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, September 23, 2011


I mean, really?

Wasn't the grinding down of eBay and the failed run for overlord governor of California enough?

And HP: wasn't one high profile female CEO disaster plenty for now?

HP Names Meg Whitman CEO

On Palestine

Today, as the Palestinians present their formal request for statehood at the UN, I am struck by the disconnect in the language being used: If you listen to the US and the Israelis, they speak about "peace" --- that peace is only achievable thru negotiation. If you listen to the Palestinians and the Egyptians, they speak of independence and freedom:
“There are small countries in the world that have gained their freedom and independence but we still haven’t got ours,” Mr. Abbas told his guests. “So we are going to demand this right.”
It seems to me that this is a major disconnect, and that the US has failed to broker the gap between. Peace has little to do with freedom, just as electoral democracy has little to do with stability (cf. the election of Hamas in Gaza). If the US and Israel are trying to shift the frame of the discussion, then they are losing that battle. Most of the world sees independence as the keystone here, not an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I think it a cruel historical irony that in this situation the US is in the role of imperial Britain, and Palestine somewhat in that of the North American colonies -- and Israel in the role of Mandatory Britain, and the Palestinians in the role of the fledgling Jewish State. And while it is in our diplomatic interest to maintain an effective brokering position to promote peace, we frankly have failed to do so lately, and it comes as no surprise that the Palestinians are fed up with the failure of talking, and wish for exactly what Israel desired in 1947: recognition, self-determination, and the freedom to govern their own destiny. No, it's not peace. But perhaps at this point we are overrating both the value and possibility of such a thing in such a place. Independence can be granted. Peace will have to be learned.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Update, en passant

Well, between travels in Europe, multiple job craziness, and a pretty overwhelming schedule of late, I haven't had a chance to comment on Congress, the President's economic proposal, the insanity of the local hubbub over our upcoming mayoral election, or anything else for that matter. But in the meanwhile, if you want some random mutterings from me, please look over to the left of this page and click on a couple of my Kindle stories, and have a read. And maybe by the time you're done, I'll have a fresh rant for you right here!