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, September 22, 2006

Ahh, Unity.
"GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas said on Friday it would not join any Palestinian unity government that recognized Israel, rebuffing President Mahmoud Abbas who told the United Nations any future coalition would do so and also renounce violence."
'Nuff said.

Read more: Hamas rebuffs Abbas.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Word Of Warning

Blogging will be thin here over the next few days or even a week or two; I've taken a new full-time job, and the new work and schedule will not only require some getting used to, but the download of massive amounts of information 9 hours a day will be taking up most of my brain for a while. That's not to say that I haven't noticed the bloodless coup in Thailand yesterday, or the continuing fray in Congress over the president's plan to gut the Geneva conventions and bring America into line with the Soviet Union's Gulag morality, or the unceasing debate over the Pope's remarks, or Iran, Iran, Iran.

In any case, I'll try to check in with some premium ranting very soon!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Quote of the Day
"“MTV speaks uniquely to a group of people who are endlessly fascinated with watching themselves,” she said."
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Read all about the latest narcissism-fest, a 'virtual' Laguna Beach...:
Not in the Real World Anymore - New York Times

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"NEWS FLASH: Violence sweeps through Islamic world after Pope intimates Islamic world a hotbed of violence."
OK. So I made that up. But really: how many Muhammad cartoon / Papal speech incidents are we going to have to endure, that result not in vituperative political and rhetorical response, but in firebombs, murder, and hate? When The Onion starts to have the feel of reality rather than humor, we are in trouble, people. We really are.
"The pope's suggestion that compulsion and violence are inherent features of Islam has outraged the Muslim world. In Afghanistan, where apostates are subject to execution, the parliament and the Foreign Ministry demanded an apology. In Yemen, where religious conversion is punishable by death, the president has threatened to sever diplomatic ties. In the West Bank, Palestinians attacked four churches with guns and firebombs. And a Somali cleric added his two cents: 'Whoever offends our Prophet Muhammad should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim.'"
That's Roger McShane in Slate today, shoveling out a heapin' helpin' of heavy irony on the response to the Pope's quoting Manuel II Paleologus, Emperor of Byzantium.
Don't Believe The Hype
"To his critics, Mr. Bush is a “King George” bent on an “imperial presidency.” But the inescapable fact is that war shifts power to the branch most responsible for its waging: the executive. Harry Truman sent troops to fight in Korea without Congressional authority. George H. W. Bush did not have the consent of Congress when he invaded Panama to apprehend Manuel Noriega. Nor did Bill Clinton when he initiated NATO’s air war over Kosovo..."

"The White House has declared that the Constitution allows the president to sidestep laws that invade his executive authority. That is why Mr. Bush has issued hundreds of signing statements — more than any previous president — reserving his right not to enforce unconstitutional laws."

That's John Woo, making a rather feeble argument to show why Bush can not only break the law--because the Constitution says that he can (???)---and that the individual who decides whether a law is binding on the President is...the President.

He's wrong. This has nothing to do with a "strong" executive; this is about negating the balances that support the pillars of our nation and our society.

Read his infuriatingly un-American op-ed here: How the Presidency Regained Its Balance - New York Times