Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 21 Aug 2018 23:23:37 -0700 Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate 4f27e0f6fcae830b3fdd753fc6539695 Fear and Loathing of Jordan Peterson for 08/17/2018 Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Ah, men! This is the ultimate exclamation of women, frustrated, puzzled and baffled by the other half of the human race, forever a riddle wrapped in ambiguity, ambivalence, anticipation &#8212; and admiration and affection. The exclamation has never been static. That frustration and bafflement is once more examined and re-examined, stretched and shrunk, applauded and animated with vigor and vitriol. </p> <p>The latest provocateur is a Canadian psychologist and "public intellectual" who writes with fresh insight into the nature of the male animal. Dr. Jordan Peterson is a true phenomenon, a professor at the University of Toronto whose books and lectures are sold out, and whose multiple videos are played and replayed on social media. Depending on who you ask, he's the archetypal victim or brainy hero of these polarized times when an innocent conversation between a man and a woman can explode with awesome effect and considerable collateral damage. One profiler calls him "perhaps the single most loathed person by journalistic and intellectual classes in Canada and the United States," with the exception of President Trump<p>Updated: Fri Aug 17, 2018</p> 73e0274466e847f95bc35b9f293ccb58 Women Rise to Defy the Sleaze Slingers Against Kavanaugh for 08/10/2018 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Only yesterday the Democrats in the U.S. Senate were giddy with the idea that Judge Brett Kavanaugh had united the women of America, who would pressure their senators to do him in. But the campaign to confirm Kavanaugh for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is beginning to look like ladies' day at the baseball park.</p> <p>Successfully casting Kavanaugh as Harvey Weinstein will be difficult. Eighteen of the 25 women who have served as Kavanaugh law clerks, who know the judge best, signed a letter (the other seven couldn't sign because of current or pending employment elsewhere) describing "uniformly positive experiences with the Judge as a boss on issues of gender and equality in the workplace."<p>Updated: Fri Aug 10, 2018</p> 30d360af4a815edd418e636f0f32ce3f Searching for Somebody to Trust for 08/03/2018 Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Fake news," alas, is authentic enough. Just because the label was popularized by President Donald Trump doesn't mean it isn't sometimes real. It's a label covering a multitude of sins.</p> <p>But let's also be clear: The press is not the "enemy of the people," as the president tweeted after he met in the Oval Office with A.G. Sulzberger, 37, the new publisher of The New York Times. The publisher was right to defend honorable men and women who are doing their jobs. Rigorous reporters shouldn't be lumped in with the reporters who let their opinions leach into the facts.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 03, 2018</p> b3ead9a970213513c5d5bab24d93ad4c Submerged in a Din of Identity Politics for 07/27/2018 Fri, 27 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The human animal seems hard-wired for tribalism, and the ties that bind are shaped by our compelling need to group together, obeying calls for loyalties and exclusions. Some groupings not only contribute to the gratifications of bonding, whether in family, clubs, choirs or loyalty to sports teams, but also provide the glue that holds a community together.</p> <p>But tribes become the "factions" that former President George Washington warned against in his Farewell Address, heightening differences and rivalries that the Founding Fathers hoped to dilute through checks and balances in the three branches of government. In the age of the internet, tribalism asserts itself in the flood of outrage stories that bombard us hourly, and make us angry and hostile toward those with whom we disagree.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 27, 2018</p> bf229fa4811713b7e0d47f403e157633 #UsToo Strikes Back, Demanding Equal Justice for 07/20/2018 Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This may not be the latest idea whose time has come &#8212; there's no scarcity of the angry and the aggrieved &#8212; but a growing number of men are mad about discrimination. In loud baritone, they're saying, "We're not going to take it anymore."</p> <p>They're hiring lawyers, in that all-American way of proving they're serious, and they're organizing what they proudly call "the men's movement." If it's derivative, they should call it #UsToo. It's a further poisoning of the well whence both men and women drink.