What's Tony Thinking

End of the Week, October 20


The days are hastening on . . . already the last half of October. Goodness.

I am in New England visiting old friends and colleagues. I’ve told some “It’s my farewell tour,” which results in alarmed looks, as in “what? You got cancer?” No, it’s just that I don’t have much occasion for travel to the east coast at this stage in the game.

Anyhow, it is great to see old friends, folks I’ve worked with on various projects and for whom I have been a coach/ mentor over the years. For those of you still thinking you might come to New England to see the autumn foliage, this may not be the year. To me, a non-native/ resident, it still looks beautiful. But this is apparently an off-year for spectacular fall foliage. Too much rain.

However, you might want to come here to fill your car’s gastank. Gas prices are $2 a gallon less than in Seattle. And housing prices are about the same differential. Visiting with friends, it appears that what you might purchase for $1.5 million in Seattle, is half that (or less) here in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, the two big crises of the week continue. Crisis # 1 House Leadership. We can give thanks that Jim Jordan will not be second in line for the Presidency should the incumbent die or be incapacitated. Here’s the succession — or what would have been the succession — Kamala Harris and Jim Jordan. Lord, have mercy! Basically, what we are witnessing is that the current Republican Party is not a governing party, they are — at best — an opposition party.

Given that they hold the majority in the House they are supposed to, well, govern. But this is not what this crowd does or knows how to do. They took Nancy Reagan’s slogan, “Just say no,” and made it an all purpose political philosophy. Never mind that they are elected officials of a government they apparently wish to destroy. They appear stuck in a very long adolescence (Jim Jordan is 62) where they require someone to rebel against as their raison d’être. But — surprise — it turns out they are in majority (at least in the House), and they don’t know what to do or how to handle the job. Tell us, please, not what/ who you are against, but what you are for!

Here’s my idea. Stop paying the members of the House of Representatives. At least the Republican members. I mean they aren’t actually doing their job. You just can’t let these people keep drawing on the dole, leeches on the public. Dock their pay! MTG and Loren Bobert are welfare queens, except getting way more than people on assistance.

The other crisis is, of course, the situation in Israel. I give Joe Biden a lot of credit for going to the Middle East and trying to one, stand with Israel, but two, moderate the impulse toward total war.

Last week I wrote about the religion of “Manichaeanism,” which sees the world as a battleground in which one’s enemies, the evil ones, must be totally destroyed. President Biden, rightly, identified this as the impulse behind both Hamas and Russia in their respective invasions. In his speech to the nation on returning from Israel the President said,

“Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy, completely annihilate it.”

Meanwhile, there has been a good bit of watchdogging of the press and of the NYT in particular. The NYT accepted Hamas as a credible source on the alleged bombing of a hospital in Gaza, rushing to proclaim Israel as at fault and confirming as many as 500 killed.

Neither, it turns out, are true. If the NYT wants to think of and present itself as the “newspaper of record” then it had better up its game and observe older, tried-and-true journalistic standards, as in having facts to support headlines.

Meanwhile, the apocalypse of the left in the U.S. continues. “Apocalypse” means revealing, the hidden things become manifest. At least for some on the left their anti-semitism has been revealed, as has their slavish adherence to the oppressor/ oppressed binary. They get in a huff about “micro-aggressions,” but regard Hamas’ actions as necessary, even to be celebrated.

Can we end on a positive note? As I said, I am visiting old friends. Thank God for friends, who know us and still love us. Friendship is a blessing, and at my age nurturing and caring for friendships is a blessing and a privilege. Connect with your friends!


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