William Murchison from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 22 Jul 2018 04:23:23 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss William Murchison from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/william-murchison-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison f3d593d84afa7f86c57c6e2d248b6d87 Anti-Semitism Creeps Back for 07/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/07/18/anti-semitism-creeps-back Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>And what to my wondering eyes should appear, at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church this month, but a heap of painful evidence that the foreign policy of the United States isn't in disarray solely because of Donald Trump. </p> <p>An insubstantial number of Americans seem capable these days &#8212; in contrast with the Cold War era &#8212; of figuring out for long who the good guys are and aren't. It used to be so easy. The commies were bad. Then we beat the commies, and... and...<p>Updated: Tue Jul 17, 2018</p> 39c37c8c076b91e0e31e81ded06a8252 Hurray for Justice-to-be Kavanaugh for 07/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/07/18/hurray-for-justice-to-be-kavanaugh Tue, 10 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Into the slough, the swamp, the quagmire called 21st-century American life walks the prospective Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh: Lord help him, even while helping 21st-century America get its act together. Maybe. You can hope.</p> <p>However...<p>Updated: Tue Jul 10, 2018</p> 18939521710a32cef72a48e825c790a7 Roe v. Wade and the Confusion of Sen. Collins for 07/03/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/07/18/roe-v-wade-and-the-confusion-of-sen-collins Tue, 03 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Neat! We know what the Supreme Court debate is all about &#8212; the debate, that is to say, over who shall take retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat.</p> <p>The debate is about abortion. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 03, 2018</p> dd21a331607bb61de0da6e0c6e771c70 The View from the Pigsty for 06/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/06/18/the-view-from-the-pigsty Wed, 27 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Yes, all right; what's this, in the 242nd year of American independence? Something about a restaurant? A verbal brawl? The president seen as the cause?</p> <p>Nobody said modern life is easy or fun. Our fascination, nevertheless, with the ejection of the presidential press secretary from a Virginia restaurant shows just how out off-kilter things have gotten &#8212; to the supernatural embarrassment of those who, with high hopes, set up the Constitution.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 27, 2018</p> 56bb59721fca7b576371b5bcc3e43642 A No-Win Confrontation for 06/19/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/06/18/a-no-win-confrontation Tue, 19 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>By the start of the week, the Trump administration's degenerate-satanic-jackbooted-sieg heil policy of detaching from their parents the children of captured illegal border-crossers was taking on water and listing amidships: a failure of what they call "optics," which means the way things look, in politics most of all. You don't do things your political opponents can sell to the voters as degenerate, satanic and the rest of it. Thus prospects multiply for an early rethinking of the present policy.</p> <p>Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, afforded an instance of the rhetorical possibilities sprouting from too much diligence in guarding your national borders. "Ripping children out of their parents' arms to inflict harm on the child to influence the parents is unacceptable," said Merkley.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 19, 2018</p> c9e6fddaf17233f940a1d8cb0a23c581 Of the Baptists and the Modern World for 06/12/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/06/18/of-the-baptists-and-the-modern-world Tue, 12 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I live in amity with the Southern Baptists, whose general tolerance for my fellow "Whiskeypalians" I take kindly. I wouldn't dream of joining the media whoop-de-do over who among the Baptist faithful did what to whom, and when, and what to do now. You have read it all; I will not recount the imputations of Baptist sexism, patriarchy and the Lord knows what else.</p> <p>There is a point, even so, to be made about life in an environment &#8212; this one &#8212; where religious standards of belief and behavior more frequently encounter scorn or indifference than support.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 12, 2018</p> 4321e8f3e0018e7d9f711e42f492884b The High Court and Religious Freedom for 06/05/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/06/18/the-high-court-and-religious-freedom Tue, 05 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The U.S. Supreme Court's 7-2 decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case makes clear as day what the justices' careful reasoning merely implies. To wit, the rights of religious freedom and free exercise thereof are anything but elephant traps along the path to cultural peace &#8212; assuming we mean, in these vexed and anxious times, to tread that uncertain pathway. These twin First Amendment guarantees likely have never mattered more to peace and reconciliation than they do today.