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 20, 2018</p> 38825f2b43f7928fd916a437399a651b Supreme Success, but There's a Brawl Ahead for 07/13/2018 Fri, 13 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of my colleagues in the writing trade often reminds me that the ancient folk wisdom "Nothing succeeds like success" is misleading. Success is fragile, "and it's more accurate to say that nothing recedes like success," he says.</p> <p>He may be on to something, and it's something the Democrats, who see decades of liberal judicial dominion fading, and the Republicans, who think they're on the cusp of success in their goal of restoring the U.S. Supreme Court to its early role of guarding the Constitution as written, would both do well to keep in mind. The brawl is only beginning over the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the high court.</p> <p>About the only thing the Democrats and Republicans, conservative and the liberal alike, can agree on is that the stakes are great and a permanent conservative majority &#8212; permanent as politics can make and measure it &#8212; would make itself felt across the culture for decades to come.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 13, 2018</p> e12742f17ed2063ea683afebf6a77532 Defining Deviancy Down for 06/29/2018 Fri, 29 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Robert De Niro, the actor, aimed the f-bomb at President Donald Trump in remarks to a large audience at the Tony Awards. Following an appreciative applause, he repeated it and got a standing ovation. Samantha Bee, the television comedian, used the even more vulgar c-word to describe the president's daughter Ivanka Trump.</p> <p>Well, they're only words, some people say.</p> <p>"The problem with Robert De Niro's using the F-word against President Tump isn't the word itself," writes Christine Emba in the Washington Post, "it's the absence of underlying content." But the obscenities are the only "underlying content." Bee's audience, which gave her a rousing cheer, got the message loud and clear. It loved it.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 29, 2018</p> 074969e5f2d19fbb25c726aabb736f48 A New Look at a Forbidden Romance for 06/22/2018 Fri, 22 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If Sally Hemings were still with us, she would be the poster child of the #MeToo movement. Such speculation is the stuff of revisionist presidential history, and a new exhibit at Monticello humanizes, for better or worse, the portrait of Thomas Jefferson the slave owner.</p> <p>There's no portrait of Hemings in the history books, but now she gets new attention at Monticello, the remarkable mansion built by the third president just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in which she lived. The exhibit revives discussion about whether the woman who was his slave was also the author of the Declaration of Independence's mistress and the mother of several of his children.</p> <p>Many historians now believe that Jefferson was indeed the father of Hemings' children. This was disputed by earlier Jefferson scholars, particularly the pre-eminent Jefferson scholar Dumas Malone. The new look reduces the president to a man no better than Harvey Weinstein or former President Bill Clinton. There's a difference, however, in hitting on a helpless woman for a few minutes of cheap sex, and a deeper relationship of love and responsibility in the shadows, giving her a powerful position from which to negotiate her ultimate freedom and the freedom of her children.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 22, 2018</p> b92e63a550b0c9b5e84bd431c7ecb33d Singapore Beyond the Theatrics for 06/15/2018 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un introduced a new kind of reality show when they met in Singapore. It wasn't a matter of who would be fired or voted off the island. The stakes were nuclear, or, to be precise, the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." This was the powerful aphrodisiac that lured the president to Singapore.</p> <p>Is Kim singing the siren's song? Or is he serious? Was this reality TV or merely reality? These are the questions that engaged us as we watched the president's dealmaking. The coverage was more a review of theatrics than high-stakes negotiation and framed as which man was the better actor.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 15, 2018</p> 0fc1e7f7aaba101fa59b0df9c289fc69 Bill Clinton and #MonicaToo for 06/08/2018 Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Bill Clinton is back, and as Yogi Berra might say, "It's deja vu all over again." Well, not quite.</p> <p>Anyone who watched the former president's NBC "Today" show interview with Craig Melvin saw the same old leopard with the same old spots and the same old chutzpah. But at 71 and out of power, he's less protected by friends in the media and consequently less persuasive. We're all looking at the Clinton years through a clearer lens now, and his explanations for wrongdoing range from unbelievable to offensive to the stuff of satire.