About Me

My photo

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, December 21, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"The reason to pass reform, even inadequate reform, now isn’t to gain seats next year; it is to pass reform, which will do vast good, during the window that’s available. If it doesn’t pass now, it will probably be many nears before the next chance."
That's Paul Krugman, making a valuable point (the emphasis is mine). I think that one of the great ranklings for many people in the current debate has nothing to do with Health Care reform; it is that for the first time since the early 1990s we have legislative action going on which is being driven by...policy outcomes, rather than political maneuvering for power. Or, at the very least, includes the policy outcomes along with the maneuvering, to a significant extent.

Too many people have forgotten what this is like. It's rocking the boat of discourse, and we've all grown to comfortable and complacent about political wrangling solely for political power in and of itself.

A Lapse Of Quietude

The first of the 6 votes on HCR has passed with 60 votes, and thus set us on track for historic and monumental (albeit gradula) change in the way we care for our nation. At the same time, I have been very scant in my commentary; not because I am disengaged, but because I find that there is little of value to say at the moment that can further elucidate or convince those who are contra the realpolitik of the Obama administration. I do not ignore the clear errors that I have seen in this adminstration's action or approach, but I think that by and large we have now the moderate and rational leadership that for any and all its faults is what I have hoped for over the last decade. And I believe that with a bit of luck, it can set the stage for a turn toward more rational and respectful leadership for the country, and the world. But trying to debate in the current climate? I think Nate Silver says it best when describing the "kill the bill" anti-reform lefties and GOP tea partiers:
debating the kill-billers on the policy merits of their position has become a bit like debating the global warming denialists. The denalists operate by picking and choosing which evidence they cite and what arguments they respond to. Sometimes, they raise fairly good points or expose legitimately sloppy work on behalf of "consensus" scientists. Sometimes, they are being contrarian for contrarianism's sake. And sometimes, they're just throwing a bunch of sh*t at the wall and seeing what sticks, hoping that the underlying truth or lack thereof is lost in the fog of debate.
The hunger for process over product in the debate, and the glee seen on both sides in achieving obfuscation and winning points over the other side, as opposed to finding meaningful resolution, is too much a part of the dialogue right now.

Maybe it will be better next year. In the meantime, as the GOP try to block the bill they should have owned 8 years ago, I'll try not to raise my blood pressure. Instead, enjoy this: