Former Attorney General Bill Barr has admitted that Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud were completely BS, and that could actually be bad news for Trump and everyone else facing a defamation lawsuit from the voting companies. Barr’s claims, which will appear in a new book, undermine the entire legal cases of people like Sydney Powell and Mike Lindell, and it could end up costing them everything. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening and what it means for Trump.
Tech giant Amazon says that the company’s carbon footprint has increased by 19 percent in 2020. Boom Bust Co-host and investigative journalist Ben Swann weighs in. (17:41)
The search and rescue team in Florida located two more bodies in the rubble of the condo collapse, raising the death toll to 20, while over 100 people remain missing. RT America’s John Huddy has the latest developments. (00:56)
The US and Japan are conducting joint military exercises aimed at China, according to sources of the Financial Times. This is an extension of Trump-era policies adopted by the Biden administration. RT America’s Alex Mihailovich has the story. (5:29) Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof and Jeremy Kuzmarov, Managing Editor of Covert Action Magazine and author of The Russians are Coming Again join a panel to discuss. (9:15)
Authorities in California discovered a stockpile of illegal fireworks in South Los Angeles, but when the bomb squad arrived to seize the pyrotechnics, the plan didn’t go as intended. RT America’s Natasha Sweatte has the story(23:28).
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to journalist and author, Ariel Sabar about his new book Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Sabar’s book exposes much about the bankruptcy of contemporary theology and the yearning by academics to be lionized by the mass media and popular culture, even at the expense of truth.
In 1945 a collection of early Christian codices, or books, in fourth century A.D. script, were discovered at Nag Hammadi near the Nile, about 300 miles south of Cairo. The 52 works were translated from earlier Greek texts, many of them written by Gnostic sectarians. The Gnostics were condemned as heretics by the early church and their writings were banned. The texts, available to scholars, languished in relative obscurity until they were popularized by Elaine Pagels in her 1980 book The Gnostic Gospels. The Gnostics believed that an elect group of believers, themselves, had been given a secret knowledge about the divine status of human beings that was obscured by the Old Testament and revealed to them by Jesus, who was regarded as an illuminator rather than the resurrected savior. Women appear to have a more prominent role in the sect than in early Christian Church, although this is usually because these women have rejected the “works of femaleness.” But the Gnostic Gospels played to the zeitgeist of the moment when the church was being challenged for its misogyny and believers were shifting from the demands of the Social Gospel, which call on believers to fight on behalf of the oppressed, and turning inward to the kind of self-referential spiritualism that has now poisons the liberal church.
In 2003 Dan Brown published The Da Vinci Code, which was to Biblical scholarship what Raiders of the Lost Ark was to archeology. In the novel he makes Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus, pregnant with Christ’s child when he was crucified. This fiction was only a few degrees separated from the claims by some feminist scholars of the Gnostic Gospels, especially Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King. In 2012 Professor King announced that she had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene “my wife.” The fragment, however, was a crude forgery, passed on to Professor King by a German expatriate living in Florida who was an internet pornographer with a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church.
n 1683, an Ottoman army that stretched from horizon to horizon set out to seize the “Golden Apple,” as Turks referred to Vienna. The ensuing siege pitted battle-hardened Janissaries wielding seventeenth-century grenades against Habsburg armies, widely feared for their savagery. The walls of Vienna bristled with guns as the besieging Ottoman host launched bombs, fired cannons, and showered the populace with arrows during the battle for Christianity’s bulwark. Each side was sustained by the hatred of its age-old enemy, certain that victory would be won by the grace of God.
The Great Siege of Vienna is the centerpiece for historian Andrew Wheatcroft’s richly drawn portrait of the centuries-long rivalry between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires for control of the European continent. A gripping work by a master historian, The Enemy at the Gate offers a timely examination of an epic clash of civilizations.
