An Aggie Throwback: Answer Coffeehouse Rehearsal, Forty Years Out

Another milestone on the blog: the fortieth anniversary of the recording of the Answer Coffeehouse Rehearsal in College Station, Texas.  It's primitive in many ways but for those of us who were involved in it it's the only recording out there.  There aren't many Christian coffee-house recordings from the day around in general; this is …

When Your Metairie is Wiped Out: My First Post After Hurricane Katrina

This weekend is the tenth anniversary of the Gulf Coast landing of Hurricane Katrina, which wrought so much destruction in both Louisiana and Mississippi.  I had started the predecessor format of this blog earlier that year.  Given ancestral and business interests, a disaster of this size made an impact on me, especially after visiting the …

Why I'm In No Hurry to Back a Republican Presidential Candidate

We're about a year out from the Republican National Convention, and already we're off to the races with one debate.  Iowa and New Hampshire are already awash in visits, paid media and free media.  The heat's on for Republicans to make up their minds about whom they plan to support. Let's start with the Republican …

The Ottoman Tales XI: They'd Rather Die Christian

This ends a series inspired (somewhat) by Noel Barber’s The Sultans.  The previous instalment is here. If there's one thing to be learned about studying the Ottomans, it's that there are many strange stories to tell.  What makes up "strange" depends upon one's frame of reference.  In his book on Palm Beach, Laurence Leamer characterised …

The Ottoman Tales X: An Officer and a Gentleman

This continues a series inspired (somewhat) by Noel Barber’s The Sultans.  The previous instalment is here. I've mentioned earlier that the Ottomans were capable of adjusting their MO to suit non-Turkish public opinion when the situation called for it.  This story--which comes long after the last Sultan abdicated and the Empire came to an end--shows …

The Ottoman Tales IX: Seated at the Right Hand

This continues a series inspired (somewhat) by Noel Barber’s The Sultans.  The previous instalment is here. As I've noted earlier, the Ottoman Empire's lurch towards representative government was one of fits and starts, mostly fits.  The first Ottoman parliament opened in March 1877, in (of all places) the Sultan's own Dolmabache Palace (soon to be …

The Ottoman Tales VIII: Christians, Keep Your Promises

This continues a series inspired (somewhat) by Noel Barber’s The Sultans.  The previous instalment is here. The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans was a process written in blood, as was their inclusion in the Sultan's realm.  The Romanian count who is known as Dracula fought to keep up the independence of his …

The Ottoman Tales VII: Sick Man of Europe, Sick Man of North America

This continues a series inspired (somewhat) by Noel Barber’s The Sultans.  The previous instalment is here. Most students of European history, especially those who focus on the nineteenth century, know the Ottoman Empire as "the sick man of Europe".  People today don't get the impact of that moniker: then what it meant was that the …

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