What's Tony Thinking

Buttigieg v. Pence

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April 13, 2019 — I’ve been very intrigued by Pete Buttigieg, aka “Mayor Pete.” While it’s true that it’s a big jump from Mayor of South Bend to the White House, the electorate pretty well set aside prior relevant experience as a criterion with the election of the incumbent. Besides, being a big city mayor may well translate more... Read More

Is Jesus God?

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April 10, 2019 — Holy Week coming up. Do we really buy the outrageous, impossible claims of this faith? One of the strangest, head-scratchers is the claim that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. How can you be fully one thing and fully another? Rationally you can’t. But as my buddy, Rick Floyd, recently reminded readers... Read More

Dealing With Jerks (Without Becoming One)

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April 9, 2019 — Spotted this helpful piece on dealing with jerks, and wanted to pass it along. Pastors and lay leaders all too often find themselves dealing with people behaving badly. For some it is a temporary bit of bad-acting. But not infrequently it has become, for others, their modus operandi. And, too often, churches let them get away with it... Read More

Maybe Shame Ain’t All Bad?

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April 7, 2019 — The popular author and speaker Brene Brown has taught us that there’s a difference between guilt and shame. “Guilt,” says Brown is “feeling bad about making a mistake. Shame is feeling that you are a mistake.” Guilt in this understanding is a useful thing, a sign that you’ve done something wrong and need to deal... Read More

Writing in the Wild and more

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April 4, 2019 — “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” So wrote Anton Chekov. “Show the reader everything, tell them nothing.” Hemingway. It’s a cardinal rule for writing poetry and fiction. “Show don’t tell.” That will be our theme and learning focus for my next “Writing in the Wild”... Read More

Immigration, A Few Things Worth Knowing

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April 3, 2019 — Do you ever listen to Thom Hartmann? His show is carried in the Seattle area on weekday mornings on KCBS (91.3) Progressive radio, I think it is called. Hartmann was focusing on immigration today, pointing out the following: we have laws on our books that prohibit employers from hiring non-citizens. Canada has the same. Canada,... Read More

Dying Seattle, Part Two

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April 1, 2019 — One observation made by Jim and Deborah Fallows in their 2017 book, Our Towns, A Ten Thousand Mile Journey into the Heart of America, has haunted me. After visiting scores of American cities and towns the Fallows observed that to the extent local debates mirrored the framework and polarization of national politics, a municipality was likely to... Read More

Living the Life You Want to Live

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March 30, 2019 — Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, who is out with a new album, was interviewed on PBS recently by Jeffrey Brown. Griffin’s new album is apparently more auto-biographical than previous work, a turn prompted by a recent bout with cancer. She is 55. In the course of the delightful interview, Griffin made a couple of observations that rang... Read More

Is Seattle Dying?

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March 28, 2019 — On March 16 KOMO, Channel 4, in Seattle broadcast Eric Johnson’s program, “Seattle Is Dying,” about homelessness in Seattle. I became aware of the broadcast last week when I tuned in KUOW’s Week in Review program. KUOW host, Bill Radke, judged the “Seattle Is Dying” topic so hot that he pushed it ahead of the... Read More

Why I’m Okay with the Mueller Report

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March 25, 2019 — I should qualify my “I’m okay,” by saying that I’ve not read the report. But then few have. I have seen the Barr summary and listened to a fair bit of commentary. Yes, I’m disappointed. A real “smoking gun” would have been thrilling. But I was also dubious from the get-go that one would be... Read More