My Photo

Armchair theorist, poet, and occasional IT manager, Sascha B. is equipped with a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, and is not afraid to use it. His work has been published by the University Press of America, Edwin Mellen Press, University of Texas Press, and a variety of small journals nationwide. He is also the proprietor and baker for 3141 Pie, of which you should eat many.

What I'm Reading:


  • The Quarry, Iain Banks

  • The Truth, Michael Palin

  • Ragnarok, A.S. Byatt

  • The Plantagenets, Dan Jones




What else have I read in 2013?

Well, I've moved my reading list over to Goodreads to see how that works out. Please let me know how you like the format.









Sunday, October 06, 2013

Special Post: Government Shutdown Edition

Well, I have little to say about the clusterf---k in Washington DC, but I have been thinking about two things:

First, the upcoming municipal elections on November 5. I received my ballot and noted that we have three positions in city government on the ballot, each with exactly one name in the lists for us to choose from. That's right: three positions, three uncontested races.

I feel like I should be seeing posters of Stalin on the sides of buildings.

I mean,what the hell? I know we are sort of a big D Democratic company town here in SF, but seriously --- can't we find even one libertarian or independent to run against the three anointed party machine anointees? It makes me sad.

Second,  I have begun to think that free market capitalism as it is currently incarnated is remarkably like evangelical christianity. Both have fervent believers, both demand a certain level of inarguable faith in mechanisms that are intangible, unprovable, and are frequently countered by a reality that acts in the opposite way than those mechanisms would predict. Along with that, both have a huge population of believers who will actively ignore those counters from reality, in favor of their chosen mechanisms of faith. And finally, both believe in the aggressive imposition of their beliefs on others, believing that it is 'for their own good', even if that imposition causes hardship, grief, and human catastrophe.

I think that growing up a Jew in a Christian community has made me sensitive to this unpleasant comparison. For those who grow up Christian, inside the bubble, it may be far more difficult to see the similarities, since the imposition of their own default position has never been something they have needed to address.

That's all. Have fun for the rest of your shutdown (brought to you by racism, hatred, and the letter "Tea Party").