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. My wife, Bette, is the First Reader (FR) of the posts. I have arranged that partly because she helps me write better posts than I would otherwise and partly because I can hold her responsible for the mistakes that I would, otherwise, have to own up to myself.. 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 whimsey. I'm a dilettante.

Really bad political arguments

In his column of August 12, which is an important contribution to today’s debates, Frank Bruni introduces Professor Mark Lilla, of Columbia University. Lilla comments that “classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my … Continue reading

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A staff you can lean on

Nobody ever accused President Jed Bartlet of being too candid as President over his seven years of presiding over The West Wing. On the contrary, the hits he took in public were about being too distant, too intellectual, too removed … Continue reading

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Enjoy your meal

That seems straightforward enough. It’s the kind of thing many waiters and waitresses say as they leave your table, having just served your meal. And if the alternative is not enjoying your meal, I think it is the best of … Continue reading

Posted in Living My Life | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Political Lies and Political Liars

Lord Alexander Chung-sik Finkle-McGraw is instructing John Percival Hackworth, a relatively new member of the New Victorians, on “hypocrisy.” Is hypocrisy a big deal, Finkle-McGraw wants to know, or is it the way it was back at the end of … Continue reading

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Boys and girls and emotionality

“Why do we limit the emotional vocabulary of boys?” In this piece from the New York Times, Andrew Reiner collects some recent research about how infant boys and girls are treated differently. He cites quite a range of research and … Continue reading

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The (pause) Lord’s (pause) Prayer (stop)

So many kinds of things go on in a Protestant worship service. [1] Calling it “a worship service” is almost a courtesy, but I like the term because it expresses our highest hopes about what we are doing there. Or … Continue reading

Posted in Getting Old, Living My Life, Theology, Words | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking facts to power

That’s not a typo. If you were expecting “Speaking truth to power,” read on. In December, 2015, a blogger named Jade Greear, began a piece with the well-known expression “Speaking Truth to Power.” [1] Greear continued: Those four little words … Continue reading

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