What's Tony Thinking

Democrats: Round Four

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October 15, 2019 — In case you were wondering who is the current “front-runner,” tonight’s debate made it clear: Elizabeth Warren. When Kamala Harris shifted her aim from Biden to Warren, you knew it was true. It was “Let’s all pile on Elizabeth” night. I’d say she weathered it pretty well. But I’m not sure she answered the question... Read More

Some Thoughts on Friendship in the Harried Age

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October 12, 2019 — I’m just back from spending the better part of a week with a group of friends from across the country. We’ve been meeting annually, in some iteration, for nearly thirty years. We are all clergy, people who share what has been called “this odd and wondrous calling.”  We get each other in ways that only... Read More

We Don’t Need Another Hero

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October 10, 2019 — Tina Turner’s song came to mind when reading a terrific essay, “When the Hero Is the Problem,” by Rebecca Solnit. I cited Solnit in my last post on the virtues and values of getting lost, remembering her book, A Field Guide To Getting Lost. Since then my dear friend, Lorain Giles, brought this recent essay of... Read More

Get Lost

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October 5, 2019 — I came upon a delightful little essay about visiting used book stores the other day. It was written for summer when the idea of reading for no great purpose or profit is permitted. Now, of course, it’s fall, but don’t let that bother you. The author, who both works in and patronizes, used book stores suggests... Read More

Notes from the City Council Candidates Forum

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October 2, 2019 — Here’s the statistic that got my attention: police response times in Seattle’s North End are 90% slower than in the South End. Why? There are three Council Districts in Seattle’s North End, but only one Seattle Police Department Precinct office. In the South End, with four Districts, there are four precinct offices. (And you may... Read More

What Marilynne Robinson Is Saying to Us

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October 1, 2019 — A couple weeks ago we went to Seattle’s Town Hall to hear Marilynne Robinson read from her most recent collection of essays, What Are We Doing Here?  I may be one of her few readers who came to her through her collections of essays, beginning with The Death of Adam, rather than her novels, most famously the... Read More

My Thoughts on Impeachment

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September 27, 2019 — Am I, a person who finds Donald Trump appalling, gleeful that it now appears he will be impeached by Congress? Am I saying, “Gotcha,” over the whistleblower allegations and the apparent attempt by the White House to suppress them? Am I thinking, “Now, finally, he’s gone so far over the line, this will be it.”... Read More

From the Wallowas

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September 24, 2019 — We are enjoying a short week at our cabin in the Wallowas. Yesterday I hiked to Aneroid Lake with friends David and Miles. Here’s a photo of the lake. Note the new snow, partly in shade and partly in sun. Not far from the lake we heard an elk bugling his mating call. He sounded... Read More

Why Liberals Leave Church

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September 21, 2019 — I don’t think it’s a shocking revelation, but this article puts some research behind the hunch: those who tend to be politically liberal have left churches in growing numbers because of the Religious or Christian Right. To be clear, liberals aren’t leaving Religious Right churches. They were never there. But there are turning their backs... Read More

Turns Out Millennials Want Church to be Church

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September 18, 2019 — The United Methodists recently hired the Barna Group to find out what millennials look for in a church.  One might wonder if you really can generalize about an entire generation of people, but leaving that aside for the moment . . . Turns out (at least as I read this article on the study’s findings)... Read More