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 Sixth Commandment in Shetland

I’d like to share with you today a small exchange that has caused me to smile for several days now.  These four lines (below) are from a show that Bette and I have come to like a good deal.  It … Continue reading

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Turning cheeks and turning tables

The little badger invented by Russell Hoban and brought charmingly to life in the illustrations of Lillian Hoban, has been my favorite badger for a long time. [1] I have liked all the Frances books, but I have had reason … Continue reading

Posted in A life of faith, Biblical Studies, Political Psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fan base

“There’s such a thing as loyalty,” snapped the angry Jane Studdock. There is, ma’am,” returned Andrew McPhee, “As you get older, you will learn that it is a virtue too important to be lavished on individual personalities.” [1] I am … Continue reading

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Asymmetrical Mutual Prohibitions

I know that’s an awful title, but I don’t get to say things like that all the time and this time I think I can justify it.  I will let you be the judge. For one reason or another, I … Continue reading

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Prudence, resilience, and awfulizing

The idea behind pairing these ideas is that the amount of care we exercise in preventing bad outcomes can, under some circumstances, be translated into an unrealistic and ominous assessment of what those outcomes could be. I have had a … Continue reading

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Some Constitutional Amendment, Part III

I think the most important challenge facing Americans today is constitutional amendment. That sub-headline connects the three essays in this series.  The first established new, but perfectly plausible meanings for “constitution” (lower case c-) and for “amendment.”[1]  The second surveyed … Continue reading

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Some Constitutional Amendment, Part II

I think the most important challenge facing Americans today is constitutional amendment. The argument so far (Part 1) is not that we need a Constitutional amendment; it is that we need some constitutional amendment. Madison’s two solutions (allow factions to … Continue reading

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