What's Tony Thinking

Why Retirement Can Be Difficult

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September 17, 2019 — I suppose we’ve all been to retirement parties where the mood is jubilant. Retirement is spoken of as some sort of promised land or “the golden years.” Retirement can be that and even is that for some. But not for all. Retirement can also be, and for many people is, challenging. By the way, I... Read More

Is White Supremacy the Real Story?

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September 14, 2019 — Yesterday, in reviewing the Democrat’s third debate, I mentioned the advice of Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan to Democrats. Noting that from Trump’s point of view everything is grim, dark and menacing, she suggested that the Dem’s might take a more balanced and hopeful view of life and the country. While agreeing with her... Read More

Democrats Third Round, My Take

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September 13, 2019 — The best thing you can say about Julian Castro’s taunting of Joe Biden about “forgetting what he had just said” (which he hadn’t) is that it is good preparation for dealing with Donald Trump. Trump will be taunting whoever the nominee is with everything in his pathetic arsenal. So good practice for Biden, should he be... Read More

Telling the Truth from Jonathan Franzen

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September 11, 2019 — One of the country’s leading literary figures, novelist Jonathan Franzen, is exasperated by Republican and Progressive positions on climate change. If the right denies there’s any problem, the left fosters what Franzen’s sees as a different illusion: that we can fix this thing. Franzen believes the climate apocalypse is coming. We ought to stop pretending... Read More

Seeing Wildlife, Seeing God

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September 6, 2019 — I’m back from five days of backpacking in the Central Cascades with Mike and Kit Pierson. A great trip in an area I did not know well, but which I now know a little better. We entered the Alpine Lakes Wilderness south of Highway 2, maybe 20 miles east of Steven’s Pass. After driving south... Read More

You Have a Week Off

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September 1, 2019 — I’ve been a frequent visitor to your mailbox this past week, with four posts. This frequency for two reasons. One, we’re back in Seattle, which means easier access to the internet. When in Wallowa County getting on-line requires making a trip. But the second reason you get a respite and won’t be hearing from me... Read More

From Family Dysfunction to Identity Politics

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August 30, 2019 — Driving into town after the RSVP ride and a short stay in Vancouver B. C. we got off I-5 and onto surface streets. I said, “Seattle.” My companion added, “Land of lost.” This was prompted by the sight of young woman with easter-egg basket green hair, standing on a street corner, dishevelled and looking, well,... Read More

Marriage: Grace Required

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August 29, 2019 — As readers of this blog know, my wife, Linda, and I celebrated our 50th anniversary this past May. Marriage depends on — requires — grace. Which means at least two things. There’s grace on the human level, and then there’s God’s grace. Level one grace means that the people involved in a marriage are more... Read More

Trump Is Right (Sort of)

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August 28, 2019 — I am in the midst of reading two books on gun violence for a review article in the Christian Century. One is Common Ground: Talking About Gun Violence in America by Donald Gaffney. The other Collateral Damage: Changing the Conversation about Firearms and Faith by James Atwood. Both authors are clergy, and by the way, people who grew up... Read More

O Canada!

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August 26, 2019 — The final rest stop on the RSVP (Ride Seattle to Vancouver Party) nearly 200 mile, two-day ride was in Port Moody. The stop was at a park on the Burrard Inlet, fifteen miles east of the finish line in downtown Vancouver. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the park was just packed with folks. Kids in... Read More