*Includes contemporary accounts of the slave trade
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
“It is certain that large numbers of slaves were exported from eastern Africa; the best evidence for this is the magnitude of the Zanj revolt in Iraq in the 9th century, though not all of the slaves involved were Zanj. There is little evidence of what part of eastern Africa the Zanj came from, for the name is here evidently used in its general sense, rather than to designate the particular stretch of the coast, from about 3°N. to 5°S., to which the name was also applied.” – Ghada Hashem Talhami “The Zanj Rebellion Reconsidered”. The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 10 (3): 443–461. (1977).
It has often been said that the greatest invention of all time was the sail, which facilitated the internationalization of the globe and thus ushered in the modern era. Columbus’ contact with the New World, alongside European maritime contact with the Far East, transformed human history, and in particular the history of Africa. It was the sail that linked the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, and thus it was also the sail that facilitated the greatest involuntary human migration of all time.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade was founded by the Portuguese in the 15th century for the specific purpose of supplying the New World colonies with African slave labor. It was soon joined by all the major trading powers of Europe, and it reached its peak in the 18th century with the founding and development of plantation economies that ran from the South American mainland through the Caribbean and into the southern states of the United States. Toward the end of the 18th century, it began to fall into decline, and by the beginning of the 19th century, various abolition movements heralded its eventual outlawing. It was, throughout its existence, however, a purely commercial phenomenon, supplying agricultural power to vast plantations on an industrial scale. In every respect, it was unaffected and uninfluenced by history, sentimentality, tradition, or common law. Slaves transported across the Atlantic Ocean remained a commodity with a codified value, like a horse or a steam engine, existing often within an equation of obsolescence and replacement that was cheaper than nurturing and maintenance.
The East African Slave Trade on the other hand, or the Indian Ocean Slave Trade as it was also known, was a far more complex and nuanced phenomenon, far older, significantly more widespread, rooted in ancient traditions, and governed by rules very different to those in the western hemisphere. It is also often referred to as the Arab Slave Trade, although this, specifically, might perhaps be more accurately applied to the more ancient variant of organized African slavery, affecting North Africa, and undertaken prior to the advent of Islam and certainly prior to the spread of the institution south as far as the south/east African coast. It also involved the slavery of non-African races and was, therefore, more general in scope. The African slave trade is a complex and deeply divisive subject that has had a tendency to evolve according the political requirements of any given age, and is often touchable only with the correct distribution of culpability. It has for many years, therefore, been deemed singularly unpalatable to implicate Africans themselves in the perpetration of the institution, and only in recent years has the large-scale African involvement in both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Slave Trades come to be an accepted fact. There can, however, be no doubt that even though large numbers of indigenous Africans were liable, it was European ingenuity and greed that fundamentally drove the industrialization of the Transatlantic slave trade in response to massive new market demands created by their equally ruthless exploitation of the Americas.
Connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millennia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. In this brilliant and expansive book, David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the
sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters-sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims-who have crossed and re-crossed it.
Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all a history of human interaction. Interweaving major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade, Abulafia explores how commercial competition in the Mediterranean created both rivalries and partnerships, with
merchants acting as intermediaries between cultures, trading goods that were as exotic on one side of the sea as they were commonplace on the other. He stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, “living together.”
Now available in paperback, The Great Sea is the definitive account of perhaps the most vibrant theater of human interaction in history.
