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.

The gospels as murder mysteries

The value of a metaphor is that it opens up a less known idea by comparing it to a better known idea. [1] I have never been to Greece, but I have been charmed for years by stories that Greek … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Studies, Paying Attention | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Paying attention to Christmas

In her New York Times editorial, Tish Warren cites an “old saying” I never heard before: “Hunger is the best condiment.”  I’d like to think about it a little, using the same context in which she uses it, which is … Continue reading

Posted in A life of faith, Advent, Paying Attention | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Metabolizing the minutes

Neaera H. It used to be that I stayed up till all hours and still felt time-starved, none of the day seemed to be metabolized into living.  Now the minutes make me strong. Here is my text for the day.  … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Living My Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Know Nothing Party, Part II

The Know Nothing Party Abraham Lincoln knew flourished briefly before the Civil War.  They called themselves “the American Party,” but since its inner workings were supposed to be secret, its members were supposed to say “I know nothing” [1]  That … Continue reading

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

When meaning gets thin

I have been working for some years now on Ursula LeGuin’s book, The Farthest Shore. There is a lot to like about the book. It is the third of her EarthSea Trilogy. [1] I liked it first because it was … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Getting Old, Living My Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is “carn-ism?”

The only people I know who are writing and talking about eating meat are people who are treating it as a moral matter or who are allergic to it.  I make an exception, of course, of the American Beef Council, … Continue reading

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Are we worth saving?

“Let me tell you something, my friend, Red says to Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, “hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” And that may be true. Or it may be the only thing that gives … Continue reading

Posted in Society, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment