Author Archives: hessd

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.

Paying Attention to Hitler: Some Centennials

September 18, 2021 I will not surprise anyone by observing that authoritarian populism has taken hold in the United States. Donald Trump never made the slightest pretense of valuing democracy as a system of choosing leaders. There were other things … Continue reading

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Opprobrium Entrepreneurs

September 9, 2021 People who like to write about or think about or argue about American politics (overlapping, but not identical categories) owe a debt of thanks to Cass R. Sunstein for the term, “opprobrium entrepreneur.” Opprobrium is the imputation … Continue reading

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Evangelize your friends. Or else.

Today, I opened a Facebook post from a long ago friend. Still a “friend” in the Facebook sense of the term. The Bible…says Matthew 10:33 “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father … Continue reading

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The Nap Ministry

I learned to nap when I was a teenager. I was working at a lumber yard—my brothers and I all did that in the summers—and I remember walking a few blocks to lunch at home and then lying on the … Continue reading

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The Use of Conflicts in the Gospel of Mark

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus responds unevenly to the opportunities he has to engage in conflicts. There is an easy way to demonstrate this, although I am sure it would not persuade anyone who wasn’t willing to be persuaded. You simply … Continue reading

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The Distrust Party

In situations of persistent conflict, it is really hard to continue to wish good things for your self and your group without also sliding off to wishing bad things for “them.” That is one of the very large problems the … Continue reading

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My colleague, the Honorable Scumbag from North Dakota

It is a commonplace that the United States is now in a hyperpartisan era. People who think that is not true or who think it is not important often pass it off by saying that nothing is more naturally human … Continue reading

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Living on Autopilot

Human personalities are incredibly complex. I know that because I have one, myself. And for some purposes, I think we should lean into and fully appreciate the complexity. But there are other purposes—I am going to explore one today—for which … Continue reading

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The Crusades (again) in the 2020s

I had a friend once who descended from time to time into an irrational rage and he hated to go alone. I am going to describe the process in the form it finally became familiar to me. This will make … Continue reading

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How well do you want it fixed?

In the early 1960s, I dislocated my left shoulder. After many subsequent dislocations, I decided to see if I could get it fixed. I went to team of doctors who were said to have a lot of experience with athletes. … Continue reading

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