William Murchison

Home William Murchison
What the Editors Are Reading: January 2021
Post

What the Editors Are Reading: January 2021

First the crazies tore down statues they deemed offensive. Next they vandalized churches. Then they demanded trigger warnings on classic movies like Gone with the Wind and Blazing Saddles. If these monsters ever discover libraries, books will be next.

Ain’t It the Truth?
Post

Ain’t It the Truth?

The Anglican Church of Canada clutches its throat at the prospect of—Lord have mercy—shutting down its ministries and works 20 years from now. You know—putting up the “Closed” sign, the public demand for said ministries dwindling more with every passing

After the Great Orange Whale
Post

After the Great Orange Whale

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”—a pretty flat declaration as reported by the Apostle Paul, leaving few gaps for politicians to fill at their own discretion. But you know politicians. Here we go with the impeachment hearings,

And I Solemnly Promise You
Post

And I Solemnly Promise You

Beto O’Rourke’s pullout from the presidential race leaves the Democrats with, oh, a mere dozen and a half or so candidates available to run the country. The country’s corresponding task is to keep awake for the remainder of the race.

What in Heaven’s Name Goes On?
Post

What in Heaven’s Name Goes On?

At its best, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s high-octane assault on religious freedom calls for brandy and an extended lie-down in a dark room. That’s the best that can be said of it. Its worst has to do with the disdain

The Moral Tale of Two Cities
Post

The Moral Tale of Two Cities

[Above: Texas Governor Greg Abbott]
The “progressive,” so to speak, vision of politics and public life envisions tighter and tighter government control over economic life, along with looser and looser controls over human behavior. I think you’d refer to the

Impeachment: The Hearsay Conundrum
Post

Impeachment: The Hearsay Conundrum

There’s so much to say about Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment gig that one hardly knows where to start. But here’s a live possibility: We start with Sen. Lindsey Graham’s characterization of how this game is to be played.

We’re trying to

Now the Left is Quick to Convict
Post

Now the Left is Quick to Convict

We can’t seem to have a news event (and everything that happens in our capital city is a capital-E event these days) without the searing cry in the background, drowning out all other discourse: “Impeach! Impeach!” You might call it

Main Street U.S.A.
Post

Main Street U.S.A.

We the People…

The world, my friends, is going to… and that’s just the point: We don’t know where in the world the world is going. Only that it’s moving at a high speed, in ways likely to upset existing

Post

What the Editors Are Reading

During Russell Kirk’s fruitful lifetime
I regularly took his sage advice concerning
books I ought to read. Dr. Kirk
had seemingly perused everything worth
perusing. Thus, on his say-so in 1968, I
read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested
T. S.

The Wisdom of Federalism
Post

The Wisdom of Federalism

“How Much Damage Have Republicans Done in the States?”

Gosh! Worlds of damage, you’d imagine, if you’re a typical client of The New York Times nursery school system, where more and more government is good and less and less government

Post

Wake-Up Call to the Scared Bunnies

A MarketWatch story this summer let us in on why millennials stash so little cash in 401(k) accounts. Like, given climate change, what’s the point? “The weather systems are already off,” a woman named Lori Rodriguez told a MarketWatch reporter,

March On
Post

March On

What you might find on a long walk, a determined walk, a walk of exploration, you never know, of course, until you take the next step.  And the next; and the next—in Rory Stewart’s case, across the constantly revelatory terrain

The Empty Plinth
Post

The Empty Plinth

With the Midterm Elections safely behind us, should we count on the left to renounce the fun of castigating nonleft types for their racism, sexism, and hetero normativism?  Not on a bet.

We’re at a new place in the world. 

Baby, It’s Crazy Outside
Post

Baby, It’s Crazy Outside

As Cole Porter slyly reminds us: “In olden days a glimpse of stocking / Was looked on as something shocking / Now heaven knows / Anything goes. . . . “

Well, you know, depending on the state of Puritan

Come, Ye Thankful People
Post

Come, Ye Thankful People

A “progressive” rap on “social conservatives”: All they crave is power to tell you whom to sleep with, and how, and what god (if any) to worship. This contrasts, naturally, with broad-minded types of the progressive persuasion, who don’t care

Dirty, Dirty Dirt
Post

Dirty, Dirty Dirt

“Dirt is dirtier than clean is clean,” observes one of John O’Hara’s characters—a history professor, I think—remarking on the human race’s observed partiality for darkness and grime in their news diet, rather than sweetness and light.

