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.

The Diamond Dogs

I like institutions.   I admire people who can call institutions into being.  I have tried it myself from time to time and I know it isn’t always easy.  Knowing how hard it is, my heart goes out to Ted … Continue reading

Posted in sociability, Society, TV | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The (Former) President’s 1776 Report

Former President Trump convened a body of writers to produce a new version of American history.  He didn’t give them much time to do it.  They were appointed thirty-three days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden and it was … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Please have your mask on for us

“Please have your mask on for us.” That’s what they say at the Starbucks Drive-through where I get my coffee in the morning.   I really like it and I’d like to think about it a little today. [1] I … Continue reading

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

Trumpism and Greater Appalachia

Here is the first paragraph of Colin Woodard’s examination of the “American nation” he calls Greater Appalachia. [1]  “Nation” is a cultural reference in Woodard’s usage and Greater Appalachia is the culture where I was born and raised.  (See the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Did anybody remember to bring the boxes?

Like a lot of people, I spent most of yesterday watching television.  I learned as lot from the commentary.  The video, not so much.  All day, they showed the same protesters coming up the same stairs their progress being retarded … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Eggs and Omelettes

As I write this, it is getting dark in Washington D. C. There are still pro-Trump rioters inside the Capitol and darkness does odd things to riots.  On all the channels I have watched, the reporters and commentators are asking, … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Balance of Power?

The government of the United States was built to be a balancing act.  Just what elements of this mechanism are supposed to be “in balance” have changed from one time to another.  Early ideas were that the largest states were … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Give me a break”

Trump’s recent phone call to Georgia is iconic.  It puts on display nearly all the things that are most characteristic of Trump [1] and most dangerous to democracy. Here is the account of the call as it appears in the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“The” Christmas Story

“The” Christmas Story I have never been a fan of “the Christmas story.”  I honestly don’t know why.  I know why I am not a fan of it now and it is a real temptation to project those reasons back … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Studies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Naughty and Nice

This is the kind of post I think I had in mind when I started all this in 2010.  Yesterday, the words to “Santa Claus in Comin’ to Town” came to my mind and I noticed something I had never … Continue reading

Posted in Getting Old, Uncategorized, Words | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment