What's Tony Thinking

Impeachment Begins, Civics Lesson Assigned

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November 14, 2019 — The public hearings of the impeachment inquiry began yesterday. The Republicans made quite a bit of the fact that both of the civil servants who testified, Bill Taylor and George Kent, were only reporting “hearsay” regarding the President’s alleged attempt at extortion. This might carry some weight had the President not ordered all those witnesses... Read More

Words Do Matter

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November 10, 2019 — We used to have a card on our refrigerator that read: “Let’s eat Grandma “Let’s eat, Grandma “Punctuation matters.” This morning 33 writers have a great short piece in the New York Times headed, “Words Matter: Stop Using ‘Quid Pro Quo.'” The writers rightly, helpfully and urgently argue that 1) people don’t understand this Latin... Read More

Preaching These Days

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November 6, 2019 — I’ll be preaching at Riverside Church (not in New York) in Hood River, Oregon this Sunday. This fall I’ve had the opportunity to preach a couple of times. As is my practice, I have used the texts of the Revised Common Lectionary on these occasions. But despite the variety and variance of texts I’ve noticed... Read More

Ease Up on the Oft-Maligned Millennial

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November 3, 2019 — A week or two ago I mentioned that I am enjoying a collection of essays by Heather Havrilesky titled, What If This Were Enough? As the title may suggest Havrilesky is waging war, with wit and wisdom, against what she terms “the poisons of our culture.” These lies which “we ingest and metabolize them until they... Read More

Impeachment Moves Forward

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October 31, 2019 — I was interested to see that former Senator, Slade Gorton, a Republican, has weighed in favoring the impeachment of Donald Trump. I wondered what Gorton was thinking about all this. He termed Trump’s call to the Ukraine President Zelenskiy, “A pure shakedown.” The way things are shaping up the debate is not whether Trump was... Read More

Keep the Home Fires Burning

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October 29, 2019 — This past summer we put in a small wood-burning stove, a Vermont Castings “Aspen,” in order to “extend the season.” Meaning, we could hang around into the fall because our great little stove would, when fired up, keep us warm and entertained (the 10 x 12 window affords a nice glowing view). We do have... Read More

Great Play at Seattle’s Taproot Theater

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October 25, 2019 — “Necessary Sacrifices,” now nearing the end of it’s run at Seattle’s Taproot Theater on 85th, just off Greenwood, is terrific. It is a theatrical workout, of the best sort, for the mind and the heart. Written by Richard Hellesen, “Necessary Sacrifices,” is based on the two encounters (at the White House) between Frederick Douglas and... Read More

Career Civil Servants vs. The Whiner-in-Chief

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October 23, 2019 — Remember Ronald Reagan’s big applause line? ‘What are the scariest words in the English language? ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” That cheap shot started the war on government, or inaugurated a new version of it, in the early 80’s. It has led us to where we are now with a Donald... Read More

It’s Okay; You Don’t Have To be Happy, Happy, Happy

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October 21, 2019 — One of the tyrannies of our culture is its demand that you be happy, happy, happy . . . and if you’re not, it’s your own damn fault. Many years ago now, I came home from my first semester of college. I went by our church to visit my minister, John Wightman, who passed away... Read More

How To Improve Your Husband (or Wife)

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October 17, 2019 — I’ve been on both sides of the room for couples counseling. That is, Linda and I have done counseling at several junctures along the way. And I have counseled couples as their minister. I didn’t do long term counseling with couples, preferring to help them find a therapist. But I did enough to notice a pattern.... Read More