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, September 04, 2010

Unfit For Office

I have yet to hear anyone specifically mention this rather sordid tidbit of info regarding Meg Whitman's past with eBay; I doubt it would sit well with the majority of California voters.
eBay acquired LOQUO in the Spring of 2005, as part of Meg Whitman’s classifieds acquisition strategy, at a time when its “eroticos profesionales” section was present, but with few ads or pictures. Changes would soon be afoot however, and Meg crowed about the growth and profitability of LOQUO on eBay’s Q2 2007 earnings call.

...Meg Whitman didn’t mention eBay’s paid hard-core pornographic ads offering unprotected sex acts for sale to eBay investors when talking up the growth and profitability of LOQUO during eBay earnings calls, and I’m not aware that subsequent management has done so either.

Similarly, there is no reference to eBay classifieds depicting unprotected sex for sale with potentially underage and/or trafficked persons on the Stop Human Trafficking by Using eBay Classifieds Facebook page.
That is from the craigslist blog, in discussing the background of their attempts to filter their adult classified ads. and publish only "legitimate" posts unrelated to prostitution, underage sex, and/or human trafficking. They have recently given up on this effort, and in place of the former "adult" link, there is only the word "CENSORED."

If more than a dozen AGs were willing and eager to chase down the CL folks over this for the last four years, then I struggle to understand how anyone could condone the leader of a similar company providing similar public ads running for high office in one of the largest states in the union.

This isn't really about pornography; this is about prostitution, and human trafficking. And turning a blind eye to that activity in search of a profit.

If Whitman does not or cannot publicly and explicitly explain how and why her company managed to allow such activity, then I don't see how she can be allowed the opportunity to govern. And as our AG, I hope that Jerry Brown has the wherewithal to ask her this question in debate.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Observations

I walk by the reform movement synagogue (large, prominent, wealthy) and notice the armed guard at the entrance: he stands quietly in a bullet-proof glass sentry box, the full body metal detector on his right. I flash suddenly on Naples, 1986, the height of the mafia activity of the eighties, going to a bank to get cash, and seeing the same scene.

I walk by the orthodox synagogue six blocks away (small, nondescript, lower middle class, immigrant-laden); the door is open to the street, children run in and out, not a gun nor a metal detector nor a sentry box in sight.

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A foundation has given 1.3 million dollars to schools and teachers, to fulfill the teachers' wish lists for their classrooms. I don't know whether to rejoice that California classrooms received this windfall, or to scream in frustration that with a single massive act of generosity, a private group has reinforced the unspoken sentiment that the government need not find a way to better serve our children and their educators.

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The essentials of liberty require intellectual rigor, and uncommon decency. We seem to be dead set on replacing these ideals with more banal gods: desire for uncommon wealth, rather than desire for a magnificent commonwealth; instaed of liberty and justice for all, a market-driven free-for-all.

Intent on not learning from our mistakes, I wonder what we plan on refusing to learn over the next decade.