What's Tony Thinking

End of Another Week, 9/29

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September 29, 2023 — We’re back in the Wallowas for a final week, celebrating Linda’s October 1 birthday with friends here, and then closing up the cabin for winter. Beautiful hike yesterday with lots of autumn color. The reds are mostly Rocky Mountain Maple, similar to Vine Maple. The yellows are aspens. Other bright yellows are Tamarack, a.k.a. Larch.... Read More

Pulling the Rug Out From Under Police

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September 27, 2023 — Here’s a brief follow-up to my last blog on “Seattle’s Drug Crisis.” Another element in the mix of urban decay is the status and authority of police. In recent years (weeks even) highly-publicized cases of police bad behavior and/ or excessive use of force have been in the national and local news. These are real... Read More

Seattle’s Drug Crisis

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September 25, 2023 — Alex Fryer, of the Seattle Times, had an excellent piece in yesterday’s edition about how divided people in Seattle are in their approach to Seattle’s growing drug addiction problem, now exacerbated by fentanyl flooding the market. Fryer begins with what he calls the ruling orthodoxy on the issue, which is, “Meeting people where they are... Read More

First Weekend of Fall

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September 23, 2023 — Welcome to the first official weekend of the autumn season. The equinox was late Thursday night, the sun crossing the celestial equator heading south. I try to use the word “autumn” in memory of Connie Wentzel, Plymouth member and staff person with me for a time. Connie lamented that we didn’t say “autumn” much anymore,... Read More

When Is It Time to Step Aside?

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September 20, 2023 — Two weeks ago I wrote a piece I titled “Biden’s Gamble.” I confessed my growing angst that what worked in 2020, and got Joe Biden elected, might not work in 2024. I raised the idea of a “national unity” ticket with someone sane who believes in the Constitution from each party. Last week that piece... Read More

Leaving Ministry

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September 18, 2023 — Earlier this month a pastor named Alexander Lang posted a letter about why he was leaving the ministry. I’m not sure if it originally appeared on Facebook or somewhere else, but it went “viral” getting a lot of “Amens” from other clergy. The five factors he cites as leading to his burn-out and resignation are... Read More

Festival of the Arts

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September 15, 2023 — The Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts opened on Friday evening. It’s an amazing exhibit of 105 different works — paintings, photography, sculpture. There are a lot of very talented artists working here in Wallowa Country. I am honored that one of my paintings made it into the juried exhibit. That painting (right) is titled... Read More

End of the Week, September 15

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September 14, 2023 — Should He Stay Or Should He Go? The Biden Debate Continues. Last week I expressed my concern about the Biden/ Harris ticket for 2024. To be clear, my lead issue is not the President’s age. It is whether or not he can again beat Trump. His age figures into that. But defeating Trump is my... Read More

A Scuffle Between the States

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September 13, 2023 — One of the taken-for-granted glories of the United States is open and free passage across state boundaries. Usually, it’s a matter of two signs. One says, “Thanks for coming, Come Again!,” while the next says, “Welcome to ______ ! Drive Safely.” Could this change? Might we find ourselves going through border checkpoints and inspections when... Read More

At Home On An Unruly Planet

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September 12, 2023 — Our book group reconvened last Sunday evening, continuing our current series on Climate Change. This month’s book was At Home On An Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on A Changed Earth┬áby the science journalist, Madeline Ostrander. What happens after a climate change related disaster vanishes from the headlines? How do people recover, pick themselves up and... Read More