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.

Civic Capitalism

“Socialism” doesn’t work Socialism does work, of course.  All you have to do is look at the bloc of democratic socialist countries in northern Europe and you can see it for yourself.  In fact, even “socialism”—i.e., the word “socialism” works … Continue reading

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The Seductions of Narrative

Some years ago, I ran my best half marathon time ever.  There were some special circumstances in this race.  I can think of two classes of such circumstances.  I’m going to tell you what they are because I am still … Continue reading

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Hector lives

There are so many things to like about Steven Spielberg, but among those I cherish his one-liner about The Terminal.  A reporter asked him whether the part of Viktor Navorski (played by Tom Hanks) was “a Christ story.”  I didn’t … Continue reading

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Trying to understand vigilantes. Failing.

Amber Elliott, currently director of the St. Francois County public health department in Missouri, resigns today, November 20.  She and her family are being harassed by angry citizens. Kelly Vollmar is director of the Jefferson County Health Department and has … Continue reading

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Lasting Damage to the Republic

I want to write this post as a rebuke to myself.  I want to look back on the day I wrote this and say, “This helped me avoid making a really bad mistake.” Here is the mistake: “At last, the … Continue reading

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To take arms against a sea of troubles…

As the Prince of Denmark considers his options, “taking arms against a sea of  troubles” is the one he considers first.  Presumably that “taking arms” would be preceded by some notion of just what comprised that “sea” and the troubles … Continue reading

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And Remember to Breathe

I am writing this on the morning after the election.  You might think that a blogger like me would want to talk about politics this morning.  Not really.  I want to write about adjusting the balance between my life, taken … Continue reading

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Discontented Thoughts

Here is a passage I found in Middlemarch this week.  There is not the slightest indication that the author, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) or the character who thought them, intended these remarks to be taken in a political way, … Continue reading

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Thoughtless Lying

I come from a small town in a conservative part of Ohio.  In some ways, that has been a very good preparation for the kind of life I have lived.  In our town, we believed in “the virtues,” despite violating … Continue reading

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Bo Knows Politics?

There comes a time when, as the logic of a movement plays out, it just goes too far.  In this essay I want to say that I have reached that point myself, so far as the self-righteous political left is … Continue reading

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