Twisted, Triangulated News is*

old city port with moored ships and historical houses
Photo by Spencer Davis on

Scary stuff in the news, not only Trump’s call to arms against #BLM and others, like #portlandprotest and #portlandmoms, or NPR’s Morning Edition announcing different states thinking that folks will voluntarily surrender their firearms, but what is happening in the proxy war between the Turks and the Armenians, with the Russians negotiating.

States’ rights are getting more important in the election as borders are going back to policies similar to what the U.S. Constitution replaced (read the Articles of Confederation), and given how all elections stem from zero-sum all-state politics (think states and land and how many votes per state when you visualize conflicts, like the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area; also remember Pennsylvania and how the middle states were so divided — unlike New England or the former Confederate South, and remembering where Delaware was in this same confederacy).

It is no wonder I like living in my once-safe apartment on Roosevelt Island, where we are governed by three jurisdictions, including being completely accessible for folks like me and Steve Kuusisto.

As such an odd rock (read entity under what Frederic Schwarz used to call the 59th Street Bridge rather than the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge), we are part of Manhattan, but EMTs come from Queens, given that we are also New York State and New York City, and we have Cornell Tech, a very expansive private/public university that is part of Cornell University.
We also have no police, only “Public Safety,” a branch that when we moved here saw its chief forced to exit in disgrace after harming many PwDs (there were posters all over so I looked it up).

Getting my M.A., D.Phil., and Ph.D. at UCLA back when they had an active program on the Middle East and Rudolph P. Matthee’s dissertation sponsor was not only @BethBaron’s supervisor but the greatly talented Professor *Nikki Keddie…/History/Faculty-Bios/Beth-Baron, I was there during the Salmon Rushdie fatwa, inflaming the existing conflict at UCLA between faculty supporting the Turks and the Armenians, respectively, which was scary in a different way.

Then, in 1993, my very dear, dear friend was killed in a fatwa (the last one, Gary Sick explained, happened in Italy and was in fact the last one on European soil). I was spared hearing it on the news when Distinguished Professor Barbara Pfetsch and Cory Lieb accepted being my sons’ “earth parents.”…/bpfetsch/index.html (This was how I cemented the boys’ fluency not only in university-level Dutch but in German as well, given the summer camps they attended with their earth cousin Jonas).

I just told Frederic O’Brien that having been with a former partner who understood the Far East and the Middle East, and then having traveled extensively on my own — including hitchhiking everywhere — in the former East gives one-off sensibilities when you end up coming back to the UCLA Center for Social Theory and Comparative History to be convinced to leave political theory for American Politics, first by @StephenSkowronek at Yale University (I didn’t know of Rogers Smith’s work).

I took pride back in the 1980s in traveling extensively on my own, not just in the former Yugoslavia but in all the other countries I could manage to get into.

Back then, one ride from Hamburg (when they still called it West Germany) got you to Berlin. I took my GRE’s in the former American embassy, not in Zagreb, where I was studying with Gajo Petrovic (the only existentialist who was sought by both the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Martin Heidegger Archiv, which he accepted) and then added another twist that Intellectual Publics might know about by hitchhiking down to Dubrovnik, Croatia, not only to hopefully meet @Habermas but also to bump into those I already knew about, including Andrew Arato (I discovered Joel Rogers as well).

Not wanting to be associated with the American graduate students, I hung out with the German graduate students, creating a bond with Uwe Toellner as well as one American professor, who wrote Alienation
I worked with this Dissent Magazine crowd — not New York but the ones who wrote Dissent in Serbo-Croatian and reprinted the likes of the International Herbert Marcuse Society — as well as channeling my book on Obama (Out of Many, One by Ruth O’Brien) through the likes of JohnDewey, Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium, @ReinholdNiebuhr, Saul Alinsky, and W.E.B. DuBois — American iterations of the very Dutch Baruch Spinoza Study Group (not the traditional version of him by my former colleague’s notion of Baruch Spinoza but rather more the rendition that Alan Ryan would have supported, and heck, even the great academic StanleyFish liked).…/article…/87/5/1435/127532…
How come there is no emoji for ambivalent? At least there is an activity called “watching.”

*Unlike posts, this one is derived from FaceBook’s Stories or “What’s on Your Mind” space that is similar to tweeting so it is full of URLs and most names were tags of those people (so you can look them up for yourself:) and sometimes I use foreign language spellings like the Heidegger Archiv. It is part of my seminars’ blogs series.