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 13, 2005

More On The Pharmacist Who Refuses
"If an individual service provider wants to reserve the right to deny services, they should be free to do so, and if a drugstore wants to employ such a person, they should also do so. But these celebrations of religious conscience should happen at their own cost and never at the expense of citizens requiring services."
--Dahlia Lithwick on Slate.com
I have to admit, this is one of the few reasonable and detailed arguments showing why the trend to have pharmacists' religious beliefs trump the rights of individuals receiving prescription drugs in the course of medical care that I have yet read. Still, the mere fact that we have descended to a level where this discussion needs take place sickens me. We are at the moment allowing theocratic nonsense to take the place of constitutional law and practice, to what end I cannot tell.

Read it, and see what you think.

The BBC is reporting that Lebanese government talks have collapsed again, leaving timely elections in doubt and adding to the turmoil of the post-Hariri world there.

The sad fact is that while the Syrian presence there was unpleasant, it serrved a purpose. The war in Lebanon was a thoroughly home grown affair, and they tread a fine line avoiding its return.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Interesting Stuff, This

Wondering what sort of music turns Georgie's crank? The BBC provides selections from the President's iPod playlist here. I wouldn't call him exactly avant-garde. But then again, the beauty quote: "'One thing that's interesting is that the president likes artists who don't like him,' he added...'If any president limited his music selection to pro-establishment musicians, it would be a pretty slim collection,' Mr McKinnon told the New York Times."

Gotta love this stuff.
Begin Again

Perhaps you've been wondering where I've been. Perhaps not. Well, either way: the last few days have been an escape from reality, up to the Sierras and North Lake Tahoe, where I enjoyed the last few glorious days of spring skiing. Now, coming back to the world, there is much to catch up on: the Israel-US grandstanding on the settlement expansions, the noise surrounding John Bolton, and DeLay; Rumsfeld's cautionary finger wagging in Iraq, it's all just hitting me this morning. So forgive me if I go and read the news, and have a cup of coffee. I need a moment to suck in all the information.

And as I will be in Italy next week, I will have precious few opportunities to post; but with any luck I will be able to provide a few narrative snapshots of the electoral conclave at the vatican, and describe a bit of the mood in Rome.

Now, though, caffeine and coming up to speed.