About Me

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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.

The Deal

I stopped blogging in 2013, when life overtook me. My father became ill and died shortly thereafter, and my mother was left with increasing dementia. I became the primary caregiver, and now orchestrate my mother's care and our family estate.

Now, I am coming up for air again.

Looking for the next book to read. All suggestions welcome.

My reading list is over here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

News Of The Lame

Okay, so it's a very bad pun in poor taste, but the actions described in this Chicago Trib article are far worse. It's bad enough that we live in a society that has commodified glamour beyond any point of reasonability, and that we have succumbed to Political Correction Syndrome in every walk of life; but in this beauty pageant story the two meet and bring forth a hideous spawn:

Pageant says woman not disabled enough
At least we can all feel some sense of human dignity from the actions of this woman's sister, and second place contender, and previous winner, and everyone else who has supported her and spoken out.
Ruthless Times

It seems that much is flooding the plains of the earth in the wake of the momentary rift in action caused by the death of the Pope. For instance, in a moment of remarkable candor, Israel has admitted that it is rebuffing the demands of the US on its actions regarding the settlements in the West Bank, and in particular the activities planned for the expansion of Ma'aleh Adumim. What is even more interesting though, is the sure knowledge that the Bush administration will do nothing about it. Perhaps they have too much else on the plate right now: failing proposals to dismantle social security, heads of state dying right and left, Tom DeLay yet again under scrutiny, and on and on. But more likely it is just another sorry example of disdainful arrogance, and the inability to actually care whether the policies we put forward as a nation actually are championed in action---as long as they look good on TV.

On other topics: The hat's been tipped to Talabani in Iraq---big shocker there---and for truly earth-shattering "news":

'Reuters: U.S. Blacks Lag Behind Whites in Money, Jobs'

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Pope John Paul II.
Saul Bellow.
Prince Rainier III.
Tuesdays Are Just

Not a lot going on today to get my rant up. Pope still dead, Middle East still a deadly mess. Gonna take this time to maybe do some real thinking about stuff. If you need something to read, try checking out this bit about Al Gore's new TV station.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Arrogance On The March

In another move to moot the Israeli control of Palestinian land in the West Bank, Israel is adding a lovely landfill to the developments already in line. Coupled with the Ma'aleh Adumim expansion recently announced, which would cut East Jerusalem apart and effectively end the possibility of any resolution to the Jerusalem question other than Israeli control, this plan to dump refuse and thus remove additional land from usability for the Palestinians is a slap in the face of the international community. One has to wonder if anyone will bother to respond to the slight.

International legal issues aside, the fact that already the Israeli contractor hired to develop the waste dump site has violated its agreements, and begun degradation of the area, begs the question of whether the Israeli government in its current state can be trusted to carry through any kind of meaningful oversight of the process of negotiating the future of the two peoples of Palestine and Israel.

It is these little things which tell the most of a nations true nature. And too often they tell us more than we'd wish we knew.

Unhappily, an internal server error ate this morning's post, so I'm afraid I'll have to be brief now, not having energy to rewrite the whole thing. I've come down with a wretched head cold, which is sucking away all my energy, despite the beautiful spring sunshine outside. And as far as I can tell, everything in the world has survived the weekend and the death of a pope: the church continues, the war continues, poverty continues, and on and on. But the John Paul II Deathwatch is done, the funereal pomp has begun, and in less than two weeks I will be on hand in Rome to watch the conclave puffing segregated smoke signals from the Vatican chimneys.

All in all, your basic monday.

If you want to read something interesting, try this. Personally, I'm not surprised that morphine helps people with OCD. I think morphine probably helps everybody with anything. If I were taking a daily dose, I wouldn't really be spending too much time worrying about my other problems....