William Wallace

Two Thumbs Up
May 18, 2012

On the morning of June 2, 1929, a detachment of federales gunned down a middle-aged former army general outside a hacienda chapel in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Enrique Gorostieta was the commander of a Catholic peasant militia known as the Cristeros, which had been fighting the government of President Plutarco Calles for three years. In 1926, the fiercely anti-clerical Calles had moved to curtail the Catholic Church’s activities in Mexico, demanding the registration of the clergy and stripping the Church of the right to own property.

Invitation To A Beheading
December 20, 2011

I haven't been able to get much inside dope about the negotiations that produced the bipartisan Senate deal to extend the payroll tax for two months. This is the deal that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refuses to pass, apparently because the Tea Party won't let it. It's their "Braveheart moment," according to Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican member of the Tea Party caucus, and John Boehner has an opportunity to be their William Wallace.

The Forest and the Trees
September 29, 2009

Understanding the construct we call Nature.

Obama By A Coin Flip
March 07, 2008

At 6 P.M. on Tuesday night, Crystal Viagran is standing on a street corner in East Austin, Texas, holding an Obama sign above her head. In less than an hour, she ditches the sign and walks toward Govalle Elementary School, the primary voting and caucus site for Precinct 426, and picks up a manila packet containing all the instructions for conducting that night's precinct convention. Crystal, 32, who works as a student adviser at the University of Texas, her alma mater, was elected precinct convention chair in 2006 by a total of three votes. That's how many people showed up to caucus.

The Forest and the Trees
August 07, 1995

Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama (Knopf, 652 pp., $40) We rush across the gleaming surface of the ocean, moving rapidly but smoothly above the untroubled beauty of the dark waters. Jagged cliffs and wild surf, rugged hills and lush grass pass beneath us. Music plays. Finally we reach our destination, where the action begins. It may be a prison from which a psychopathic bomber prepares to break out, or a clearing where poor Scottish farmers will discover the hanged bodies of their chiefs, or a village where women will be impregnated by aliens.