Note the uproar over

Of Guilt and the Late Confederacy
Post

Of Guilt and the Late Confederacy

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.

The supposed “nationalist” rally

The Socialist Surge That’s Not Coming
Post

The Socialist Surge That’s Not Coming

One of the really cool things about democracy is that voters tend to get what they want—which, um, can also turn out to be one of the really uncool things about democracy. A thing of real terror, if you want

Roe v. Wade and the Confusion of Sen. Collins
Post

Roe v. Wade and the Confusion of Sen. Collins

Neat! We know what the Supreme Court debate is all about—the debate, that is to say, over who shall take retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat.

The debate is about abortion.

Or so declares Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican moderate from

Of the Baptists and the Modern World
Post

Of the Baptists and the Modern World

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

The Joke’s On Us
Post

The Joke’s On Us

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,

Not Your Brain
Post

Not Your Brain

Let’s give credit where it’s due.  Linda Greenhouse, retired Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, is a brilliantly qualified journalist: hard-working, creative, dedicated to the needs of her profession as she understands them.

Which seems really to

Post

Roy Moore and the Augean Stables

IMG_6272

We were going to have this conversation one of these days—if you consider a barrage of claims, assertions, denials and calls for resignation a conversation.

However, I digress.

We were going to find ourselves tied in knots eventually over matters

Post

Exit Mr. Weinstein; Hold the Tears

IMG_5698

Harvey Weinstein was just expressing his little ol’ self, right? That is what you do, even when it gets you fired, as happened to Weinstein, or suspended, as happened to Jemele Hill at ESPN, or threatened with suspension, as in

Post

Offsides for the Kneel-In

IMG_5533

Let’s not stress out, shall we, while endeavoring to make sense of the fuss and foolishness over mass NFL boycotting of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That would be because the fuss and foolishness themselves make no sense: save as a window

Post

The Old Ways Were Better

IMG_5463

Harking back fondly to the standards of half a century go—aah, weren’t those the blithe, happy days?—won’t get you much of a hearing from today’s self-appointed arbiters of college and university moral questions.

I don’t care. Let’s do it anyway.

Post

The Return of ‘Fellow Feeling’

IMG_5143

You might say it has not been much of a month for the human race. I might myself contend that signs of life float on the flooded streets of Houston, Texas. People are acting the way people used to act,

Post

Quiet-ish Time in the City Of Power

IMG_4790

Who weeps, who languishes, who darts anxious glances at the clock just about the time Congress goes on vacation?

The media, of course. With Congress out of town, what’s to report on, what’s to wring the hands over? As we

Post

The Obamacare Repeal Debacle

Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_9.15.01_AM

What do we take away, then, from the earthquake on the Senate floor last week, with wisps of smoke still rising from the ruins of Republican efforts to do something—anything—likely to rationalize the health care mess?

We take away, or

Post

Trump, the West and the Left

800px-President_Trumps_Trip_to_Poland_(34920988424)

The political left really, really, really doesn’t approve of Western civilization. If you doubt it, reference the maledictions poured out by the left on Donald Trump’s Warsaw speech last week.

Trump had the effrontery to say, “The fundamental question of

Post

Can We All Get Along?

IMG_3914

Nobody ever called the late Rodney King a model citizen of Los Angeles. But he gave the world what was likely the most plaintive, plangent query of our time. He wanted to know, in the aftermath of the LA burning,

Post

Journalism and Mr. Jones

IMG_3676

The world needs a common way of viewing the world. But it won’t likely have one anytime soon, as everyone is too set on enjoying (on no express warrant) “the right to be heard,” and the media is filling all

Post

They Out-Believe Us

IMG_3314

So: more police on the streets; better intelligence; better security arrangements; less nonsense when it comes to tolerance for the outrageous. The British are doing what they must and can to ward off future terrorist-related catastrophes.

