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 Fri, 21 Sep 2018 02:28:27 -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 3a142e5d1666c3285ea383543d1a5964 Dirty, Dirty Dirt for 09/18/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/09/18/dirty-dirty-dirt Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Dirt is dirtier than clean is clean," observes one of John O'Hara's characters &#8212; a history professor, I think &#8212; remarking on the human race's observed partiality for darkness and grime in their news diet, rather than sweetness and light.</p> <p>Note the uproar over Brett Kavanaugh's behavior &#8212; nice or nasty &#8212; at a high school party he attended at age 17, during the early years of the Reagan administration and before cellphone cameras. The invitation to a good grime festival comes from Democrats, the national media and even Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Who are we to refuse? We like our dirt where we can find it. It's what Democrats seem to count on to sink a Supreme Court nomination.<p>Updated: Tue Sep 18, 2018</p> 1e12e5438b9f6a6f81fb69eb6441fe45 Where Did All the Unity Go? for 09/11/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/09/18/where-did-all-the-unity-go Tue, 11 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The annual approach of 9/11 brought memories, news recaps and, best of all, in some ways, speculation &#8212; as in, what's the matter with Americans today? Where's now the national unity that marked the aftermath of the attacks, the U.S. flags that decorated pickups and sedans, the spirit of we're all in this together?</p> <p>Umm, yes. Where, in fact, had that unity gone by the time the so-called victory over Iraq had sucked Americans into a guerrilla war and America's commander in chief was being castigated right and left?<p>Updated: Tue Sep 11, 2018</p> ac33191bdf10ab92dad01b6f723716f9 Kavanaugh and His Enemies for 09/04/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/09/18/kavanaugh-and-his-enemies Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What's the point, really? Beyond political theater, that is. </p> <p>The Kavanaugh smearing &#8212; I mean hearing &#8212; has naught to do with Senate inquiry into the fitness of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for service on the nation's highest court. </p> <p>The death of Sen. John McCain, rest his valiant soul, provides Republicans the security blanket his absence for health reasons might have denied them, given the partisan lineup: 50 Republicans, 49 Democrats.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 06, 2018</p> 0b8bfbc821dfbd8cadb7efea4550e5e4 Death of a Patriot for 08/27/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/08/18/death-of-a-patriot Mon, 27 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>John McCain's exit from life and politics has commentators of all sorts falling into interpretive contortions.</p> <p>"I opposed him, but..."<p>Updated: Mon Aug 27, 2018</p> 074b4dcd11597d262903a73ff376cda5 The Pennsylvania Horrors for 08/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/08/18/the-pennsylvania-horrors Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>First, the grand jury report: The accounts of abuse, humiliation and degradation on young people. And then everything hidden from view as far as possible &#8212; made to seem just, oh, you know, sort of digestible with a little effort and a lot of pretense. </p> <p>The identity of the offenders is the second horror: priests who betrayed God and their sacred vocation. Injuring the innocent; spoiling their lives and prospects; eating up in single gulps the accumulated trust of those who, whether abused personally or not, have regarded priests and their requests as God-centered. All this... why? For personal gratification, it would seem. For joy and for excitement, maybe. <span class="column--highlighted-text"> For the thrill, possibly, of committing moral treason and getting away with it.</span><p>Updated: Tue Aug 21, 2018</p> 540ec8653a557e4d75ededcf1db3d5ca Of Guilt and the Late Confederacy for 08/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/08/18/of-guilt-and-the-late-confederacy Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Anti-Confederate liberals (of various races) can't get over the fact that pro-common-sense liberals, moderates and conservatives (of various races) can't go over the fact that rhetorical agitation over race has led us down a blind alley.</p> <p>The supposed "nationalist" rally in Washington, D.C., last weekend was more an embarrassment to its promoters than it was anything else significant. No one showed up but cops, journalists and anti-nationalist protesters. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 14, 2018</p> 49c70e31d39542e8d9097dcaea616d94 Beto and Ted: The Feel of Battle Fatigue for 08/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/08/18/beto-and-ted-the-feel-of-battle-fatigue Tue, 07 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I'd bet a million bucks U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas won't lose his reelection bid at the hands of the gangly, boyish-looking Democratic congressman Robert Francis O'Rourke of El Paso.</p> <p>Still... <p>Updated: Tue Aug 07, 2018</p> 9db79ed4dfed50ac80649fd4ab37e771 Political Detente? Not Likely for 07/31/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/07/18/political-detente-not-likely Tue, 31 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>From Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, via a column in The Wall Street Journal, comes a call for "detente in partisan hostilities" of the sort that disfigure our politics: the ongoing "yeah, yeah, yeah, you lousy (obscenity)" style of discourse that we have come, sadly but inevitably, to associate with national governance. It seems obvious Americans no longer like or trust each other &#8212; and can't resist saying so without spitting. </p> <p>"America's culture war has reached a tipping point," writes Hatch, president pro tempore of the chamber to which he was first elected in 1976. "Something must change before anger succumbs to violence."<p>Updated: Tue Jul 31, 2018</p> 61b8a21cf0222eb73ebd15052eadcdf5 The Socialist Surge That's Not Coming for 07/24/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/william-murchison/07/18/the-socialist-surge-thats-not-coming Tue, 24 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>One of the really cool things about democracy is that voters tend to get what they want &#8212; which, um, can also turn out to be one of the really uncool things about democracy. A thing of real terror, if you want the truth. </p> <p>I tiptoe past the presidential election of 2016 on my way to look at the democratic socialist surge that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped produce, supposedly, with her surprise primary victory in June over U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley of Queens and the Bronx. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 24, 2018</p> 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>