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.

Monday, October 09, 2006

And While We Are Here

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The brother of Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president was assassinated Monday by gunmen who broke into his home, the third of the politician's four siblings to be slain this year. Sunnis blamed Shiite militias and demanded a crackdown to stop the capital's raging sectarian violence."

-Sinan Salaheddinap, for AP
Thank goodness it isn't civil war.

Oh wait: Fareed Zakaria thinks it is....

The Point Being....
"North Korea is more than just another nation joining the nuclear club. It has never developed a weapons system it did not ultimately sell on the world market, and it has periodically threatened to sell its nuclear technology. So the end of ambiguity about its nuclear capacity foreshadows a very different era, in which the concern may not be where a nation’s warheads are aimed, but in whose hands its weapons and skill end up."
That's David Sanger, in today's NY Times, pointing out the real threat of the events in North Korea.

I'm not worried about Kim Jong Il lobbing a bomb into my backyard. I'm worried that through indecision, and indifference, and distraction, we have unleashed an awful genie from a fragile bottle.
Jane's Says

hmmm. Maybe I wasn't so wrong in my estimates after all...
"The figure of .55 kT, however, seems too low given the 4.2 register on the Richter scale. This could suggest - depending upon the geological make-up of the test site - a yield of 2-12 kT. If, however, the lower yield is correct, it would suggest that the test had been a "pre- or post-detonation" event (ie a failure), as it had been anticipated that North Korea's first nuclear test would have a significantly higher yield."

-Joseph Bermudez Jr for Jane's Defense Weekly

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Oh Shit.
SEOUL, South Korea -
North Korea's official news agency said Monday the country has performed a successful nuclear test.
Well, we'll have to see what the reports say. I didn't think they'd actually pull it off the first time around. And to think that somehow our government is still convinced that it is more of a priority to build a wall on the Mexican border....
AP: North Korea says nuclear test successful
The Gubernatorial Debate

Arnold vs. Angelides.
A Draw.
Nobody Cares.

Anthony Shadid has an interesting post-mortem take on the war in Lebanon; while it draws less conclusions than it does present anecdotes, it portrays a couple of critical points in a glaring light:

Hizbullah is far too integrated with Iran for the health of a democratci future in Lebanon;

The Shia in Lebanon who support Hizbullah, and leaders the of that group, have allowed themsleves to fall into the same fallacy of narrow complacency that has plagued the modern Arab Middle East, as a woeful alternative to being willing to think outside the tunnel of ideology, and historiographic re-writing of painful truths;

Despite the admission of errors on both sides of the conflict, for the Lebanese at leasst it appears that there has been no lesson learned, no understanding gained, and the only take-away is the death and destruction provided to Lebanon (and Israel) by the anger, hate and intransigence of the people in power----that's real power, not necessarily elected power.