It may help. It

Post

The Moral Clarity of the Morally Depraved

IMG_3186

Tolerant, kind, generous, forbearing—none of this you’d call our everyday Islamic mass murderer. One thing you may justly call him: discerning. He knows the stakes in the war on terror. He knows the degree to which the Christian, or semi-Christian,

Post

An Over-the-Top ‘Scandal’

trump

Let us concede that President Donald Trump talks too much and—maybe especially—tweets too much.

Let us concede the complexity of his explanation(s) for firing former FBI Director James Comey: Comey was doing a bad job; Trump always meant to; Trump

Post

The Tyranny of Non-Thought

lee

The sullen self-righteousness of the progressive left (i.e., “We’re right, and the rest of you can go to the hot place!”) glows on college campuses everywhere but also in big cities—such as my beloved New Orleans, come to think of

Post

Of Baseball Bats and Tax Reform

IMG_2456

The coming fight over tax reform highlights distinct and seemingly irreconcilable views of government. We might want to reflect on them, as the major players ready the armament: brass knuckles, baseball bats, Fox News and New York Times commentaries.

The

Post

The Know-It-Alls

IMG_2327

The multiple thousands who marched throughout America and the world last weekend hoped to whip up support for “Science.”

Well. I’m sold. And what next? Do more than a handful of people doubt the indispensability of science to the enrichment

Post

Life Without Norms

800px-Sterling_Law_Building,_Yale

What you end up with when the moral barriers topple is, not least, the end of due process at American colleges and universities.

It’s a dreadful prospect you likely wouldn’t imagine without having scanned some of the stories on the

Post

Why Are They Gunning for Gorsuch?

Neil_Gorsuch_still_from_SCOTUS_confirmation_hearing

An uncomplimentary picture takes shape in the mind: the Senate’s Democratic minority (save for a higher-minded handful) standing in a row, thumbs affixed to noses, fingers waving provocatively in the air, mouths emitting a rude sound commonly known as “the

Post

Judging Judge Gorsuch

 

A guide to the Neil Gorsuch nomination uproar: If you want the federal government to exercise greater and greater power over daily life in America, with minimum backtalk Neil_Gorsuch_February_2017from us, the people, you deplore the prospective elevation of Neil Gorsuch

Post

You Get What You Need

So what do I know anyway?   I didn’t want him to begin with.  I didn’t want him until it became painfully, obviously clear that he alone stood between us and the cultural and economic pillage contemplated by Hillary Clinton.  And

Addressing the Media Addressing Trump
Post

Addressing the Media Addressing Trump

The U.S. media establishment has been up to its usual occupation during a presidential season: harrumphing, growling, tut-tutting at the idea of putting a non-“mainstream candidate”—someone other than a liberal Democrat, that is—in charge of anything more consequential, in Washington

Dallas in the Dock
Post

Dallas in the Dock

The whole world appears to have gone nuts again—for about the ten millionth time in human history—but Dallas, unaccountably, you might say, has reaped enormous respect for keeping its cool and staying sane.  You know—as sane as can be expected

Trouble in the House
Post

Trouble in the House

The man best qualified to run the House of Representatives (I think so, anyway) won the votes necessary to run the House of Representatives—to the extent that any man or woman of like qualifications can be said to “run” a

Post

In Search of a New Free-World Leader

Is Vladimir Putin the new leader of the free world?

All we currently know is that the job seems open, and that Putin has seemingly sent in his resume, showing openness to the idea of an anti-Islamic State alliance with

Post

Offside at Mizzou

I tell you, it’s great to be alive and cognizant that the greatest thing going on at the University of Missouri, large-domed citadel of learning and culture, is—you guessed it—football!

Truly, the U of M Tigers don’t have such a

Post

All Talk, No Action

By Monday, interestingly enough, the Russian invasion of Syria was receding as a topic of public concern. Apparently there no longer seemed anything explosive in the tidings of Vladimir Putin’s slam-bang entry into that remote theater of conflict. This was