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.

You want transparency? I’ll give you transparency!

Today’s essay is about a wonderful new pun.  It isn’t my pun.  It isn’t even my kind of pun.  I’m just a fan. I make a point of that because what I had in mind writing on today was how … Continue reading

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Telling the Truth about American History

I hope that was a provocative title.  That’s why it is there.  Some will think that it is a simple and obvious standard and that “lying about American history” is the alternative.  Others will think it presumptuous to assert that … Continue reading

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Hello, Mark Galli

I had never heard of Mark Galli before today.  He is the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, which is described—except by President Trump—as “an evangelical journal.” [1]  According to his interview with Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs in the New York Times, he … Continue reading

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2019 in the rear-view mirror

I freely grant that this end of the year reflection is an indulgence. [1] Except in the religious sense, we think of of that word in the context of “self-indulgent” mostly. That context puts many of these meanings (see the … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Dale

One of the treasures of 2019 was an acquaintance with the word paraprosdokian. None of my online dictionaries has it, but Wikipedia—bless their hearts—has this. A paraprosdokianis a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, … Continue reading

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All seated on the ground

As I have been reading texts more carefully (the reasons for which need not detain us at the moment) I have found all kinds of little fragments of language that you can read right through or listen right through and … Continue reading

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On being “woke”

This is President Obama, at an Obama Foundation event this last October. The man makes so much sense. There is this sense [among some young people] that the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible … Continue reading

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