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.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Look at that "S" Car Go!

So I just saw my first (since they went on sale at the start of this month here in the US) Smart Car zooming down the Geary Blvd. A horrendous orange color with silver tridion panels, but still: the same zippy tiny happy euro-hokey mobile that clogs the byways of Rome and Paris and Madrid.

I spent the next 30 minutes walking down the streets of my neighborhood, noting each miniscule overlooked gap along the curb, and mentally tagging those where the Smart Car would easily fit, with room to spare.

I still don't understand why marketing wasn't more heavily addressed to cities such as SF or Boston, where parking is absurd, street space is (topographically) permanently limited, and yet the car culture is in full force without an effective/extensive public transport system such as the NY MTA in Manhattan. In any case, I expect I'll be seeing more and more of those little gaps filling up with tiny autos, which certainly won't help my nagging car envy. But I think I'll stick with my City Car Share membership for now. And maybe the collective will be picking up a few Smart Cabrios sometime soon.....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why I am supporting Barack Obama.

First off, if you read my manifesto, you know that much of Obama's message is speaking directly to the issues I identified there. At the same time, without detracting from the content of his message, the ability of Obama to inspire and engage an entire generation (or generations) of Americans to truly have hope, and feel that there is a brighter future is which they can actively take part, is something that speaks directly to my heart and mind.

After almost 8 years of deadening lack of inspiration---and for better or worse, the one thin the Bush administration has not been is inspirational---and event after event which has worn away at our protections against apathy and despair (9/11, economic recession, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, The DOJ meltdown, etc etc etc), the ring of hope in his words is like a tonic to the nation.

I don't know if he will "change Washington"; I don't know if he'll even be a great president. I do know, however, that he is a leader custom-made for this moment in America, and I, along with so many others in this country and abroad, look forward to seeing him lead us back to a place of dignity in the world arena.

The alternative? Hillary Clinton is a competent and effective individual; but it's clear even from the simple difference between campaign memes (Obama's "Yes, We Can" versus Clinton's "Yes, She Can") that Obama understands the need for the rest of us to feel engaged again at a visceral level, and to take back the emotional connections that the Bush years have stripped from us. Hillary Clinton does not.

I want a leader who engages me and my neighbors and compatriots to bring all we have to the table, not one who tells me to trust her and believe that she will bring me salvation through federal government action. I've seen enough of "trust me" governance the last few years. Someone who can provide us with the sense of spirit that will turn us away from division toward a better perspective. Someone who can bring a return of idealism---not naive idealism, but the sort that can help inspire pragmatism---both within Washington, and beyond.

Barack Obama is that leader. I encourage you to look at his policies, listen to his speeches, and vote with your heart.