Michael Erard


Follow That Bliss!

by | Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 12:00 am CST

Remembering Joe

Remember Joe, my old friend from Alpine? He would be 80 years old this year, but he’s long gone. Survived cancer long enough to see the truth of God-he’d finally asked to see a priest after a lifetime of avowed … Read More


Don’t Stop Believing

Renegade Bloggers Besiege the Southern Baptist Convention.

The bartender may well be the loneliest person in this hotel on San Antonio’s Riverwalk. Just feet away from the darkened bar, people mill around the lobby with plastic glasses of lemonade in hand. “Oh, they’re all Baptists,” says Ben … Read More


Las Americas

Guarded Language

It’s a couple of days after Mel Gibson’s Mayan fantasy Apocalypto opened in the United States, and my wife and I are following a young Mayan man, Agosto, through the Yucatán jungle. A tour guide and biologist, he’s showing us … Read More


Fragments of English

Texas has never been monolingual, and it never will be

There is a concoction of self-satisfied myth and ignorance about English that is served up at Sunday services, on the floor of the Texas Legislature, in newspaper editorials, and in political party platforms with the alacrity of nachos at a … Read More


Frame Wars

George Lakoff and Frank Luntz take on American values and political language.

The conventional view of politics says that people are swayed by words, images, or facts. But that’s false, according to Frank Luntz and George Lakoff, two of the most successful practitioners of political reality construction. They believe that increasingly political … Read More



What Would Jim Sledd Do?

Teaching writing to freshman college students–teaching writing to anyone–is like digging fencepost holes on the prairie. It is necessary work: without a hole there’s no post; without a post, there’s no fence; without a fence–everything falls to entropy. It’s also … Read More


A Radical in the Family

The children of activists struggle with their parents' choices

One spring morning in 1989, Rob Meeropol woke up with a political vision bright in his mind. Since the mid-1970s he’d been leading an effort to reopen the case of his parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in … Read More



The Seal

Every group of people, every place, has it own economy of belonging, and in each new place, in order to show you’re not dangerous, you have to spend the local currency. Otherwise the locals may murder you, or refuse to … Read More


Dateline Texas

Worth the Wait?

Does abstinence-only sex education work? Buzz Pruitt and Pat Goodson, two professors of health education at Texas A&M, can’t say. Not yet, anyway. In the last two years, they have received nearly $360,000 from the Texas Department of Health to … Read More