“In 1506, [Mvemba] A Nzinga, christened as Afonso I, seized the Kongo throne with Portuguese assistance against an anti-Portuguese faction upon the death of his father. Afonso was a sincere Christian and believed in, and cooperated with, the Portuguese  experiment of Europeanizing an African state… Two years after [Afonso’s] accession, a Jesuit mission of some fifteen priests arrived in M’banza at his request. Following…[a] set of instructions [from] the Portuguese King Manoel in 1512, Afonso and his Portuguese advisers established a European-style royal court, wore Portuguese dress, created a Portuguese table of silver and gold plates and utensils, built a Portuguese-style throne, distributed titles of nobility, attempted to implement elements of Portuguese law and attempted to undermine the Kongo cult of royal graves. M’banza was renamed São Salvador and stone buildings began to arise… Despite the best efforts of Afonso,…and [the] Portuguese advisers, Afonso remained a Christian king of a mostly pagan land.” – Page 115 of The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400 – 1900 by Thomas Benjamin.

“On the coast of Africa and throughout the Americas, the Portuguese and the Spanish made alliances and war with African and Native American cooperation and assistance. Forged in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Portuguese and Spanish empires were not exclusively Portuguese and Spanish constructions. The Portuguese were on the coast of Africa with the forbearance of local African rulers where they traded in gold and slaves with the cooperation and participation of African societies. The Spanish achieved dominion over a few powerful Native American empires thanks to alliances with other Native American states and the arms of Native and African conquistadores. They ruled and taxed native societies with the cooperation [of] the native nobility. From the very beginning, the Atlantic World was an ethnically diverse world based on cooperation as much as on force.” – Page 106 of The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400 – 1900 by Thomas Benjamin.

“Slavery was nearly a universal African custom and a slave trade, across the Sahara, already existed. Muslim merchants and local African rulers accepted cloth, silver, grain and horses in exchange for captives… During the 1450s, at least an additional one thousand Africans were enslaved and sent to Portugal and the Atlantic Mediterranean… Almost from the beginning, some Portuguese in Africa “went native,” joined African societies and took African wives. They and their mulatto offspring…became essential middlemen in the slave and other trades.” – Page 80 of The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400 – 1900 by Thomas Benjamin.

“…by 1820 the collective economies of Western Europe were still smaller in value than the single, if massive, economy of China. By 1820, Western Europe’s economies had surpassed that of India but when all of Asia’s economies are put together for the sake of comparison, the economies of Western Europe constituted less than half the value of its eastern counterpart. This would change dramatically in the course of the following one hundred years. By 1913, as a result of industrial capitalism, the economies of Western Europe were almost a third larger than those of Asia, including Japan…[I]ndustrial capitalism transformed the power and wealth of Europe…” – Page 67 of The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400 – 1900 by Thomas Benjamin.

“Terrorism will continue as long as it continues to bear fruits. The fruits may be different for different causes. Sometimes it is simply publicity. Sometimes it is a recruitment tool. Sometimes it brings about concessions…

But no matter how terrorism works, the reality that it does will make it difficult if not impossible to stem its malignant spread around the world. To make it not work, the entire world must unite in never rewarding terrorism and always punishing those who facilitate it.” – Terrorism Persists Because It Works by Alan M. Dershowitz for the Gatestone Institute May 23, 2017.


“What happened Monday night in Manchester is a tragedy [the Islamic terrorist attack, May 22, 2017]. It is terrorism. And it is evil. There can be neither moral justification of [Salman] Abedi’s actions [the Islamic terrorist who engaged in suicide bombing] nor any mitigating factors for those who indoctrinated, trained, and equipped him; they are just as guilty.

[O]n a broader level, it is essential that policymakers see terrorism as a black and white issue. To see it in shades of gray…is to imply that some terrorism is more legitimate than others. To allow any terrorist group to reap reward from its violence…legitimizes murder.” – Manchester bombing highlights UN hypocrisy on terror by Michael Rubin for the American Enterprise Institute May 23, 2017.

“Europe on the eve of its fifteenth-century expansion into the Atlantic was a civilization just beginning to recover from a century-long crisis. The fourteenth century was marked by famine, plague, invasion, rebellion and war. Failed harvests brought famine in the north in 1315-17 and into the south by 1346-47. A new cooler climate, known as the Little Ice Age, limited the growing season and reduced harvests. At mid-century, the infamous Black Death spread from Asia to the Middle East and then engulfed Europe… The plague devastated a European population that had exceeded its capacity to feed itself and was already in decline. In many regions of Western Europe, disease felled one-third to one-half of the population… Major epidemics returned again and again in the second half of the fourteenth century…One hundred years would pass before Europe’s population began to recover from this demographic collapse.” Pages 36 to 38 of The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400 – 1900 by Thomas Benjamin.

“It is the ordinary stuff of politics that we disagree over policy and personnel. We have well established tools for trying to overcome those disagreements and make collective disagreements and make collective decisions about how best to advance our common interests. We have elections; we deliberate; we negotiate; we compromise…

…Extreme political polarization and divided government can create temptations to use the impeachment power as just another way to outmaneuver one’s opponents. We should NOT normalize the impeachment power in that way.

…Impeachments are not about law and order; they are a constitutional solution to a political problem.” (Emphasis added) – What Is the Impeachment Power For? by Keith Whittington for the Library of Law and Liberty May 22, 2017.


“[I]n the U.S. it is wise to be very worried about the leftward drift – especially of the youth. More American high school and college students believe that socialism is a better economic organizing model than capitalism. Bernie Sanders advocated tax rates as high as 80 percent and a government takeover of the health care industry and he was celebrated as a liberator by the media and came [within] an eyelash of winning the Democratic nomination for president…

The enduring history lesson of the last century is [that] socialism leads to, well, crap. How dangerous that so few understand this.” – Cry for me, Venezuela by Stephen Moore for The Washington Times May 21, 2017.

“Donald Trump’s ongoing feud with the media is not the first time a president has felt wronged by the press… Virtually every president since [Richard] Nixon [1969 – 1974] has obsessed over what they’ve seen as unfair treatment by the press.

What’s different with President Trump is that he’s taken the fight to the press, openly and with relish. Nixon worked largely behind the scenes, threatening to take away broadcasters’ licenses if they didn’t shape up. Ronald Reagan [1981 – 1989] created what amounted to a White House news service, feeding stories directly to local news outlets in order to bypass the national press. George W. Bush [2001 – 2009] extended that strategy, adding video feeds to the mix. [Bill] Clinton [1993 – 2001] and Barack Obama [2009 – 2017] relied on one-on-one interviews with reporters in an effort to get out their side of the story.” – News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days by Thomas E. Patterson for the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy May 18, 2017.