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.

Having “Grit”

Here is a line from Thomas Friedman’s column in the New York Times this morning. “In short, we are seeing a national movement that is telling us publicly and loudly: WE WILL GO THERE” The subject of “We..” is in … Continue reading

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Desolate Old Men  

Today, I would like to share a bittersweet reflection with you. Then I would like to poke at it a little. This anonymous reflection (below) about old friends was sent to me by an old friend of mine. He and … Continue reading

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Act Your Age

This phrase is an appeal to widespread knowledge and consensual values about how a person of a certain age should act. In a time where both widespread knowledge and consensual values are in decline, you would think that sentiments like … Continue reading

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Time Spent With Old Friends

I’ve lost track of how many times I have read parts, at least, of Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. Yesterday, I caught something new in my reaction to a scene and I’d like to tell you about it. I’m not sure what … Continue reading

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Disordered Individuals

Here is the text for today. I found this in an article in JAMA Psychiatry by Peter Sterling and Michael L. Platt (February 2022). “Every symptom of despair has been defined as a disorder or dysregulation within the individual.” First, … Continue reading

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I’ve got more important things to do.

Surely I do. I must. That would, at least, make sense of the way I eat. I’ve been puzzled about this for awhile. I eat in a decision-minimizing way. Here are some of the obvious implications. First, I eat/drink things … Continue reading

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Toxic Masculinity

Today, I want to think about the expression “toxic masculinity.” [1]. I have three major goals in writing this essay. The first is not to whine about the expression. The second is to try to persuade you that I am … Continue reading

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It’s not a flaw. It’s a feature

We sang a hymn this past Sunday I had never sung before.[1] I did pretty well in the first stanza but I hit a serious speed bump in the second. It goes like this: “Teach us, O Lord, your lessonsas … Continue reading

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The Beauty of Pravic Verbs

“Still working?” she said as she passed. “Do you ever get a break?” he said, fifteen minutes later. Things like this happen for two reasons. I sit and type next a place where a lot of people walk. This of … Continue reading

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The Anger of the Bypassed Classes

Some of the links available in Thomas B. Edsall’s column in the New York Times yesterday have moved me to try to envision a broader political landscape for the U. S. I don’t know if this is sophisticated or naive. … Continue reading

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