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 08, 2018</p> 953aef065314c303b4d845e80421d261 Rising Anti-Semitism in Europe Sounds a Warning to a New Generation for 06/01/2018 Fri, 01 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>BERLIN &#8212; The American response to the history of the Holocaust is changing. So, too, is the response of the Germans. "History teaches, but has no pupils," Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist philosopher, once said. But he was wrong.</p> <p>Pupils abound, but they often do not limit their curiosity to what their teachers teach them. The history of the Holocaust is a kaleidoscope of fact and opinion dispensed among different generations, and rigorous discussion and debate is always a strong disinfectant to apply to both misinformation and disinformation. Updates are required.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 01, 2018</p> ce8e1e807d910a1d827b008fc52b35c6 Now Arriving: Porn Feminism for 05/11/2018 Fri, 11 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We've entered the porn phase of feminism. You could call it the third stage. Those of the first stage, led by Susan B. Anthony and the suffragettes, wore white to proclaim their virtue and show themselves as morally superior to men who opposed them. They won the vote in 1920, despite then-President Woodrow Wilson's frown.</p> <p>The second stage arrived in the 1960s, when Betty Friedan's book, "The Feminine Mystique," appealed to middle-class mothers confined to homes she described as "comfortable concentration camps." She said such women could be more profitably and psychologically rewarded in the workplace as equals to men. Second-stage feminists are the grandmothers of the #MeToo movement.<p>Updated: Fri May 11, 2018</p> 43258d6abeb60c6f7452446caf27e74c Just in Time, Springtime in Washington for 05/04/2018 Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's hard to remember a season when so many informed, knowledgeable and sophisticated men and women spent so much time talking about the weather and longing for change, literally and figuratively; complaining about the windy days of winter; and yearning for the extended days of light and warmth, when that lucky ol' sun finally chases away cloud and murk. On that, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, clumsy Romeo and angry feminist are at last united, if only for a little while.</p> <p>In one article, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal mimics a bird's song, a harbinger of spring, as if the bird were a source (And why not?), writing "byeet-byeet-chur-chur-chur." She contrasts the birdsong with the machine-shop cacophony of President Donald Trump's tweets and telephone calls. The winter's turbulence retreats reluctantly.<p>Updated: Fri May 04, 2018</p> 2ee6d2da17652dd0448f5b5e56a9ad4c Finally, We Can Let Melania Be Melania for 04/27/2018 Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This has been the fortnight of the first ladies. Last week, the focus was on two former first ladies, one through mourning and fond admiring recollections, and one through yet another book of scathing analytical criticism. Barbara Bush was celebrated for her blunt dignity. Hillary Clinton was recalled for her campaign of blunt excuses for her own failures.</p> <p>In death, Bush was praised as an old-fashioned matriarch speaking her mind with a sharp tongue, loved by family and lauded as the wife of one president and the mother of another. In life, Clinton has never been at home in the role of "wife of," and she took pride in not being the kind of wife and mother who stayed home and baked cookies. She yearned for an Oval Office of her own and blames everyone but herself for not getting there.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018</p> 235fb73e8a6a4fbeb497d7aa13d992e8 The G-Men and Their Emojis for 04/20/2018 Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Once upon a time in a previous century, I was invited to watch a widely banned movie, "I Am Curious (Yellow)," in company with a number of FBI agents and officials to see just how naughty it was. I had written about censorship and whether the movie was over the line of decency. The U.S. Supreme Court would eventually decide that it wasn't. There were mildly graphic sex scenes, nothing like the R-rated movies of today but enough to make me uncomfortable watching with clean-cut G-men with neatly combed hair, buttoned up jackets and neutral ties. They weren't comfortable either, watching it with a woman present.</p> <p>I tried to look straight at the screen, but when my eyes wandered, I saw frowns of embarrassment around me. Times have obviously moved on, but the discomfort I saw must be what many agents felt listening to the excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty," especially when their ex-boss said there might be some truth, though no evidence, in the salacious details. The social media shorthand described it as the "pee tape."