European empires competing in 16th-century East Asia

In 1511 CE, Portugal became the first of the European empires to establish a presence in East Asia. That was the year in which conquistador Afonso de Albuquerque established the first of the Portuguese empire’s characteristically heavily-armed trading/raiding outposts at Malacca, a strategic choke-point in today’s Malaysia that has always been a major node of … Continue reading European empires competing in 16th-century East Asia

Quakers and settler colonialism before William Penn

Last week, I wrote three blog posts about the involvement of Quakers in various phases of the White-supremacist settler-colonial project here in Turtle Island (the United States.) But all those phases were after the allocation by England’s King Charles II of a huge chunk of land in Turtle Island to the Quaker William Penn, which … Continue reading Quakers and settler colonialism before William Penn

White settlers with “good intentions”

Earlier this week, I wrote about some of the activities undertaken by the Indian Affairs Committee of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers.) Amazingly, that committee has been in continuous– or sometimes, possibly a bit sporadic?– operation since 1795 CE. In that blog post, I interrogated the commonly voiced … Continue reading White settlers with “good intentions”

Baltimore Quakers & westward expansion in the early United States

On Monday, I wrote about the involvement of Quakers in William Penn’s settler-colonial project in Turtle Island in the 17th century CE. Now, I want to fast-forward to the early 19th century CE, and start looking at the involvement of Baltimore Quakers in various stages of the ongoing westward expansion of the project, which was … Continue reading Baltimore Quakers & westward expansion in the early United States

My January Syndrome strikes again…

On Friday, I sent out an “institutional” email blast on behalf of Just World Educational, the non-profit educational org that I founded in late 2015 and have headed ever since. That email/newsletter took me much longer than usual to write, hampered as I am by the eye problem that first struck me in early November… … Continue reading My January Syndrome strikes again…

How Tik Tok hooks (very) young people

Americans have become increasingly aware of the addictive effects that Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have on young people. But we should all be even more concerned about Tik Tok, the English-language version of the signature app owned by China’s ByteDance company. TikTok consists solely of catchy, fast-moving short videos– 60 seconds is considered a … Continue reading How Tik Tok hooks (very) young people

Columbus in Context

Christopher Columbus was born in the bustling north-Italian port city of Genoa in 1451 CE, just a couple of years before the Ottoman Turks captured the great East Mediterranean metropolis of Constantinople (Istanbul) from its longtime Christian emperor. That Ottoman advance sent many of the merchants, financiers, and seaman who had built up Genoa and … Continue reading Columbus in Context

France’s “historic position” in the Indo-Pacific region

The French and the Anglo-Saxons have gotten into a big pissing match over Australia’s decision to nix a longstanding contract for French-built submarines in favor of a bigger one with the United States (with some UK involvement), for nuclear-powered subs, instead. The French have been understandably miffed by the loss of this substantial contract, and … Continue reading France’s “historic position” in the Indo-Pacific region