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 29, 2006

I Should've Guessed

AP: NEW YORK - Henry Kissinger has been advising President Bush and Vice President Cheney about Iraq...Kissinger, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, has been telling Bush and Cheney that "in Iraq, he declared very simply, 'Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.'"
I'm Trying To Care

But I just don't. Call me cruel. But this just isn't newsworthy.
SAN FRANCISCO / Homeless feel unwelcome
Congress Just Made A King

And they don't even seem to realize it.
"...the bill empowers the executive branch to detain indefinitely anyone it determines to have 'purposefully and materially' supported anti-U.S. hostilities. Only foreign nationals among those detainees can be tried by the military commissions, as they are known, and sentenced to decades in jail or put to death.

At the same time, the bill immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year. It gives the president a dominant but not exclusive role in setting the rules for future interrogations of terrorism suspects."
Many Rights in U.S. Legal System Absent in New Bill - washingtonpost.com
Habeus Corpus? R.I.P.

How very very sad for us. George Bush and the Congress have, with this torture bill, made a mockery of all that we are as a nation.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Outlook Gloomy
"Beyond the rankings, the study found that across the board -- from elite universities to less-selective colleges -- the typical senior did poorly on the civics literacy exam, scoring below 70 percent. This would be a D or F on a basic test using a conventional grading scale.

That shows, the researchers said, that the students don't have -- and the universities generally aren't teaching -- the basic understanding of America's history and founding principles that they need to be good citizens."
It's no wonder we now promote polivies which undermine our own civic identity: it's because we aren't learning or teaching who we are. Read the article; the findings at all 50 schools are disturbing, even the schools who, according to the study's methodology came out on 'top'. Another great quote:
"Stanford focuses more on teaching theory and critical-thinking skills than facts. The teaching of facts and historical dates is considered "old-fashioned" in academe."
Facts are old-fashioned. I love that.

Read the train wreck here: Top-flight colleges fail civics, study says / Cal and Stanford seniors test poorly.

UPDATE: and I forgot--here's the link to the full report. Of particular interest are the cumulative raw scores for each school. The Ivy League stands out as top scoring...but they peak out in the high 60s. A failing grade, indeed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Totally Off Topic

Have you ever stopped and counted the things you have lost in your life?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dumbest Statement Yet In CA Gubernatorial Campaign

It pains me more each day to be pushed like this, away from my own party's candidates and forced to (even halfheartedly) agree with the Governor's camp.

It isn't that Angelides is bad at heart; but this blatant sort of political pandering without thought for policy consequences is worse to me than the status quo of leadership by bastardism.

AP: Calif. Gov. Opponent: Guard Out of Iraq