“This magnificent book…is teeming with colourful characters. Over the course of nearly 800pp, we follow faiths; sail with fleets; trade with bankers, financiers and merchants; raid with pirates and observe battles and sieges; watch cities rise and fall and see peoples migrate in triumph and
tragedy. But at its heart, this is a history of mankind – gripping, worldly, bloody, playful – that radiates scholarship and a sense of wonder and fun, using the Mediterranean as its medium, its watery road much travelled.”–Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Financial Times
“This memorable study, its scholarship tinged with indulgent humour and an authorial eye for bizarre detail, celebrates the swirling changeability at the heart of that wonderful symbiosis of man and nature which once took place long Mediterranean shores”–Jonathan Keates, The Sunday Telegraph
“An Everest of a book, brocaded with studious observation and finely-tuned scholarship…the effect is mesmerising, as detail accumulates meticulously.”–Ian Thomson, The Independent
“David Abulafia’s marvellous history of the Mediterranean is an excellent corrective to oversimplified views of geopolitics.”–The Economist
“New, highly impressive book…magisterial work…”–Prospect
“Engagingly written, precisely documented, and liberally studded with tales of the fantastic and absurd, the book has much to offer the casual reader and is indispensible for specialists in the region.”–Publishers Weekly
“Abulafia writes in a popular style with an eye for interesting sidelights on history, such as the backdating of the Trojan War by Homer and Virgil, and quirky asides about modern Mediterranean culture…this comprehensive, scholarly study contains much food for thought.”–Kirkus
“A comprehensive, fair-minded history.”–The National Interest
“The Great Sea deserves a place on the shelf next to Braudel’s classic work.”–Shelf Awareness
“David Abulafia’s new book about the Mediterranean Sea, The Great Sea, has everything a major work of history requires. An important theme, solid research, magnificent writing and a perceptive insight into human nature…As an introduction to this story – and as a cautionary tale of what happens
when the darkness in the human soul crowds out the light – there is no better place to start than David Abulafia’s The Great Sea.“–The California Literary Review
“For both specialists and interested general readers, this book will be a treasure and become the standard work on the topic.”–Booklist Online
“Book of the Year” selection, History category–he Economist
“David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University, brings historians and interested readers the ultimate biography of this unique sea, as seen and used and experienced by the people who lived and still live on its long coastline.”–Bookbanter
“This magnificent history, at once sweeping and precise, spans the period from 22,000 B.C. to 2010 A.D. to explicate the history of human activity on and around the Mediterranean Sea…[Abulafia] is a superb writer with a gift for lucid compression and an eye for the telling detail…He has taken on
a grand subject, and has related and interpreted it with authority, exactitude, and verve. His work deserves a wide and appreciative audience.”–The Atlantic
About the Author
David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University and the author of The Mediterranean in History.
In 1897, Britain sent a punitive expedition to the Kingdom of Benin, in what is today Nigeria, in retaliation for the killing of seven British officials and traders. British soldiers and sailors captured Benin, exiled its king and annexed the territory. They also made off with some of Africa’s greatest works of art.
This is the story of the ‘Benin Bronzes’: their history before the British took them, their fate since 1897, and the intense debate about their future. When they were first displayed in London their splendour and antiquity challenged the prevailing view of Africa as a continent without culture or history. They are now amongst the most admired and valuable artworks in the world. But seeing the Benin Bronzes in the British Museum today is, in the words of one Benin City artist, like ‘visiting relatives behind bars’. In a time of huge controversy about the legacy of empire, racial justice and the future of museums, what does the future hold for the Bronzes?
‘Gripping…a must read.’ ― FT
‘[A] balanced reconstruction of the Benin saga and probes the difficult choices facing European – and Nigerian – museums… Phillips excels at tracing the roundabout ways in which objects could find their way into museums.’ — TLS
‘The storytelling is crisp, balanced and authoritative… As Britain continues to twist on the thorny issue of racism…this book’s laser-sharp focus on the casenotes from one instance of colonial cruelty allows for a much more informed understanding of the wider issue. Whereas before the now highly valuable Benin Bronzes might have had us looking in the attic for some forgotten heirloom, perhaps now we are left examining our consciences.’ — Tim Butcher, Spectator
‘Mr Phillips, a veteran British correspondent in Africa who knows Nigeria well, adds new and much-needed context to the story of the Edo empire and its bloody finale… Mr Phillips is at pains to show how deeply the Edo people feel the loss of their physical culture… But Mr Phillips is clear-sighted about the political and financial obstacles that must still be overcome.’ — Economist
