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, December 15, 2005

The Problem

I've said little or nothing regarding the ongoing attempts of the current government to legalize torture. The banner on this has been carried well by Andrew Sullivan, and I cannot add much to his thoughts or arguments. But I need to say this: the issue cuts to the heart of where we are failing right now as a nation, and a people, and a power. The finessing of legal language, and the splitting of hairs, in order to extract a meaning that will obscure the culpability of America and it's government and agents in act which are reprehensible, shows the guts and soul of the people who lead us right now.

John McCain is making a stand. Nearly all of the Congress stands with him. Against him are arrayed Bush and his White House crew: Cheney, Rove, Hadley, Rice, Rumsfeld over at the Pentagon, John Yoo (that wunderkind of a legal obfuscator), and the Attorney General. I wonder which side wins in the end, and whether too much damage has been done already.

When we degrade the meaning of our honor, we degrade the value of our laws and principles. One of the handful of lawmakers voting against the McCain amendment yesterday said that he did so because to pass it would "provide constitutional protections to terrorists"---and he is utterly wrong. To not pass it is to remove any validity to our upholding constitutional values and freedoms as a model or a moral guide. It is not whether someone else deserves the protections of the Constitution of this nation; it is whether we are principled enough to be deserving of that Constitution itself.

On issues like these, and in times like these---when we are at war in the world to maintain high ideals and a culture which we claim is dedicated to freedom---we must be held to a higher moral standard. To do any less is to become the things we fight against, and to fade ignominiously into the dark.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Another Day

There's a lot going on in the world: people all out shopping themselves silly, Tookie Williams going to his death tonight, President Bush giving a decent (if not quite rousing) speech, and actually answering unscripted questions at the end of it, from friend and foe alike...a busy day. Me? I think that all that is less interesting than the color of the sky as it struggled against the haze today, with the sun shining through like some strange silvery cold fire in the air.

My hope? That we wake tomorrow to clear air, and a fresh day, and that there is more talking to one another, and less fear.