Daily Archives: August 12, 2022

Trump under investigation for Espionage Act violations, FBI search warrant reveals

Aug 12, 2022

A U.S. federal judge unsealed the search warrant used on former U.S. president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The Justice Department revealed a brief list of what FBI agents seized, which included 20 boxes of papers that could violate U.S. espionage laws.

Early Days in African Historical Cartography ~ From the Portolan Charts to Printed Maps: Imagining and Imaging Africa in the Atlantic System – Part 1


YouTube Version

In Europe of the 16th and 17th centuries Africa came to be imagined and imaged in a new perspective.  Due to the rapidly cascading revelations of maritime discovery, on the one hand, and Galileo’s telescope European conceptions of geography, theology and cosmology experienced several radical transformations of their fundamental principles of understanding.  To put it briefly, in a remarkably short period of time the world had become a sphere revolving around a star in a vast and newly visible universe.

Struggling to make sense of these changes in their world, cartographers devised new ways of describing and depicting Africa.  Although northern Africa — often represented by Ptolemy as “Libya” — had been portrayed in Portolan vellum charts throughout classical and medieval times, novel discoveries about the African coastline in the 15th and 16th centuries were stretching all conceptual boundaries.

These transformations coincided with the emergence of the new technologies of printing on paper and publishing collections of maps.  By the end of the 16th century and during the 17th century bound atlases with wood-cut maps and prints came to be published and began to serve as the major vehicles for the imaging and imagining of Africa as a continent.

In our day, the collective problem we face is not unlike that of those trying to imagine and depict the “new world” that challenged the greatest thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries.  The question remaining for us today is whether or not the best minds of our day can accomplish now what the early cartographers achieved in the day by imagining and imaging Earth so as to assist us all in “seeing the world anew” and come to understand our place within it.

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Ruderman Conference (2021): Panel with Tom Bassett, Julie MacArthur, and And ré Reyes Novaes

David Rumsey Map Center – Dec 13, 2021

Panel from the 3rd Biannual Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography
Panel 2: Historical approaches, 19th – 20th centuries

Tom Bassett, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Drawing the line: The interplay of African and European mapping practices in Binger’s Carte du Haut-Niger au Golfe de Guinée par le Pays de Kong et le Mossi (1:1,000,000)

This paper illustrates the intertwined nature of European and African mapping practices in the construction of Captain Louis-Gustave Binger’s 1890 Carte du Haut-Niger au Golfe de Guinée par le Pays de Kong et le Mossi (1:1,000,000). Most of the geographical information contained in this map, especially routes and place names, derives from African sources, not from firsthand observations by Binger or other Europeans. Binger collected this secondhand information, which he called itinéraires par renseignements, from Africans, who conveyed their geographic knowledge to him through a variety of mapping practices. Both Binger and the Africans he encountered, especially traders and pilgrims, were faced with the same geographical problem—how to get from Point A to Point B.  “Drawing the line” refers to these shared mapping practices but also to the limits placed by African authorities on French imperial advances into the Niger Bend. These political tensions stand out in Binger’s map. Some regions where he was able to collect itineraries are covered with dense route networks, while other areas where African leaders refused his passage are filled with blank spaces. The paper concludes that Binger’s map, as well other 19th century European maps of Africa, should be viewed as co-constructions to which Africans made major contributions.

Thomas Bassett writes on the political ecology of agrarian change in West Africa and the history of cartography of Africa. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography & GIS and former Director of the LAS Global Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His writings on the history of cartography focus on Indigenous mapping, administrative mapping, road mapping, and mapping and land privatization in Africa. He has contributed to three volumes of the History of Cartography and is currently working on a book on the role of mapping in France’s colonial conquest of 19th century West Africa.

Julie MacArthur, University of Toronto Mississauga
Paper: “Mobile spaces: Indigenous mapping and the conquest of Eastern Africa”

André Reyes Novaes, Rio de Janeiro State University
Paper: “Indigenous maps in the historiography of Brazilian explorations”

Nixon White House lawyer makes prediction about Trump

Aug 11, 2022

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean joined CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to discuss Attorney General Merrick Garland’s press conference and the Justice Department’s move to unseal the FBI warrant authorizing a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. #CNN #News

‘Appalling coward’: George Conway reacts to video of Lindsey Graham

Aug 11, 2022

Some top Republicans are claiming that the FBI planted incriminating information in the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump after their search. Conservative political activist George Conway reacts to these claims. #CNN #News

Inside the alleged plot to have Bolton assassinated

Aug 10, 2022

The US Justice Department announced criminal charges against a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly trying to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, who served in senior national security positions during the Trump and Bush administrations. #CNN #News

FBI chief responds to threats after search of Trump’s property

Aug 11, 2022

“Lock and load,” was one of the top comments on an online forum dedicated to former President Donald Trump, soon after it emerged his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort had been searched by the FBI. CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan reports. #CNN #News

Honig: Here’s how Garland just called Trump’s bluff

Aug 11, 2022

CNN’s Elie Honig breaks down Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement that the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. #CNN #News

George Conway: This could be the thing that takes down Trump

Aug 11, 2022

Conservative lawyer George Conway joins CNN’s Erin Burnett to discuss the DOJ’s move to unseal the warrant used by the FBI to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. #CNN #News

WaPo: FBI searched Mar-a-Lago for classified nuclear documents

Aug 12, 2022

The FBI sought to locate classified documents related to nuclear weapons, among other items, when agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, this week, people familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post. The people did not offer additional details to the Post about “what type of information the agents were seeking” or whether any such documents were recovered, according to the paper. The revelation adds key context to the Justice Department’s extraordinary decision to search the home of a former president.#donlemontonight #LauraCoates #CNN