<p>Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018</p> 02a0cec24fbb27d78ffbda37da798f78 Free Speech in the Time of Rant and Rage for 04/13/2018 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Polarities are the spice in a dish of politics in search of a recipe. Sometimes the dish becomes a fallen souffle, and once a souffle falls, no hostess can serve it with pride.</p> <p>The celebrated chefs of Washington's political cuisine are having to deal with fallen souffles cooked to recipes that worked once but now not so much. The midterm elections begin to close on the cooks like the pressure of the approaching first seating at a popular restaurant. Sometimes the chef just quits the kitchen in frustration. Case in point: House Speaker Paul Ryan. The rest of us are stuffed with the unrelenting breaking news that scrambles every point of view into something that looks more like a kitchen disaster than dinner.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 13, 2018</p> a7fdc6e5fc6e7896591ca27ce0933033 A Good Man Is Still Hard to Find for 04/06/2018 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Women have been complaining since the original Adams family was evicted from the Garden of Eden that "A good man is hard to find." Despite radical feminist mockery of the very idea of manliness, that men are natural sexual predators, most women &#8212; with very few exceptions &#8212; still want one. </p> <p>The #MeToo movement has nevertheless changed a lot of things in the wake of the sexual harassment-scandal season. One of them is the regard in which men are universally held by women. <span class="column--highlighted-text">It often seems we're back to the '80s, when there was a similar assault on the idea of manhood and some women decried all sex as rape.</span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 06, 2018</p> 8f4d12ba592be83d60971ab7027e4229 Trying the Golden Rule in Washington for 03/30/2018 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>So much turmoil. So much chaos. So much cynicism in Washington, D.C., and everywhere else. "Divide" is the name of the game. Everyone is in fighting mode. The most dramatic (and ludicrous) image of the week was President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden boasting how they could punch each other out, as if they were heavyweight boxers prepping for the "Thrilla in Manila" or "the Rumble in the Jungle." Two mature men seasoned in the highest offices of the land sounded more like adolescent boys on the playground, testing their testosterone.</p> <p>When Rex Tillerson bid farewell to the State Department, having found out he was fired as secretary of state via a Twitter message, he reminded the audience, "This can be a very mean-spirited town." He urged the audience to counter the nastiness, "to treat each other with respect, regardless of the job title, the station in life, or your role." He spoke with a familiar echo of the Golden Rule, saying: "We're all just human beings trying to do our part. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be, and the way we want to be treated, and the way we will treat others."<p>Updated: Fri Mar 30, 2018</p> c39ab2c55f12edc037e856fdbe8a4baa Stormy Weather Over the White House for 03/23/2018 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's difficult to have a reasonable conversation about sexual mores in the Age of Trump. We could start with the "Access Hollywood" tape, made in 2005 when Donald Trump was the star of a different kind of reality show than the one he is now. His vulgar boasts about how to seduce women did not prevent him from being elected president.</p> <p>Enough voters understood that he thrived in a contemporary culture of macho manhood, which many hoped was receding but knew was far from finished. If Trump was still on the retro side of public sexual attitudes, there were many men (and women) keeping him company.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 23, 2018</p> 9025d3562300ff6ef0cb03c8d00907d2 Twitter, Truthiness and Titillation for 03/16/2018 Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When talking politics, online or in person, you don't often hear anything about the "magnificent middle." You hear epithets like the "dirtbag left" or the "wicked alt-right," and all of the ugly, free associations with references to commies and fascists, loonies and wackos. Moderation is mush; even-handedness is stupid considering two sides of an issue is so 20th century (or maybe 19th). Only one side could possibly be right.</p> <p>Arrogance and self-righteousness reign everywhere &#8212; and rain, too.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 16, 2018</p>