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.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The OC

Blogging today and the next few days from the family home in Laguna Beach, that land of perpetual beauty that not even MTV can leave well enough alone. It's gorgeous here, of course: hot summer weather with a warm breeze, and today at the beach (beneath Bette Davis' old home) the great crashing waves of clear blue water splashed all the beautiful toned bodies lying on the white sand between the rocks. I kept my shirt on, for fear of frightening the teenage girls with my morbid San Francisco pallor and belly roll, and played at catching sand crabs with my nieces.

The nicest part is, that even while taking a holiday with my brother the diplomat, world events and the woes and worries of nations take a back seat to hugs from little children, and buckets and spades, and the jaw-dropping scenery all around us.

I expect the wars will still be there for us next week. And congress will still be full of less than sudden dynamic activity and change. And so it goes.

I'm off to pour myself a beer, and sit on the back deck, and look out at the canyon and the green rolling hills of California now.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Skunk In The House

You wanna know what stinks in the Washington heat wave? The glaring difference in approach between the few sane ones left in congress, and the movers behind policy in the white house.
"“We must remain a nation that is different from, and above, our enemies,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona."
That's in regard to our approach to the Geneva Convention, and torture.
"The differences between the administration and the Senate were most pronounced when Mr. McCain asked Mr. Gonzales whether statements obtained through “illegal and inhumane treatment” should be admissible. Mr. Gonzales paused for almost a minute before responding.

“The concern that I would have about such a prohibition is, what does it mean?” he said. “How do you define it? I think if we could all reach agreement about the definition of cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, then perhaps I could give you an answer.”" (emhasis added)
But I'd bet you a dollar he wouldn't answer, even then. This man, and his masters, have put means far before the ends, and have left the lofty land of morality and honor far, far behind.

Read it here: White House Asks Congress to Define War Crimes - New York Times

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Today's Raves

I'm not sure whether I am more entranced by Mel Gibson's vitriolic rant against Jews (to Officer "Sugar Tits". Good lord, the man is an ass!), or by Castro's stepping aside to undergo surgery and having his brother Raul take the reins of government. And at the same time, Israel has decided to push 15 miles into Lebanon, before anyone can gather a peacekeeping force for the South.

If Castro dies, we will have quite a furor off the coast of Florida. I wonder how this might play into the election, and the exile Cuban vote, and the ongoing debate over the embargo. Perhaps we should give them Gibson as a possible political successor to Fidel. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Oh, and in case yo think that things in Iraq were getting any better:
(08-01) 09:57 PDT BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) --

A roadside bomb blew up a bus Tuesday, killing 24 people as violence across Iraq left 63 people dead. Among the dead was a British soldier killed in a mortar attack in the south, while the U.S. military announced that an American soldier was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday.

A provincial governor said that 45 people from his predominantly Shiite region had been kidnapped in a Sunni area of western Iraq while traveling by bus out of the country.

Gunmen in Baghdad also kidnapped the spokesman of a political coalition including Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish and independent parties.

In the once-fashionable Karradah neighborhood of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded during morning rush hour near a bank, killing at least 14 people and injuring 37, said police Lt. Col. Abbas Mohammed Salman.