What's Tony Thinking

In Praise of Bewilderment

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September 8, 2022 — A couple weeks ago our local Wallowa County paper had a cartoon on the editorial page that showed two guys sitting over their beers at a bar. One is white, the other black. The white guy says, “I don’t know . . . nothing seems to make sense any more.” To which the black guy... Read More

The Rule of Law, in State and Church

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September 7, 2022 — A government of laws, not men, is a fundamental element of classical liberalism and liberal democracy. In his recent book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, Francis Fukuyama writes, “By ‘liberalism,’ I refer to the doctrine that first emerged in the the second half of the seventeenth century that argued for the limitation of the powers of governments through... Read More

Jobs and The Shadow Job on Labor Day 2022

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September 5, 2022 — As I mentioned in my recent trip reports, it appeared that many of the hotels where we stayed had staffing issues. On this Labor Day, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Understaffing is everywhere: service industries, retail, health care, schools, school bus drivers. Understaffing means that the people who are working... Read More

We Made It!

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September 3, 2022 — We arrived in Greenville, South Carolina early yesterday afternoon! Mission accomplished . . . well, almost. Today we unload. Yesterday’s drive started in Lexington, Kentucky. We headed south into Tennessee, then dipped briefly into North Carolina before crossing into South Carolina. So I think we saw parts of sixteen states en route. For what it’s... Read More

Today’s Road Report

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September 1, 2022 — Okay, let’s start by acknowledging that I failed the state capitals test, big-time. Laramie is not the capital of Wyoming. Cheyenne is. Lexington is not the capital of Kentucky. Frankfort is. I did get one right. Topeka, where we were last night, is the capital of Kansas. Still, a failing grade. Clearly, this is what... Read More

Report from the Road

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August 31, 2022 — It is Wednesday evening, the 31st of August, and we are in Topeka, Kansas. And doing pretty well. The only SNAFU so far was that I lost the keys to the lock on our U-Haul truck. At the hotel where we were staying in Laramie, Wyoming there were quite a few people on various work... Read More

Jesus the Party Planner

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August 28, 2022 — Here’s my sermon from yesterday. Jesus the Party Planner Luke 14: 1 – 14 Enterprise Community Congregational Church August 28, 2022 It has been great to be with you these three Sundays. Thank you for the invitation and for your warm welcome. We do feel a special sense of connection with you, and we will... Read More

The Great Road Trip

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August 27, 2022 — After church today Linda and I head to The Dalles, in the Columbia Gorge, to pick up a U Haul truck. So begins a late August cross-country journey from White Salmon, Washington to Greenville, South Carolina. On Monday morning we will load our daughter Laura’s worldly goods into the truck and hit the road, hoping... Read More

Forgive Us Our Debts: The Bible and Loan Forgiveness

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August 26, 2022 — Two days ago the Biden Administration announced a program of debt relief for people who had taken students loans for college. Predictably, some rejoiced while some others gnashed their teeth. A middle ground was occupied by those debating whether the program would prove inflationary. Forgiveness can upset people. As does it’s theological cousin, grace. The... Read More

In An Era When Everything Is a Crisis

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August 23, 2022 — You may remember the name “Chris Stierwalt?” Stierwalt was the head of the vote projection operation at Fox News in 2020 when he made the mistake of doing his job. He (accurately and first) projected Biden’s win and Trump’s loss in the crucial state of Arizona, thus incurring the wrath of Donald Trump. It wasn’t... Read More