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, July 14, 2005

It Makes Me Hate

There will be no posts here for a while. This is because I cannot read the news any longer. I cannot listen to the news any longer. I can't watch the talking heads on Foxy CNN-Land any longer.

The complete polarization of the news, and the lack of any scruple on either side to score a partisan swipe---though I will admit that the concerted offense of the right is to me more offensive, of for no other reason than their smug ability to disregard truth in the pursuit of a greater partisan goal---has made it too repulsive, too obscenely depressing, to review or even comment on the contemporary currents of events.

Perhaps this will pass. Perhaps after the Supreme Court decisions have been made, perhaps after the reviews of military activity have concluded, perhaps after the investigation of Plame-Wilson-Cooper-Miller-Rove is done, perhaps. Perhaps after a new Congressional election. Perhaps after a change of administration in the White House. Perhaps when the war is over. When the hurly-burly's done. When the battle's lost and won.

I read Josh Marshall, and the shrill inside-the-beltway tenor of his focus grates on my brain. I read Andrew Sullivan, and grow mortified that anyone can continue to dwell in a land of such naive faith in the face of admitted and accepted failure, foul play, mendacity and duplicity by and for those in which that faith is placed. I try to read many other blogs, but can't get past most first paragraphs. I have turned off NPR after realizing that even on the News Hour there is not a chance in hell that anyone will challenge blatantly false statements made by either left- or right-wing commentators. I guess the Terry Gross disease is catching across the whole programming schedule.

I don't have an answer; this is only a rant. I just wish there were some spot on the spectrum where people have both integrity and the balls to back it up; where the ethical high ground has not been swept over by the tide of self-righteous morality.

If you find one, let me know.
Betting On Futures

As I watch Rove-ergate unravel, and the Gitmo hearings, and the shifting of the sands with the Homeland Security structure (move around the deck chairs) and funding (sell the deck chairs at a loss to folks without decks) and all the other ugliness in the news this week, I wonder about our future. My great fear is that in 25 years, if the war continues---the Big War, the GWOT, not Iraq---then by force of need we will begin to look more and more like the totalitarian authorities we have railed against, and fought against, and less and less like the nation we dream ourselves to be and have been. This won't be due to a secret cabal--though the current power machinations in the Administration feed the trend--it will be due to the decisions we have made as a nation: sometimes naively, sometimes against our own best judgement, sometimes against the will of the majority.

But my best bet is that when I am of retirement age, I'll be looking at more Duce, more Big Brother, more Franco, and a whole hell of a lot less Hamilton, and Jefferson, and Lincoln, and yes, even Reagan.

God help us all.
Bastille Day

Happy birthday, France!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Stupid Idiots

SAN FRANCISCO / Anarchists protest G-8 -- officer badly hurt
"A San Francisco police officer was in serious condition with a head injury and three suspects were in custody Saturday following a demonstration by anarchists who broke windows in the Mission District to protest the gathering of the Group of 8 leaders in Scotland."
First, since the G-8 meeting was effectively over once they began their little "protest", what the hell was it about anyway? Other tidbits:
  • None of the perpetrators appear to be SF dwellers. Just some hokum fools from Berkeley and the Santa Cruz mountains on a field trip.

  • The officer they attacked now has a blood clot on his brain, which is swelling.

  • They attacked a bank and a locally owned franchise.

  • They "protested" in the least likely, least effective, least politically astute location in the entire city---the heart of the Mission, the heart of the politically and culturally Left and Liberal, the center of, well, where most of the people who agree with this breed of so-called "anarchists" live and play.

I am all for effective protest against things you see as wrong. And I'm all for a bit of political anarchist thinking thrown into the mix. But these fools weren't protesting, they were just acting out. They aren't anarchists, they are simply hooligans. And they certainly aren't thinking, whatever else they are doing.

Read it all here.