</p> <p>The more religious freedom, the better, I'm telling you. <p>Updated: Tue Jun 05, 2018</p> d0698417c15b6cbf2849706f44d93778 Trump and 'the Truth' for 05/30/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/05/18/trump-and-the-truth Wed, 30 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A once-upon-a-time voice for journalistic respectability, the Columbia Journalism Review, has consigned to the well-known hot place the notion that respectability entails letting voters rather than reporters decide whether a president is Abe Lincoln or a dirty lying rat. The Review leans to the latter conclusion. </p> <p>The Review's daily and (to me) always-absorbing look at media goings-on raises the question of how to talk about, well, a lying rat of a president: a distinction most media institutions have awarded Donald Trump. The Review highlights The New York Times' efforts to call Trump a liar without actually calling him one. <p>Updated: Wed May 30, 2018</p> e58ddc8333987e8264670a65f5893576 It Didn't Use to Be This Way for 05/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/05/18/it-didnt-use-to-be-this-way Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One telling detail keeps escaping the men and women of words who would end school shootings by one expedient or another: gun control, better security, the arming of teachers, more careful vetting of potential gunmen and so forth. </p> <p>The detail of which I speak: We didn't use to endure this horror. It didn't happen. </p> <p>The urgent question that flows from this detail: Why not? <p>Updated: Tue May 22, 2018</p> 2df88baf1202ff16a8bc6aae0fda5480 Culture Unbalanced for 05/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/05/18/culture-unbalanced Tue, 15 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Here's a cute little item from The New York Times this past weekend: "Is Your Script Gender-Balanced? Try This Test."</p> <p>Is your script... <i>what?</i><p>Updated: Tue May 15, 2018</p> e46a6c54ad71b1d301b6e6e370628800 'Authoritarians' of All Sorts for 05/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/05/18/authoritarians-of-all-sorts Tue, 08 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Liar," "wacko," "immoralist" &#8212; the reproaches Donald Trump endures, or rejoices in, are numberless. And let's not forget "authoritarian," an echo of leading political players stretching back to Julius Caesar.</p> <p>I highlight this particular reproach on account of the furor and to-do over whether Justice Anthony Kennedy should resign forthwith from the Supreme Court, affording the president the pre-election chance for a gimme in filling the seat. Or whether Kennedy should remain in place, conspicuously <i>not</i> affording the president such a chance.<p>Updated: Tue May 08, 2018</p> 59024d1c6af2dcab23a81a3a3f8a13ff The Cosby Backwash for 05/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/05/18/the-cosby-backwash Tue, 01 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The basic meaning of the Bill Cosby verdict &#8212; as we hear and receive it &#8212; is that the female accusers of male boors and cads and abusers are finally getting "believed" and not just written off as hysterical.</p> <p>Ah. Maybe so &#8212; when it comes to matters of courtroom evidence. The jury hearing the Cosby case, and delivering its verdict last week, clearly believed that the accusers held higher cards than the accused &#8212; for all his celebrity, and in spite of his cultivated image.<p>Updated: Tue May 01, 2018</p> a1cae725c4e4fbd18802108b425a50f8 Us and Those Bushes for 04/24/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/04/18/us-and-those-bushes Tue, 24 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I am not here today comparing the Bushes to any other political tribe or family extant or extinguished! </p> <p>That needs fully to be understood before I open my mouth wider. </p> <p>The highly publicized death and burial of the family's matriarch puts in my mind, and I hope the minds of others, a matter little remarked on since the 20th century. To wit, the norms and the decencies, the styles and the modes Americans once took for granted in their common life. <p>Updated: Tue Apr 24, 2018</p> f0dcef103baf9f2076aceb18e03a0367 Paul Ryan and Freedom for 04/17/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/04/18/paul-ryan-and-freedom Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Amid the political hullabaloo now engulfing us &#8212; special prosecutors, tell-all memoirs, calls for impeachment, Lord knows what else &#8212; the opportunity to salute Paul Ryan has a cleansing effect, like heavy-duty detergent following a food fight.