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.

Turn the Other Cheek

The controversies over this text abound, very likely because following out the literal meaning is quite often inconvenient.  But there are worse things than inconvenience to say about the literal compliance with such a text.  We might say, for instance, … Continue reading

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Racial defensiveness

The topic for today is “racial defensiveness.”  I’m against it.  The Russian spy (Mark Rylance)  who was captured and tried in the movie “A Bridge of Spies” had a recurring line that made me like him immediately.  In the first … Continue reading

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July 4 Virus Thoughts

We are celebrating, today, the independence of the North American colonies of Great Britain from the rest of the British Empire. We had devised, here, the beginnings of a single political system and we proclaimed that it “was, and of … Continue reading

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A Klan of “Karens”

You may have heard about the fuss kicked up by Amber Lynn Gilles at the Starbucks in San Diego. The short version is that she didn’t wear a mask, as store rules required her to do, and was not served. … Continue reading

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And he lies scarcely at all…

Scene 1: Saint Peter and a few angels are performing the daily ritual with some dice and a chart of the cardinal sins. They throw an 11, look at the chart and see what vice is on special today. Scene … Continue reading

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Juneteenth, 2020

I think I’d like to pay some attention to Juneteenth this year. I remember hearing about it before, but only from a distance. Since last June, I have been thinking about the increasingly wide divisions in this country and how … Continue reading

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White women are vicious. Hm.

A recent column by Charles Blow, a columnist for the New York Times, is one of the worst I have seen anywhere. It stands out particularly in the Times, where the columns written by people who work for the paper … Continue reading

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Why does President Trump lie?

My father had a drive toward being a cultured gentleman. I see, as I look back, that it was much more powerful than I thought as I was growing up, but even then, I noticed it. He was raised on … Continue reading

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A “Permission Structure” for Republicans

Let’s start with this paragraph from Jonathan Martin in the New York Times. Yet it would be a sharp rebuke for former Trump administration officials and well-known Republicans to buck their own standard-bearer. Individually, they may not sway many votes … Continue reading

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Strategic cockroach

Yesterday, my husband thought he saw a cockroach in the kitchen. He sprayed everything down and cleaned thoroughly. Today, I’m putting the cockroach in the bathroom. That’s one of the cute little reports included in a paper called Funnies, which … Continue reading

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