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.

How to solve your writing problems

I got a pop-up ad on my screen while I was writing an essay. The headline said, “Study smarter, not harder.” I’m sure no one would object to the idea of studying smarter. There is, of course, the question of … Continue reading

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The Real Santa

The remake I watch of Miracle on 34th Street is the 1994 remake of a much remade Christmas story. Valentine Davies, who wrote the 1947 version says that he got the idea while he was waiting in line at a … Continue reading

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George Fairbairn, Turtle Master

I have recently taken a shine to a character in Russell Hoban’s old (1975) novel, Turtle Diary. George Fairbairn is the keeper of the turtles at the Aquarium in London and potentially the antagonist of Naeara H and William G, … Continue reading

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The Name of Mary’s Husband

Many years ago, I stumbled across Raymond E. Brown’s book, The Birth of the Messiah. I learned a lot of carefully detailed things, such as the dilemma that the Greek kai—which usually means “and”—might, in this instance mean “but rather.” … Continue reading

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An Exercise in Problem Solving

“Truth, Justice, and the American Way” is apparently a Superman tag line. I have heard said only for the ironic flavor it conveys. There are people who would pause thoughtfully or even cynically at “the American Way,” but who is … Continue reading

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Reading the Hard Way

There are so many reasons to like Elizabeth Bennet. In Chapter 13 of Pride and Prejudice, she faces a very tough opponent. Her prejudice. [1] She is reading a letter from a man [Darcy] who has shown only contempt for … Continue reading

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Transparency and Accountability

I have learned to shy away from expressions like “whatever it takes.” When it is dropped into a drama at just the right place and is said in just the right way by just the right person, it sounds pretty … Continue reading

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Columbus Day. Again.

I missed Columbus Day again this year. I had to go online to find out if it is still a recognized event. I’ll bet there are still come places in the U. S. that celebrate Columbus Day, possibly places where … Continue reading

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Why there is no such word as “illability.”

Some years ago, I had a discussion with my son, Doug, about the kind of seating one might want in the front seat of a car. He said he preferred bucket seats because they help maintain stability. I’m sure he … Continue reading

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Anertia

A fairly high proportion of the people who read this blog like words. Not just the efficient or elegant use of words, but also the words themselves. I understand that; I am like that myself To those people, I offer … Continue reading

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