‘His compelling book is full of African voices… It is balanced, sternly critical of the Brits when that is appropriate, but at the same time humane, reasonable, and ultimately optimistic.’ — Evening Standard
‘[A] valuable guide to a complex narrative… Throughout this tortured history, Phillips writes with journalistic detail, gathering his accounts from many sources, attempting fairness.’ — The Times
‘A veteran journalist based for years in Africa, Mr. Phillips has written a humane and thoughtful book, devoid of the sort of posturing that mars the debate over the repatriation of objects brought to the West during the colonial era.’ — Wall Street Journal
‘Vivid, dramatic and colourful, Loot is a story of empire running amok. It still has huge resonance in the debate about colonialism and racism today.’ ― Kwasi Kwarteng, MP and author of Ghosts of Empire and War and Gold
‘Persuasive… Phillips is scrupulously fair yet damning. He points to the racist hypocrisy that rationalised colonial plunder…[and] covers the ritzy, often clandestine, history of the Bronzes on the western market, where some objects have been sold for up to £10m. Above all, his tale is one of competing ways of assessing material culture.’ — Prospect
‘This timely, thoughtful and beautifully crafted volume deftly guides us through a truly astounding passage of events. These are the kind of histories that change the way that we look at things we thought we knew – whilst shocking us at the things that we simply hadn’t grasped.’ ― Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of V&A East and former Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of A
‘A fascinating and timely book. A brilliant model of expertly marshalled historical research and compelling narrative.’ ― William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa
‘Reading Barnaby Phillips’s Loot is like walking a sniffing dog through the minds, homes, and storerooms of government agents, military adventurers, museums, art dealers, and collectors… Brilliant and evidenced-based… It is a highly recommended book that will thrill the reader to the last page.’ ― Dr Uyilawa Usuanlele, Associate Professor of African History, State University of New York
‘This is a thoroughly researched, well written and timely contribution to the live debate about cultural restitution. Accessible yet nuanced, we hear the voices of a contested history from the looters themselves and the bronze casters of Benin City, to the leaders of the world’s major cultural institutions and so many other players in this drama. Barnaby takes us on a journey raising important questions about empire and the meaning of art, civilisation and culture.’ ― Clive Myrie, BBC Chief Correspondent and Presenter
‘Phillips weaves a compelling and evocative narrative from the off, peopled by a cast that propels the story forward, sending the reader on a voyage of discovery that raises some very important questions indeed… accessible, packed with drama and utterly fascinating. It should appeal to a wide audience, from those with an interest in the history of colonialism to art historians and readers who are simply looking for a book that will be difficult to put down.’ — All About History
‘Well-balanced and highly readable.’ — Peter Frankopan, Air Mail
‘Rarely have books like Loot focussed so in-depth on the perspectives of Africans. As Loot makes clear, whether in the form of Nollywood films or oral histories handed down across generations, Nigerians have had a lot to say about the Benin Bronzes… Phillips kicks off his stylish tome with an in-depth history of the Kingdom of Benin… he paints a touching portrait of the kingdom and the people who inhabited it… it’s possible that a book like Loot could offer some readers the context needed to get behind Phillips’s cause.’ — Art News
About the Author
Barnaby Phillips spent over twenty-five years as a journalist, reporting for the BBC from Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa before joining Al Jazeera English. He is the author of Another Man’s War: The Story of a Burma Boy in Britain’s Forgotten African Army, which is also published by Oneworld. He grew up in Kenya and now lives in London.
As former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial enters its third day, the question remains whether his words or actions incited the January 6 assault on the Capitol. But little attention has been paid to a video that was shown that same day, at the January 6 “March to Save America” rally in Washington, D.C. Jason Stanley, a scholar of fascist propaganda, claims that this short video — shown immediately after Rudy Giuliani left the stage, prior to the attack on the Capitol — was full of themes and tactics that threaten liberal democracy. Stanley breaks the video down with Hari Sreenivasan and elaborates on its role in the violence that took place on that infamous day.
The Biden administration is rolling out a new strategy to counter domestic terrorism. One of the initiative’s top aims is to confront racism and bigotry — long the primary drivers of homegrown extremism. Award-winning historian and author Kathleen Belew, a professor at the University of Chicago, speaks with Michel Martin about violence and militarization in American society and how to combat it. Originally aired on June 25, 2021.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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