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.







Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lebanon

While I said a while ago that, in regard to the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, that it ain't over till the fat lady sings, we may be hearing the first notes of her aria now. The assassination of Samir Qasir, outspoken critic of the pro-Syrian government, comes at a time when the optimists for this process should be worried. The Syrians have officially withdrawn---though many believe that the intelligence forces have simply gone to ground. Elections have begun, giving a smug headline for Bush and the "democracy is breaking out like roses in the Middle East" folks---but this could upturn that, now that there is a call for the newly elected president to resign.

Let's hope that this is just a false halting warning, and that we are not watching this country descend yet again into sectarian factional disaster.
Deep Throat

"I'll give you a candidate for great man of the era: Chuck Colson. Colson functioned in the Nixon White House as a genuinely bad man, went to prison and emerged a genuinely good man. He told the truth about himself in 'Born Again,' a book not fully appreciated as the great Washington classic it is, and has devoted his life to helping prisoners and their families. He paid the price, told the truth, blamed no one but himself, and turned his shame into something helpful. Children aren't dead because of him."

That's Peggy Noonan in the WSJ. How she can transform Mark Felt from whistle blower whose motives remain uncertain, into a child murderer, at the same time taking a key player in a massive criminal affair perpetrated by our government is, at the very least, a remarkable bit of language mangling. At the worst it is hate-mongering blindness.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Well, I've just returned from a wild fun and all too fast birthday weekend in New York. Yes, I am now OLD. Happily, this does not tarnish my ability to have a good time in Manhattan with friends. This trip my brother was able to join me, which was a very special treat. Nothing quite like rushing around NYC with a diplomat for a holiday weekend.

Mostly it was a few days of food and drink and celebration, and I haven't been paying too much attention to much of anything in the world. As far as I can tell the big news is that President Bush has announced that he isn't a lame duck, and we now appear to know who Deep Throat really was. Honestly, I read the NYT and the FT this morning, and while the news of France giving the boot to the EuroConstitution, that wasn't exactly unexpected.

After turning 39 among friends and family, and now flying back to SF to more of the same, it's hard for me to rant about much of anything this afternoon. I say: more champagne and cake! It'll solve the world's woes as well as anything else.