealing with it, as well as gross uncertainties in the absolute number of infections and recoveries. The things that are easiest to track are the number of hospitalizations of the diagnosed, and those actually dying with the virus while hospitalized or in a secure[Read More…]

by April 20, 2020 World
The Importance of Critical Thinking

The Importance of Critical Thinking

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The saying resembles a logical syllogism in structure, but it isn’t. Taking it apart in thirds, it’s doesn’t follow that “you can fool all the people some of the time” because it’s[Read More…]

by March 7, 2020 Life/Philosophy
The imposed limit on free thought

The imposed limit on free thought

You’re seeking a job. Maybe your first job. One of the sentences you’re likely to read in the job ad description is, are you a team player? Since this is your first job, you may be wondering what type of personality they are trying to attract with this particular bit of inquiry. You may have learned of figures like Isaac[Read More…]

by September 10, 2019 World
The state vs. the citizen

The state vs. the citizen

Patriotism, respect for law, and allegiance are demands placed upon the citizen by the state. Such awesome authority, being capable of misuse, should always have to justify itself. Does the state accept this small burden? The responsibility of the citizen is to insist upon it. But how? And through what medium? It is commonly suggested that power ultimately lies with[Read More…]

by August 1, 2019 World
Patriotism, Law, and Allegiance — An American View

Patriotism, Law, and Allegiance — An American View

patriotism (noun): love for or devotion to one’s country — Merriam-Webster — Let’s go a little further with this and break it down. ism (noun): 1: a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory 2: an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief — Merriam-Webster — This opens things up — as a practice, who uses it, why and how is it[Read More…]

by July 19, 2019 World
Capitalism vs. The World

Capitalism vs. The World

The love of money is a sin…the root of all evil. Judeo-Christian biblical tradition – O believers Do not devour one another’s wealth by evil means except through trading by mutual consent. Islamic tradition – Sharing wealth is a divine duty, but wealth gained and spent for one’s behalf is evil. Hindu tradition – Is our toleration of the dominating[Read More…]

by June 29, 2019 Life/Philosophy
The Patriot

The Patriot

Merriam-Webster defines patriotism as: love for or devotion to one’s country. Sounds nice, as far as it goes. But it isn’t quite like being loving and devoted to family and friends, or even the smaller structure of your own town or city, county or state. You can’t be patriotic to them because they lack an armed force. That’s the difference.[Read More…]

by April 6, 2019 World
Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now? Here’s a handy way to spot the division in our country. There are red states and blue states and we can’t name anything else. The purpose of this essay is to recognize this divide while turning it on its head, but before continuing it is necessary to distinguish this overarching political divide from a sub-divide that[Read More…]

by February 6, 2019 World
Political Conscience in the World’s Greatest Democracy

Political Conscience in the World’s Greatest Democracy

 The mid-term election dust has settled here in the United States, so it’s a good time to look into a familiar bit of political reportage involving our two “official” parties. The vote went along party lines. The vote went along party lines. The vote went along party lines. You know you hear it all the time. Its repetitive nature suggests[Read More…]

by November 22, 2018 World
A Billion Dollars Isn’t What It Used To Be

A Billion Dollars Isn’t What It Used To Be

One of the metrics of success in a mature capitalist economy is the number of billionaires present in its ranks. This term, billionaire, is the defining adjective of our time. Billionaire hedge fund manager, billionaire real estate developer, billionaire media mogul, billionaire investor, billionaire tech innovator. Where does it go from here? Asked and answered. Quoting from Credit Suisse’s 2013[Read More…]

by May 5, 2017 World
Bernie Sanders And Water Under The Bridge

Bernie Sanders And Water Under The Bridge

There were strong signs last year that the public was ready to repudiate both establishment parties, but the cream rose to the top. A billionaire who brags about being rich and a billionaire-in-training. Their parties deserve to have them. Before that water went under the bridge there was a third way. The one Sanders didn’t take. To get attention he[Read More…]

by October 31, 2016 World
The United States — Proud Sponsor Of Democracy Propaganda

The United States — Proud Sponsor Of Democracy Propaganda

Consumers are familiar with the term, sponsored by. Someone put up some scratch and in turn gets the right to sell their wares. It’s a business deal. We’ve seen the word “sponsor”, in this sense, prefaced by another word, like “official”, or “proud”. Official sponsor means something like…actually it doesn’t mean anything beyond what sponsor means. It’s merely trying to[Read More…]

by September 10, 2016 World