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, March 07, 2009

Sense From Across the Pond

At least the UK gets it. I fully expect prop 8 to be undone at the ballot within 5 years, but it saddens me that it looks like a slim majority of Californians has no compunction about altering the basic nature of our civil rights with the votes of a slim majority. It's sort of the end game nightmare of the initiative process.

Here's hoping that that changes. Perhaps it's time, after 100 years, to take a long, hard look at the initiative process.

Friday, March 06, 2009


It just keeps getting worse: Today's notes in the NYT says it bluntly:
The government’s broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment was 14.8 percent in February. That includes some of the people who have stopped looking for work because they don’t believe they can find jobs. It also includes part-time workers who want to be working full time...

So it’s still too early to call this the worst recession since the Great Depression. But it’s bad, and it’s still getting worse at a rapid rate.
14.8%. That's a lot of hamburgers, Wimpy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Amid A World Of Woe

This is good news: that we are opening diplomatic talks with Syria. After years of neglect, having some level of explicit engagement with this all-too important player in the Middle East is long overdue.

Of course, whether Obama and Clinton can play this into leverage with Iran and Israel will remain to be seen.

(and I wonder what Rush "I want Obama to fail" thinks.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Plus ca Change

Josh Marshall notices that our chain is still being yanked by the self-absorbed and self-indulgent goombahs who led us to the current trough of woe at which we are feeding. Noting the number of large banks who have already asked for and received TARP funds, who now say they didn't really want or need it:
It seems to me that if you're saying it was a mistake and you're going to give it back and then you say you're not going to pay it back for years, I think that means it wasn't a mistake since obviously you cannot make do without the money. What am I missing?

Party Like It's 1997

It's as though the dot-com era never even was....

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Will California Listen?

The latest from AP:
Even after $135 billion in federal aid gets spent, many states will be staring down budgetary black holes unless they initiate dramatic spending cuts or tax increases, or both.
Despite the latest budget compromise, my own prediction is:
not bloody likely.
Unless and until The crew up in Sacramento find the courage to legislate counter to prevailing electoral headwinds, and craft a budget which funds the services it allows, then no matter who takes the helm as governor, it won't matter. The imbalance will continue to drag us down.