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, May 08, 2009

Arrogance Alert

A civil grand jury in SF has just determined that the city government is woefully un-transparent regarding spending. This is not great, but far worse is the response from the mayor's office:
"The grand jury doesn't know what it's talking about."
Hmmm. Not the most politic statement. Especially when mayor Newsom declined to show up to speak to the grand jury. Twice.

"L'état, cest moi" doesn't play so well here. The idea that Newsom can take that attitude to Sacramento with any success for the State is abysmal. Gavin---this ain't workin'. Think about it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Local Flavor

Another glaring example of how unions can go wrong, and how incompetent our local bay area officials are at negotiating us out of that wrongness:
BART managers say the workers are also among the best-paid in the country - and the costs are only made worse by those outdated work rules.

Take the train operators, who get a 15-minute break at the end of every run.

The problem: When BART begun running a five-minute shuttle between SFO and Millbrae, the drivers still got their 15-minute break - after every five-minute trip.

BART's solution: It eliminated the shuttle.
I have a hard time believing that union members would preclude a renovation of work rules that was fair and equitable, if it was presented by someone with any sense of negotiation skill coupled with a position of strength.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New Face

"When somebody has a disfigurement and don't look as pretty as you do, don't judge them, because you never know what happened to them," she said. "Don't judge people who don't look the same as you do. Because you never know. One day it might be all taken away."

--Connie Culp, face transplant recipient.
I am incredibly moved by this story: by the amazing medical advances that allowed the surgery; by the tragic story of this woman who is overcoming what must be one of the most visceral, atavistic horrors imaginable; and by her clear decency and kindness in the face of it all (absolutely no pun intended). I can only hope that I would be as strong in such a situation. But I doubt it.