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James McPherson

American Janissaries

June 28, (or June 15, depending on your calendar preferences) is the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. In this battle, smaller Serbian and Bosnian forces took the field against the invading Ottoman Turks. Both armies were essentially wiped out, and both the Ottoman Sultan Murad and the Serbian leader Prince Lazar were killed. In keeping with Ottoman tradition, on the news of his father’s death in battle, Murad’s son Bayezid strangled his younger brother Yakub, becoming the sole heir t

Dunkirk: Can the English Get Home?

The Enemy has the English and French armies surrounded at Dunkirk. We never see the faces of the Enemy. The score of Dunkirk is incessant and driving. The film is a masterpiece. I was skeptical that this military disaster could be rendered as something heroic. Christopher Nolan has captured a change in the zeitgeist. This may be first patriotic movie of the 21st Century. “When 400,000 men couldn’t get home, home came for them.” The Enemy had bombed the British fleet and the main port facilities

American Homer: Kurt Sutter & Catholic Identity in Mid-Century America

Kurt Sutter is the creator of the popular television series Sons of Anarchy, about an outlaw motorcycle club in the fictional town of Charming, California, somewhere between Oakland and Stockton. Sutter also plays the character Otto, a member of the Sons. Otto is an older member, who went into Stockton State Prison to do a six-year sentence, committed crimes inside for the Club that added another 30, and ended up on death row. Via various gang warfare attacks within the prison walls he ends up b

Our Patriarchy Is Artisanal, Organic, and Locally Grown

After the recent Muslim slut-shaming in Manchester, England I thought that maybe there is a kinder, gentler way to promote modesty among young women of the West, besides blowing them up. In the Huffington Post Gabby Aossey’ explained the limits of American Feminism’s focus on the body and sexuality and concludes that Islam offers another way: As American women, many of us have an idea of what feminists are; freelancing women with all the sexual freedom in the world. But this is exactly the pr