</p> <p>The opportunity arises on account of Ryan's understandable but saddening decision to quit politics cold turkey. He retires next January not just from the House speakership but also from Congress itself after two decades. He's had it. He wants to reunite with his family. <span class="column--highlighted-text">No one who regards wife and children as objects more cherishable than a press conference or a fundraiser can possibly blame him.</span><p>Updated: Tue Apr 17, 2018</p> 80ef525872b8c84c26612e906b087438 Mr. Zuckerberg Goes to Washington for 04/10/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/04/18/mr-zuckerberg-goes-to-washington Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Mark Zuckerberg will straighten out Congress this week on Communications in the Modern Era &#8212; or Congress will straighten out Mark Zuckerberg. Or maybe both. Or maybe it doesn't matter. Or matters barely. </p> <p>The point on which to keep the eye is the revolutionary context wherein Facebook, using previously unimaginable technology, operates to the benefit or detriment of its billions of users. From whom &#8212; I make bold to deflect the narrative flow &#8212; I am deliberately absent.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 10, 2018</p> 09d1b48aa0c39ff64f86b72fcf619007 The Joke's on Us for 04/03/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/04/18/the-jokes-on-us-ad69a Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I did mention Elvis once in a column, and in the '90s I pointed to one Donald Trump as the TV star you'd least likely want sitting next to you at a dinner party. And yet the likelihood, back then, of ever mentioning Roseanne Barr &#8212; it just didn't compute. But these days... </p> <p>I haven't, as of this writing, seen Barr's new show, and may not rush to supply that cultural deficiency. Not that she'd likely notice, given the Himalayan ratings she and John Goodman have been reaping for &#8212; for what? For not breaking a metaphorical egg over the president's head at every turn in the script? <p>Updated: Tue Apr 03, 2018</p> 2fe3a37918c7b5c2ccdf1784096ce6cd Might Makes Might for 03/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/03/18/might-makes-might Tue, 27 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A door creaks &#8212; metaphorically, of course &#8212; and a metaphorical breeze slinks into the room.</p> <p>American foreign policy is beginning to change &#8212; possibly renewing itself after an unprepossessing time of small-beer actions interspersed with grand apologies for past actions.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 27, 2018</p> ab7e224625fee36520f2d0a9e9e057ea Little Ado Over Much for 03/20/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/03/18/little-ado-over-much Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On a single weekend in mid-March, the dictator of Russia was reaffirmed in his official estate with 76.77 percent of the vote, after an election characterized by international observers as "overly controlled"; and the dictator of China was awarded a lifetime lease on power by 2,970 votes in the National People's Congress, with just two delegates voting no, three abstaining and one experiencing the disqualification of his ballot. </p> <p>And wasn't there something else that weekend? Maybe this: The president of the United States drew near-nuclear verbal attacks for authorizing and celebrating the dismissal of the FBI's deputy director.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 20, 2018</p> b77f013e49e43447269289d80fa312a9 Language and Anarchy for 03/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/03/18/language-and-anarchy Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Yeah, yeah, yeah &#8212; you prude!" I can already hear the accusation coming my way. But who cares? "Yeah, yeah, yeah" right back at you, buster.</p> <p>Preliminaries out of the way, let's get down to cases. No journalistic titan of the H.L. Mencken variety is "Meet the Press'" Chuck Todd. Yet he makes a point, which I am sorry to say few others are making, about the corruption of language and behavior. This comes after the chief magistrate of the nation, in a weekend rally, called Todd an SOB &#8212; except using the actual words, not the initials. Todd objected. He thought a U.S. president shouldn't set bad examples by talking thus.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 13, 2018</p> 2f1164079663c449c6fcdd26b8594b65 Heroism in a Dark Theater for 03/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/03/18/heroism-in-a-dark-theater Tue, 06 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The explicable story of "Dunkirk" lost the Academy Award for best picture to the wholly inexplicable tale of how an underwater critter and a mute janitor fell in love &#8212; which shows you the inexplicable dimensions of the world the movie industry imagines itself as inhabiting these days.</p> <p>But Winston Churchill showed up also, both as a kind of backdrop in "Dunkirk" and as the hero of "Darkest Hour" (portrayed by Gary Oldman, in a superb impersonation for which he was named best actor). Below the surface of this concurrence swim critters more familiar than the merman of the Oscar-winning "The Shape of Water" &#8212; more familiar, and far more indicative of how the world really works.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 06, 2018</p>