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.

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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Staying in Love

I am going to argue today that it is possible and that for a certain kind of person—I am that kind of person—it is a really good idea. Now, during what my wife, Bette, and I call “the Valentine season” … Continue reading

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The Stupidity of Intellectuals

I’m going to say a lot of bad things about intellectuals today so I might just as well take the trouble to identify myself as one right up front. I have had a lot of formal education and have spent … Continue reading

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Avoiding Divisive Concepts in Our Schools

This is so easy to snicker at and dismiss. It is ridiculous on its face. And that is why it is so dangerous. Let’s think about it. And so we will have something concrete to think about, let’s consider Florida’s … Continue reading

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Disapproval Fatigue and Team Names

I grew up in a meat and potatoes house. We had noodles from time to time, but we never had “pasta.” That being the case, the first dozen or so times I saw the word “antipasto, “ I misunderstood it … Continue reading

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So…who IS the fairest of us all?

I’ve been in a number of conversations recently that presume race and racism as the proper context for the discussion. It isn’t always. Sometimes it is culture; sometimes it is class; sometimes it is religious practice. And on some of … Continue reading

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Staying Protected Against “Them”

I want to express a guarded admiration for “them.” Before I do that, I will need to say just who I mean by “them” and also to suggest that the clarity of that designation is becoming a little ragged around … Continue reading

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